Part Three: Daemen’s Coordinated Preparedness – Remaining Proactive Helps Daemen Thrive
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- January 12, 2021
- Undergraduate Students
Daemen College continues to exceptionally manage the effects of COVID-19 as it begins to welcome back community members to campus for the upcoming spring semester.
With the hard work of its Emergency Response Team (ERT), the college’s Amherst, N.Y. campus has had a generally positive rate of less than a half percent among its population of around 3,000 individuals.
Despite the challenges higher education faced in 2020, the college continues to charge forward as a community, unlike many other institutions across the nation.
“We never really shut down, never closed,” said Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Dr. Greg Nayor, who is chair of the ERT. “We went to remote learning in mid-March when the state closed SUNY down around Mar. 17. There were a handful on campus all the time – key operations were open and we made sure that everyone was taken care of.”
To help achieve these results, and now work towards the future, the ERT works with the campus community to provide on-campus testing, a contact tracing system, quarantine and testing guidelines for out-of-state travel, and surveillance testing of residential students (the densest population). ERT student ambassadors also were stationed throughout campus educating others of the importance of not participating in large gatherings.
Nayor said, “Perhaps most importantly, we focused a great deal of time at the beginning on education and proactivity – enforcing the wearing of PPE, testing and re-testing, creating environments that allowed for people to be around each other but with reduced density, and finally, implementing an internal contact tracing team certified by Johns Hopkins University that allowed us to respond quickly to a positive case and prevent it from spreading.”
Nayor, who has extensive training in crisis management, explained how being proactive made a great positive impact for the college community. “We did not put our pandemic program together on the fly, we had an infrastructure in place to break down silos and pull people in to help us navigate this.”
Learn more about the ERT’s protective measures and Daemen’s preparedness as we navigate this pandemic with anticipation for a brighter future ahead.