As of Nov. 12 Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) had a total of 77 COVID-19 cases, creating a grand total of 237 positive cases this year. At the same time, there were currently 336 students in quarantine and 123 in isolation.
Students at IWU are required to wear a mask at all times, unless outside or in their family unit. Their classroom locations have changed so that they only fill to 50% capacity, and chapel is limited to a live stream or to the first 250 who sign up to go in person. Everyone is to remain socially distanced. In addition to this, all sporting events have restrictions on the number of fans in attendance.
Last week, students at IWU received an email giving them the option to complete the semester remotely.
“Based on the current situation on campus, the diverse needs of our students, and guidance provided by university and local health professionals, the decision has been made to implement an additional protocol for the IWU-Marion campus,” the email to students said.
As of Nov. 12, students could complete the semester remotely, though some were required to stay on campus and attend classes in-person.
IWU Freshman Amelia Chatwell said that there was a decent amount of talk about COVID-19 at the beginning of the year, but more conversation started happening after the university went from two positive cases to 32 in one day due to sporting events.
“People are talking about the rising cases,” Chatwell said. “Mainly just because it happened so fast and it’s so close to the end of the semester.”
Since the outbreak, students have been restricted to two seats per table. In addition, they have taken away seating in the dining areas and commons. All campus events — aside from sports — have been cancelled, and masks are required everywhere except outdoors or in the dorm.
In comparison, as of Nov. 6, Taylor University had 162 students in quarantine, 27 students in active isolation, 21 new COVID-19 cases, and a total of 65 positive cases this year. This means that IWU has had double the amount of positive cases for the 2020 fall semester and currently has 136 more students in quarantine.
Chatwell wishes that more events were put on throughout September to help with the emotional state of the students, but she understands the restrictions.
In a recent email to Taylor students, Director of Residence Life Scott Barrett reminded students that mask-wearing and social distancing is as important now as ever as we approach the end of the semester.
“Your relationships with each other are really important to us and we want you to continue to cultivate these relationships,” Barrett said. “We need to do this in wise, but cautious ways if we want to remain together safely. Being diligent to follow these basic expectations is really important as we make these efforts. This is all of our responsibilities.”