Concerns arise surrounding new COVID variant: What this means for fall 2022 semester


There has been word of a new COVID variant expected to affect our area, so CCU Student Health Services (SHS) are getting ahead of it now. 


Physician at SHS, Marie Livigni shares they are fully aware of this possibility and that they are currently putting precautions in place for possible surges of infection. 


“In lieu of this new variant, we understand that we will need the assistance of SHS, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep us on track,” Dr. Livigni states. “We were challenged by the fluidity of the ever-changing CDC COVID-19 guidelines and needed to pivot often to accommodate the needs of the CCU Community.” 


Although the rate of positive cases reported to SHS this past semester decreased significantly, there has been a recent incline in the past week. According to Livigni, there were 1,165 positive cases between July 29, 2021, and April 20, 2022. Even though SHS is currently expecting a surge in the upcoming semester, they are positive they have the tools and equipment necessary to combat it.  


Livigni said after the first few surges, they became fully equipped with both practices and protection for the time being. They now have access and practice with things like sudden changes of procedures, handling quarantine and isolation information, contact tracing, and administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on campus.  


In addition to taking extra precautions and working with Student Health Services, an incentive was put in place to encourage students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Vax to the Max incentive was run by Jim Solazzo, vice president of student success, enrollment management, and student affairs. On Friday, April 29, he presented the final five winners with their checks ranging from $2,500 to $19,000 (the grand prize amount).  


The grand prize winner, freshman Ava Rigney was awarded full tuition, housing, and meal plans for one semester. The prize money awarded to all of the winners throughout the fall and spring semester was generously funded by COVID-19 funds provided to the university.