Editorial: Yet another vague email leaving students with more questions than answers

An email confirming 22 cases of COVID-19 on campus has left Concordia students with unanswered questions. Graphic Carl Bindman

An email confirming 22 cases of COVID-19 on campus sounds more than just alarms—it’s enough to open the floodgates to unanswered questions.

The Sept. 23 email concerning confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus lacked so much information and detail that it left students questioning the university’s accountability. 

“There is no evidence of on-campus transmission at this time,” the email read, which struck confusion among students since there has been little to no tracking of the spaces students use on campus. How can a full careful response plan be performed when no one is recording the things we touch and the spaces used?

While students who shared classrooms with those who tested positive were notified, those who didn't share classrooms were left wondering if it was possible they too may have shared spaces with those students. There was a lack of information on what buildings and common spaces these students frequented. 

Aside from the fact there may be more than 22 confirmed cases that have simply gone undeclared, there has been no information on how they’re tracking these cases and how they plan on relaying this information to their students. We have been left to wonder why they choose to inform us about the cases three weeks into the school year?

“Clearly, everyone’s vigilance in respecting the health and safety measures we put in place as part of Concordia’s Return-to-Campus plan has had an impact,” read the email. But, are all of the new measures being respected? 

Many professors don’t wear their masks while teaching and even sometimes when students approach them to ask questions. Mouths and noses are visible everywhere. Staff can be seen switching out the mask dispenser without sanitizing their own hands or wearing gloves. It makes you wonder how often places on campus are monitored and cleaned. The bathroom doors in the Hall building alone are so riddled in fingerprint marks that you can’t help but think about how often they are sanitized.

Four weeks into the semester and the same question lingers: Is the university doing enough to keep us informed and safe? Students deserve more information than the simple number of positive COVID-19 cases that have cropped up on campus . We want to know what spaces we might have shared and when. We want to know when we can expect an update. 

We deserve more. More information on their tracing tactics, more than fingerprint covered bathroom stalls, more than unattended sanitation stations and certainly more than an email suggesting that 22 cases is nothing to worry about.