Omicron is beginning its Sherman foray into the ocean through the United States. Like Gauteng, universities are also at the center of the outbreak.
In the last week alone, 900 new Covid cases were detected among 25,600 students. One unspecified but apparently large part is Omicron.
From CNN (The tip of the hat is fluffy):
According to Cornell University officials, between December 7 and 13, 903 Covid-19 cases were reported among students, of which a “very high percentage” was Omicron variant cases among fully vaccinated individuals.
The school’s Covid-19 dashboard was updated late Tuesday afternoon, which is the reason for the surge in reported cases.
University Relations Vice President Joel Malina said in a statement: “To date, almost every case of Omicron variant has been detected in fully vaccinated students, and some of them have also received booster injections. “
In fact, the occurrence of such a high level of outbreaks in young people with strong immune systems (including those who have been strengthened) is not a good sign at all. Remember that boosters are first authorized for use by the elderly and in danger; As of November 19, the CDC only authorized all adults to use boosters.1
Below we reproduce the full text of Cornell University President Martha Pollack’s statement on the announcement of the “red alert level” and related measures (the hat reminds John Seaman). It represents a major closure of campus activities.
As GM said:
This will be every campus in January.
Of course, these students are going to go home and spread the good stuff everywhere…
Martha Pollack’s statement is as follows.
Dear Ithaca campus community,
Since our announcement on Saturday, our surveillance tests have continued to detect the rapid spread of COVID-19 among our student population. Although the current number of faculty and staff cases is still very small, just last night, our COVID-19 testing laboratory team found evidence of a highly contagious variant of Omicron in a large number of positive student samples on Monday.Therefore, out of cautious considerations, the university is turning to Alarm level red And announced a series of emergency measures, outlined below.
What I want to show is that our evidence for Omicron is preliminary. PCR testing has determined its signature (the so-called S gene deletion) in a large number of virus samples. Although we have to wait for confirmed sequencing information to ensure that the source is Omicron, we are continuing.
Although there are still many unknowns about the Omicron variant, it seems to spread more easily than Delta and other variants. There is some evidence (although far from certain) that it usually leads to milder cases, especially in vaccinated individuals. However, when you are highly infectious, you will have very many cases, so even if the incidence of serious diseases is low, you must take the outbreak seriously.
Therefore, we need to do everything we can to limit further dissemination, even if we are only a few days away from the end of the semester. This is why we switched to the red alert level and adopted this move:
- Starting at noon on Tuesday, December 14, all final exams will be converted to online formatThe exams that have been transferred to the online format will proceed as scheduled, including today’s exams. Some exams that are still scheduled on-site may be able to switch to online mode immediately; others may need to reschedule their time to allow faculty and staff time to make adjustments. Please stay vigilant and look for email updates from faculty and staff.More detailed information about the exam will be posted to Academic policyThe section on the COVID-19 website will be available as soon as possible.
Event cancellation and campus impact:
- All university events (including events and social gatherings) involving undergraduates and all university-sponsored events (including winter celebrations) have been cancelled.
- The December graduate commendation ceremony on December 18 was cancelled.
- Students who strongly encourage the use of Cornell Dining? If you must eat near others, please do it far away.
- The library is closed to students.
- Sunday’s track and field competition was cancelled. The fitness center and gym are closed to students.
- Offices and laboratories remain open, But undergraduates are not allowed to participate in any work-study program or laboratory work.
Student travel and campus public health guidance:
- Students who have Tested negative in the past 48 hours (Saturday or Sunday) and hope to leave campus welcome to do so. Please always wear a mask during travel, conduct a COVID-19 test at the destination, and self-quarantine until you receive the result.
- All students must complete their Departure checklist Before leaving campus.
- Have ever no If the test is negative in the past 48 hours, supplementary testing should be performed as soon as possible.Schedule your test atwww.dailycheck.cornell.eduEncourage students to stay in Ithaca’s residence until they receive their test results, and strictly limit interaction with others during this period.For more information about the departure test, how to get the results and extend the appointment time, please visit Daily check.
- We will continue to assist on-campus residential students who test positive for the required 10 days of safe isolation until they are approved by the Tompkins County Health Department to travel safely.
- Visitors and guests are not allowed to enter the campus, except those who pick up students to take a break. In this case, we ask you to continue to wear a mask during your short stay on campus.
- Students should avoid unnecessary contact with others and be vigilant in wearing masks, keeping distance and washing hands. At present, more than 97% of our students are not infected with the virus. We hope that everyone can spend a healthy winter vacation with family and friends.
Faculty and staff:
- For all currently registered employees, mandatory supervision and testing will continue to be carried out as normal. Supplementary testing will continue to apply to all employees.
Although I want to guarantee that so far, we have not found any infected students with serious illnesses, but we can indeed play a role in reducing the spread of the disease in the wider community. The fact that we have not experienced serious illnesses in the student body may cause some people to ask why we have to take such drastic measures. So let me share the basic mathematical principles: consider a variant, let’s call it A, in which each person infects two other people on average and causes serious illness in 1% of cases. After ten iterations of propagation, you will have approximately 1,000 cases and 10 serious illnesses. Now consider variant B, which is twice as infectious as other people, so on average each person will infect four other people, but the frequency of causing serious diseases is only one-tenth, that is, only 0.1% of cases. Without inspection, in the same ten iterations of transmission, the Type B variant will have more than 1 million cases and approximately 1,000 people with serious illnesses. Of course, other factors will also play a role, including the fact that the virus will “run out”. The number of people infecting any community, but the point is that higher infectivity leads to exponential growth, which exceeds the linear decline in the percentage of severe cases. In order to avoid this situation, it is imperative not to let such infections go out of control, but to take measures to limit the spread.
Having to take these steps is obviously very frustrating. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been committed to following science and doing everything we can to protect the health of faculty, staff and students.
In the past few months, we have faced many challenges together. I believe we can stand up again to meet the current challenge so that we can all have a good rest.
Martha E. Pollack
1 Some students who have been promoted may have a weakened immune system or a long line. Readers often report that friends and colleagues who have been given the injection twice walked into a local pharmacy and received the injection for the third time, as if it were the first time. Checking for previous vaccinations in these environments seems to be limited to non-existent ones. Another defense method widely touted as a very effective booster for Omicron is that the dose of the “booster but infected” case is too close to the exposure to Omicron to achieve complete immunity. Usually at the two-week mark).