Do Students Feel Informed And Safe Amid COVID-19 Concerns?

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Featured, News, Uncategorized

By Elijah O’Donnell

On the morning of Friday, March 13, an instructor in one of NAIT’s Culinary programs told their class that two other students in the culinary program had been quarantined due to the potential Covid-19.

“I was very scared, and I still kind of am. It was kind of like my heart sank just to know I had been in semi-contact with two people who possibly contracted it,” says Komarniski, a student in the NAIT Culinary Program. He was in class Friday and was among the students told that two others in their program had been quarantined.

A tweet from a NAIT student started the rumour that the two culinary students had the virus. NAIT replied directly to the tweet, assuring that the two students had tested negative.

This keeps the number of confirmed cases at NAIT to zero.

Before this, NAIT had released three other COVID-19 updates that directed students to an FAQ page on the NAIT website.

“I tried replying to the email instantly, just to tell them I don’t feel safe, this doesn’t seem like the right precautions you should be taking, and it was a do not reply email,” said Komarniski, referring to the second COVID-19 update email that was sent from Dr. Ray Block, President and CEO of NAIT.

“They’re just not keeping us informed, so we don’t feel safe,” said NAIT culinary student Burke Komarniski.

“It was obvious [my instructor] was hesitant to get into the actual details,” said Komarniski in reference to how his instructor handled further questioning from concerned students. Komarniski also said that after the announcement classes were expected to continue.

New information from the Centers for Disease Control states that even though younger people and 20-somethings are more likely to have mild or even no symptoms they are also more likely to transfer the infection because of it.

Komarniski said he and his classmates are not concerned about their own health but those around them.

“I know one person in my class that lives with grandparents. It’s a lot scarier for them thinking there is a possibility they could bring it home,” said Komarniski.

The Nugget reached out to NAIT Media Relations through email and over the phone for a statement on their efforts to communicate with staff and students but received no response as of the time of publishing.

Christine Bannerman, Supervisor at NAIT Health Services, said instructors are preparing to move classes online.

“I know NAIT is working diligently to have information prepared so that it can be transferred to moodle […]. If [students] want to talk to instructors they can do that through their emails,” said Bannerman.

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