Baylor’s COVID-19 cases drop significantly

With COVID-19 cases dropping, restrictions on campus are changing. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly over the last two weeks, with Baylor’s community having eight active reported cases as of Tuesday.

According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Farley Verner, two weeks ago, the average number of new cases per week was 1,850, and in the past week, it went down to 660.

“The activity of COVID in our county, in our community, is certainly on the decline, and we expect it to continue to decline,” Verner said.

At Baylor, as of Tuesday, in the last seven days, there have been eight cases with a total of 223 tests taken. This shows a positivity rate of 4.5%.

According to Verner, trying to predict what will happen with COVID-19 in the next month will depend on what the new baseline activity will be regarding the number of cases.

“The more unpredictable thing is, will we have another increase in cases?” Verner said.

After going through several surges during the last two years of the pandemic, Verner said trying to predict another surge is very difficult. He said cases could rise again for a number of reasons, one of them being how quickly immunity from natural infection or vaccination declines.

Since Jan. 31, Baylor has not released any statements on the future of its COVID-19 policies for the rest of the semester.

“I wouldn’t be using a mask in class if it was not mandatory,” Guatemala City, Guatemala, junior Christa Angulo said.

Angulo said she currently feels safe on campus knowing that cases have been declining at Baylor, even though there is still a high number of tests being done weekly.

“The longer everybody wears masks, the safer it is for them to be in the community wearing their mask,” Verner said about high-risk patients. “Seeing as how masks are most effective in preventing transmission from the person who doesn’t know that they’re contagious to others, and a secondary benefit is to the mask-wearer in protecting themselves from exposure.”