The University of Northwestern–St. Paul recently reduced its COVID-19 resurgence level from yellow to green, which was a big relief for many students. While there are still social distancing protocols in place, the reduction is a positive sign for the future.
In a video directed to the entire campus community, UNW President Alan Cureton announced that the campus was lowering its resurgence level due to reduced COVID-19 cases, both on the campus and in the surrounding community. “I have been so encouraged by your diligence this past year, especially since our students came back from Christmas break,” said Cureton in his video.
“Even though we’re downgrading from yellow to green, we need to make sure that we continue with the protocols that are in place,” Cureton said. He urged students to maintain social distancing and mask-wearing, especially in places such as the Billy Graham Community Life Commons and the Eagle’s Nest.
Despite the remaining protocols, many students are excited about the level change, and they are even more optimistic for the future.
“This is super exciting to hear about,” said Jenna Manfred, a sophomore nursing major. “I know there are still plenty of rules and extra things we have to do, but it sounds like we’re getting there eventually.” Manfred said she is getting used to the COVID-19 protocols that have been present for over a year, so it is not too difficult to deal with anymore.
“I think [the] COVID-19 restrictions are reasonable for the most part,” Manfred said. “They’re generally not that strict.” But Manfred does think some of the protocols are a little confusing. For example, students can drink water in class, but they cannot eat any food.
Manfred has spent the last several years of her life living overseas with her parents, who are serving as missionaries. Now, she is facing a new challenge in life with college and COVID-19.
“I think it’s been a really interesting and tough year for a lot of people,” said Manfred. “It’s definitely not what I expected my first year of college to look like!” Manfred said that even with such an unusual first year of college, she has still managed to make some new friends.
“One of my favorite parts of my first year was the friends I made,” said Manfred. “My roommate and I have been waiting for the restrictions to be lifted so we can go out and see a movie for the first time in forever.” Manfred said she is optimistic about the level change, and it has made her more hopeful for next semester.
Many students seem to have a generally positive outlook on the future. The weather is warming up, campus sports are returning and the overall atmosphere appears to be improving. With the increasingly positive news regarding COVID-19 cases and the vaccines, it is no secret why many students’ spirits are improving.