NIU not as prepared for monkeypox – Northern Star

The NIU announced the first case of student tested positive for monkeypox August 25. Yet the NIU does not take student health as seriously as it should.

The university should have an established plan for monkeypox, as it did with COVID-19.

The NIU has made no official announcement on how it will combat the spread of monkeypox on campus, other than saying that those who test positive will be required to self-isolate; but these self-isolation requirements are through self-declaration.

Some students may recall that before they were allowed to attend in-person classes in the fall of 2021, the NIU required proof of vaccination. The students even received a grant of $100 to upload this evidence by August 20 of the 2021 fall semester. When Illinois universities were required to conduct surveillance testing for the coronavirus, the NIU stepped up and asked students and staff vaccinated to test for coronavirus once every three weeks, while unvaccinated students were required to test themselves weekly.

There were so many COVID-19 safety nets the university put in place that it seemed the health and safety of peers and faculty mattered at NIU. Now students are left with self-reported illnesses while professors have to impose class-by-class mask requirements.

Tracking coronavirus cases among the campus population may be difficult due to the closure of NIU’s COVID-19 dashboard. Instead, this monitoring is recorded by Waste and county reports. This is all the coronavirus surveillance data that NIU students have access to.

Without monitoring information, it could be more difficult for professors to negotiate moving in-person classes online for health and safety reasons. This exact scenario happened in august last year. Faculty members and the NIU negotiated that if coronavirus positivity rates on campus were above 8%, the university would switch to remote learning.

Coronavirus levels at DeKalb are now ‘low to moderate’, as the NIU reports Wastewater Dashboard.

Students and faculty should know that the NIU has an established plan for monkeypox, as they have for COVID-19, rather than relying solely on self-reporting.