Dr. David Moore, health officer at the Grant County Health Department, estimates that roughly 35% of the students at Taylor University are vaccinated as of Oct. 7.
However, Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator Jesse Brown reported 693 students with either vaccinations or antibodies, equaling 36.28% of the student body. Because it includes both categories of immunity, this percentage is higher than the percentage of students that are vaccinated.
These numbers come after the Taylor Pandemic Response Team (PeRT) lifted its mask mandate on campus on Oct. 1.
The existing protocol had called for the use of masks in indoor venues where more than 250 individuals were present. Additionally, specially designated spaces like Rediger Chapel and the Recital Hall no longer require masks.
PeRT cited lowering cases on campus as their reason for lifting the mandate.
As of this time last year, there were 20 positive cases for the school year.
As of Oct. 7, 2021, there were 92 positive cases reported since Aug. 30, 2021 – exceeding the past year by 68 cases.
Earlier this year, Brown announced a vaccine clinic at the Upland Family Pharmacy, which was sent via email to the student body and offered aid to students who wanted to get vaccinated.
The email also encouraged a conversation with the individual’s healthcare provider, and that the student be fully informed about the vaccine.
Though the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is the highest concern for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, there have been no updates on protocol, besides the expiration of the mask mandate, since Aug. 31.
The Center for Disease Control states that the Delta variant is two times as contagious as previous variants. Vaccinated people are not entirely safe.
PeRT intends to monitor campus and county cases, making adjustments as necessary. Students receive weekly updates from PeRT via email.