With news of a COVID-19 outbreak reported at Point Loma Nazarene University, one local woman said she is concerned for her safety and the wellbeing of the surrounding community.
“We’re all elders in this area. There’s not really a lot of youth in this area,” Olivia Flores Jourdane, a Point Loma resident, told NBC 7. “There’s some new families, but the majority are elders, and that affects us because we’re the first ones that can die.”
On Tuesday, an increase of a dozen coronavirus cases at PNLU prompted university officials to order a shelter-in-place for on-campus students. As of Wednesday morning, a total of 19 active COVID-19 cases were confirmed at the university, with 14 of those cases being on campus, according to the school’s reporting and data site.
Coronavirus on Campus
More on the virus reported at local universities.
Flores Jourdane said she is worried about the recent outbreak because of the virus’ novelty.
“Anytime there’s a pandemic, we should all be concerned because it affects us,” she said. “We still don’t quite know how it affects us, if it’s airborne or touch, we don’t know yet. So yeah, I’m concerned.”
Currently, there are 742 students living on campus, which is below the university’s capacity to house about 1,700 students. The only in-person classes this semester at the university are in the nursing program since they have labs. Student athletes who partake in voluntary conditioning have also been on campus and are tested each week.
PNLU has performed weekly surveillance of 25% of the student population on campus, which is how it discovered that there were clusters at the school, according to a university representative.
The cases and close contacts have been traced to Hendricks Hall (1st South), Klassen Hall (3rd North), Young Hall (4th Floor) and Nease Hall. A total of 66 students are currently in quarantine and/or isolation, the university reports.
The university is encouraging students who live off campus to get tested for COVID-19 via the county or school as a precaution. It also announced it will be testing all on-campus university residents on Thursday.
Still, Flores Jourdane said she has concerns about her neighborhood and believes there may be a solution to the outbreak.
“I think they need to do due diligence and close down that school,” she told NBC 7.