by Leander Palalon | November 2, 2021
Silliman University recorded at least 82 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. These included SU staff, faculty, and students participating in the limited F2F programs.
“We base our numbers on those that report to us because they are really not obligated to report to us, but we sent a memo asking our faculty and staff to report cases if, in case, they are infected. We ask them to report to us,” said Silliman University Human Resource Department (HRD) Manager Atty. Joshua Francisco Ablong.
According to Atty. Ablong, the university had recorded 35 cases in June, one in July, three in August, four in September, and twelve in October. These numbers are from the faculty and staff of the university.
The university has two bodies managing COVID-19 cases and exposures. The first is the COVID-19 Crisis Management Group, which was formed to respond and manage cases and exposures within the university. The second is the Allied Health Programs Crisis Management Committee, which is composed of the deans of allied health programs including medicine, nursing, medical technology, and physical therapy. These bodies were formed to monitor and manage cases or exposures in their respective programs in light of the return of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes.
The university also recorded cases from the students participating in the limited F2F classes. In the month of June, there were eleven cases, two in August, four in October, and none in the months of July and September.
“What we noticed is it [cases in the university] is directly proportional to the case count in Dumaguete or in Negros Oriental. If cases increase in the city or in the province, our cases here in Silliman also increase,” added Atty. Ablong.
The HRD also conducted a survey on vaccination among the staff, faculty, and members of the administration. The survey, which was done last month, determined that out of 794 employees, 394 were fully vaccinated, which is around 44% of the total employee population.
Silliman was one of the earliest universities to act as a response to the threat the pandemic posed. This was made a more pressing issue when the first case of COVID-19 in the Philippines had a history of travel to Negros Oriental.
“We were among the first to act amongst the school. By February last year, we started a memo about COVID. We were the first to say “no more class, go home”. I have to state that we were amongst the first in the Philippines, in fact, to say “finals are over, go home,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope said in an interview with the Weekly Sillimanian last February.