Dr. Deborah Birx Visits Plymouth State Amidst Global Pandemic

By: Devon Mello, Media Manager

dkm1016@plymouth.edu

On October 12th, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, visited Plymouth State to once again discuss the spread of COVID-19. The event was offered online to the student body in hopes of gaining perspective on a possible increase of cases throughout the state. By warning the faculty and students of a new wave of the virus, she hopes that something will change in the near future. 

Birx set out to mention the ongoing concerns of the general public not utilizing the proper resources to prevent the spread of the virus. Whether it be abstinence or improper use of face protection or carelessness of close contact with others in large gatherings. As she’s driven across the country to observe the differing ways states have handled the hard-hitting pandemic, she’s endured quite a bit of a concern. With winter approaching, Birx remained adamant that things may take a sudden, unexpected turn once we choose to stay indoors. 

However, Birx chooses to look ahead and view the issue through the student’s efforts. She has been substantially impressed with how college students are handling the pandemic. They’ve followed recommended guidelines such as wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distancing, and washing hands every chance they get. To reiterate what Birx stated in her presentation, she claims that students are the leading examples to how the whole country should be handling COVID-19: safely and efficiently. 

President Donald Birx, Vice President of Communications Marlin Collingwood, along with other PSU officials, also engaged in this event to present updates on PSU’s progress and response. To note on the subject, Plymouth State will be setting up its own lab this week, expected to open mid-November, which will be used in addition to the PCR tests on campus. At this lab, students and faculty who may have been in contact with COVID-19, can take a rapid test and receive results within just 15 minutes; whereas, the PCR test presents results within 36 hours. This remarkable difference can assist the school with releasing results and notifying the students and faculty quickly. Along with the coronavirus coverage as of last week, Plymouth State has reported total of three active cases of COVID-19 on campus. As PSU continues to work together towards a common goal of negative tests and ensured safety, we have a continuous, hopeful outlook towards a positive and improved second semester this upcoming Spring.