A woman with brown hair and glasses is smiling. She is wearing a white lab coat with the words "Adelphi University Health and Wellness" on the right lapel. Behind her are the grass and trees of the Adelphi campus.
Nicole Gaudino '12, MS '17, executive director of University health and wellness at Adelphi

While we’re no longer in 2020, COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared. Nicole Gaudino '12, MS '17, executive director of University health and wellness, gives her expert opinion on steps we can take to try to keep safe as variants proliferate.

Four years ago, COVID-19 rapidly spread across the country. All but essential services shut down, including schools. Students had to quickly adapt to an online environment. Fortunately, the Adelphi community followed expert guidance to wear masks, wash our hands, stay six feet apart and get vaccinated. In-person classes resumed in the fall of 2020, and campus life has now largely returned to pre-pandemic normal. In April 2023, Nicole Gaudino ’12, MS ’17, executive director of University health and wellness, shared this message with the campus community on “Updated COVID-19 Mitigation for Summer 2023 and Beyond.”

However, COVID is still present and continues to mutate into new variants such as JN.1, and many people suffer from long COVID. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions has been holding the first Congressional hearings on long COVID. Physicians, researchers and patients have been testifying on how the condition has affected them and what can be done to address this public health issue.

We asked Gaudino, for her insights on steps we can take to protect ourselves, our friends and family, and our community.

Should we be concerned about JN.1 and other COVID variants?

From what we have seen thus far, symptoms of JN.1 infection are much like those of previous Omicron variants and, as per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there is no evidence it causes more severe disease.

Is it important for students, staff and faculty to get vaccinated/get the most current vaccine? Why or why not?

Vaccines are available to prevent severe disease as a result of COVID and influenza and are encouraged to continue to protect our community. By getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself and also avoid spreading preventable diseases to other people in your community.

An updated COVID-19 vaccine can help keep students, staff and faculty protected against JN.1 and other variants. It’s not too late to get that vaccine if you haven’t received one this fall.

How can we ensure the health of our students to avoid another campus shutdown?

We will continue to base Adelphi’s plans and policies on the most current scientific data and all New York state and local department of health requirements regarding COVID-19. Additionally, our health and wellness team will monitor new variants, community transmission levels and vaccine recommendations to continue to do our best to keep our community safe. Updates are posted on our COVID-19 website.

What do you recommend we all do to keep ourselves and others safe?

With the winter here and the coexisting flu and RSV season, we advise everyone to take protective measures. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, self-monitor for symptoms, and avoid being around people who are ill. And if you are sick, stay home instead of coming to class or work. These have been proven highly effective in preventing the spread of viruses.

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