“School spirit alone cannot Prevent COVID spread”

Latest in a series of posts on the coronavirus

To my fellow Citizens of Bethlehem,

I am forwarding two articles for your attention.

The first article is from this Sunday’s front page, entitled “After Students came Back, Deaths Rose In College Towns.” It recounts data learned through contact tracing, which confirms that asymptomatic students do in fact have an effect on the larger community.

I have communicated, or attempted to, repeatedly, with the Bethlehem Health Bureau for months about this subject. I did communicate directly with Moravian as well. My concern has been and continues to be their lack of routine testing. Latest videos on the college website tout their plans to bring students back to campus, including new students, as of January 18. Any testing plan is completely unavailable, in contrast to other local colleges and universities.It seems to me that any reasonable person, especially those who live in the immediate vicinity of Moravian, or frequent the same businesses as their students (many of whom live off campus) has reason for concern.

I have attempted to bring this issue to the attention of City Council and will continue to do so. It’s interesting that Council is conducting virtual meetings yet condoning the college policies through inaction.

Given the recent and predicted rates of infection, I think it’s unconscionable for Moravian to bring students to campus in January, particularly if they again do not test students upon arrival.  Surveillance testing is the responsible course of action but inquiries about doing so have met a brick wall, and a lot of assertions that Hounds can do what no one else can! School spirit alone cannot Prevent COVID spread.
It would be gratifying if someone in the city would take a greater interest in public health and investigate this information.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/12/us/covid-colleges-nursing-homes.html from Sunday’s front page.

Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter.
Betsy C. Golden
1124 Main Street

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