Chief Health Officer Ben Batey released the latest COVID-19 updates through an email on Wednesday after students wrapped up their first week of in-person classes.
From Aug. 20 to Aug. 31, Batey has reported that 37 students have tested positive for the coronavirus on BGSU’s main campus, while one student has reported positive on the Firelands’ campus.
Currently, no students are occupying the university’s reserved isolation spaces at Falcon Landing, however, 6 students are quarantining in their dormitories.
So far, no employees have contributed to positive cases this week.
Since March 2020, BGSU has conducted a total of 420 tests and has an overall positivity rate of 1.4%.
Although the university released a COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday, several professors and employees have commented on the university’s reluctance to announce the information sooner.
“Withholding this information from the public at any time, much less for weeks during a pandemic, constitutes a dereliction of duty. To design and mount a website takes hours; to maintain it on a daily basis, minutes,” history and American culture studies professor Dr. Andrew M. Schocket, stated in an email to President Rodney Rogers.
In addition, Schocket commented on the lack of data surrounding the university’s prevention and outbreak plan.
“As of yet, the BGSU administration has presented no evidence or no data for why BGSU will succeed where . . . hundreds of universities this summer have failed to have some sort of on-campus or off-campus regime that prevents the spread of COVID-19” Schocket said.
Schocket does not stand alone in voicing his concerns to the university.
Since June 24, over 160 questions have been submitted to Rogers in an anonymous form created by Schocket.
Here are some of the many questions from the form surrounding liability, campus closure, safety, etc. listed below:
"I am not confident BGSU is adequately prepared to deal with the pandemic. What’s BGSU’s liability if I become infected by the virus? Are you preparing for legal actions from students, staff, & faculty who may fall ill due to your actions?"
"What are the exact criteria that would necessitate returning campus to remote learning? Who ultimately makes this decision?"
"Why should faculty and staff be expected to supply their own masks and other protective/safety equipment? . . . Police are provided handcuffs, bullet proof vests and guns. Doctors are provided masks, gloves and scrubs . . . All faculty and staff should be provided standard issue uniform safety equipment for free. Why is that not happening?"
"If BGSU is a Public University for the Public Good, once cases arise among students, wouldn't it be better to keep them on campus . . . rather than sending those students home to vulnerable parents/grandparents/etc.? Wouldn't the greater public good be protecting vulnerable groups while providing an educational experience for those students (who are generally at very low risk anyway) in a relatively contained environment?"
"Companies like Twitter, Shopify, Facebook, and Google are reimbursing employees for home office purchases like new laptops, ergonomic home office chairs or covering internet expenses. It seems BGSU would have an obligation to reimburse employees for expenses caused due to changing job requirements such as conducting courses remotely. When can we expect reimbursements or stipends for home office expenses?"