Stay safe during Spring Break

Stay+safe+during+Spring+Break

Ryan Meyer, Multimedia Reporter

This year’s Spring Break is Eastern’s first since 2019, since 2020’s never ended and 2021 saw wellness days scattered throughout the spring semester.  

Marisol Gamboa, Eastern’s chief public safety officer, said in past experiences she advised students to stay aware of their surroundings and travel in groups.  

“My recommendation to them most of the time was, whenever they’re out and about, either taking a road trip or flying out of state or somewhere they’re not familiar with, is stay in groups,” Gamboa said. “Be aware of your surroundings, make sure that you’re familiar with what’s around you. If they see any situation that’s going to make them unsafe, they need to get to a safe location. They could walk into a convenience store, somewhere that they’re going to be around other people, and it’ll make them feel safer.”  

Eastern Patrol Sergeant Andrea Beals also warned of posting Spring Break plans on social media, saying that break-ins often happen over breaks.  

“A lot of times people put on there that they’re traveling to Mexico or back home or whatever,” Beals said. “Well you’re advertising to everybody where you’re going, and that means that whatever you left behind is now possibly unsecured. So a lot of times, we have break-ins during breaks and so make sure they secure their valuables, take anything like that home, secure their doors. So if they’re going to be leaving for some sort of break, that they make sure that their property is secured.” 

Beals also advised students to know their limits when it comes to alcohol consumption.  

Eric Davidson, Eastern’s executive director of health and counseling services, said that COVID-19 regulations starting to be lifted is a positive thing. 

“You’re seeing a lot of states loosening masking regulations and for a lot of people there’s a sigh of relief, a return to normalcy,” Davidson said. “And I think we’re all appreciative of that. We all want that to be happening; we all want to move from pandemic to endemic.” 

While Davidson noted the positivity of the progress in COVID-19 related regulations, he also said he is worried about what that means for Eastern upon the return from Spring Break.  

“One of my concerns is that with the loosening of masking, we are going to see a slight bump and increase in COVID cases,” Davidson said. “We’ve got a good number of people vaccinated, but probably not as many people vaccinated as we would like to see.” 

The flu and sexually transmitted infections are other illnesses Davidson mentioned besides COVID-19 that could see an increase when everyone returns from their travels from a wide variety of places. 

“We have a lot of people spreading out over a large geographical area, who will then be coming back to campus, and there’s a risk that they will pick up things elsewhere and be bringing them back to our community and then spreading it throughout our community once they come back,” Davidson said.  

Eastern is strongly encouraging students to take the SHIELD COVID-19 test when they return to campus, and Davidson said he thinks this is a good idea, particularly for people traveling far away.  

“It’s probably a good idea once folks return, just to have some assurance that they haven’t been infected, to go ahead and participate in the surveillance testing,” Davidson said. 

For students remaining at Eastern, read here about what is open at Eastern over break https://www.dailyeasternnews.com/2022/03/11/whats-open-at-eastern-over-spring-break/. 

Classes will resume March 21. 

 

Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]