By: Sammy Intrator  | 

COVID-19 Cases Significantly Drop on Wilf Campus Over Last Two Weeks

COVID-19 cases have significantly dropped on Wilf Campus over the last two weeks, according to Yeshiva University’s COVID-19 Tracker. Beren cases have continued to remain consistently low.

From Oct. 10-15, one week after in-person classes resumed from YU’s month-long holiday break, there were 65 positive cases on Wilf Campus and 10 cases on Beren Campus. The following week of Oct. 17-22, those numbers fell to nine positive cases on Wilf Campus with only one on Beren. This past week, Oct. 24-29, Wilf had two cases, and Beren saw a slight increase to six cases. The two Wilf cases continue the downward trend of positive cases over the last two weeks.

“We are pleased to see a significant decrease in positive cases across campus, and we appreciate the support and cooperation of students, faculty and staff in keeping our university safe through testing, masking and other best practices,” a YU spokesperson told The Commentator. “We know just how vital these components continue to be to limit spread of the virus on campus. As we continue to gather new information through our COVID Monitoring program, we will navigate these challenges with the best interests of the YU community in mind."

Over the coed Shabbaton at Beren Campus at a panel for students, Associate Dean of Students Joe Bednarsh said that if case numbers remained low for the next few weeks, testing could be reduced.

On Oct. 12, in an email detailing 49 new COVID-19 cases on Wilf Campus over a few days, the COVID Monitoring Team announced a stricter COVID-19 policy. The mask mandate, which previously applied to academic and administrative buildings, was extended to include public spaces in residence halls and dining halls. There was also an emphasis on students continuing the mandatory bi-weekly testing. Faculty and staff were to begin random COVID-19 testing, as well. 

The university has also made efforts to coax students to adhere to the mask mandates by putting signs in many different locations across campus. Campus security has inconsistently been requiring students to wear masks when entering YU buildings and has also started giving out masks to those who enter YU buildings without wearing one. 

Despite the added efforts by the university, students’ masking compliance has not seen significant progress. Most Wilf students continue to refrain from wearing masks as long as they aren’t asked to do so, and many Beren students have relaxed with wearing their masks. Some professors and rebbeim also don’t wear masks nor require their students to wear masks in their classrooms. 

Some students are appreciative of the lower cases.“I think it's nice that the numbers are down. That's definitely a good thing because it ensures that we won't go back to online learning,” said Shuie Berger (YC ‘23). “I don't really know if it's because of masks, because I don't see any more mask wearing than I did in previous weeks, but I think the masking that has happened has helped.”

Photo Caption: The university has made efforts to coax students to adhere to the mask mandate by putting new signs around campus.

Photo Credit: The Commentator