End All COVID Restrictions at Rollins
End All COVID Restrictions at Rollins
Why this petition matters
On January 31, Rollins College officially extended all COVID-19 Protocols into February/March. The protocols include mandatory masking in all buildings, mandatory quarantine for any students who test positive for COVID-19 restrictions on social functions of SGO’s, Atheltic Teams and Greek life. The decision to prolong COVID restrictions here at Rollins has angered myself and many others. The doubling down on masking policy comes as case rates and hospilizations in FL are dropping significantly as Omicron wanes. It has become clear that Provost Singer and President Cornwell are ignoring the data and are yielding to a political narrative of COVID fear. This petition is calling for Rollins to immediately get rid of ALL COVID restrictions, and finally return to normal, as they should have long ago.
President Joe Biden stated on December 27th that there is no federal solution to COVID, and that the states are the main arbitror of COVID policy to fit their different situations. Not only has Rollins completely disregarded the Florida Department of Health, but it is completely out of reality with the entire state. Since Rollins is a private school the administration is well within its rights to impose COVID restrictions if they decide to. With that said, there is essentially no other place in all of Orange County that does the same, in MANDATING masking. Not UCF, Not Porch, Not BurgerFi, Not Amway Center, etc.
The FORCED masking of Rollins students is not based on any evidence that masks are effective in stopping the spread of the Omicron variant. Based on the August 2021 study from the University of Waterloo, we know that at BEST there was only a 50% reduction in transmission of COVID due to the KN95 mask. All other masks were <10%. This is also the best case scenario as this only applies to WHEN PPE IS WORN PROPERLY. 99.9% of people do not wear PPE properly as any touching of the mask compromises it’s integrity, essentially making it useless. Not to mention that this study was done for the Delta variant. With Omicron being over 70 times as transmissible as Delta, even the 50% reduction rate of properly worn KN95 has now become essentially worthless. This can be seen in how heavily masked mandated areas such as NY, NJ, CA were all hit hard by Omicron. Masking will not stop the spread. By every measurable, there is absolutely no reason to mandate masking at Rollins as it is useless.
If Rollins actually followed the data, the COVID messaging would be for students to go out AND GET OMICRON, not to avoid it. Death rate from COVID among students (18-29 year old age bracket) is roughly 0.01% according to CDC data. That figure cannot even be considered statistically significant. COVID poses no serious threat to students. If students were to get Omicron it would actually significantly lower any future likelihood of a serious COVID case, especially if the individual is vaccinated (which most students at Rollins are). Studies suggest that vaccinated individuals who get Omicron have much higher spike protein antibody levels than vaccinated individuals who did not get Omicron. This is why in almost all member nations of the EU, and now the NCAA, recovering from COVID is considered “fully vaccinated”. The continued efforts by Rollins College to scare students about getting Omicron, is not based on any data. The assertion that “stopping the spread” is attainable is a fool’s notion, that every single immunologist and doctor has already disregarded.
For a school that has enshrined its students as promising intellectuals, the administration’s decision to mandate masking and limit events shows they see the students as morons who cannot make their OWN health decisions. I am 19, not overweight, have had Omicron, workout regularly and have no serious health conditions. I do not have the same risk of serious COVID as someone who is 65, obeese, has respiratory issues and has never had COVID. The actions we each take in terms of masking, and social interactions are going to be wildly different. The decision by Rollins to treat a healthy 19 year old the same as a 65 year old is idiotic. This is why myself and those who have signed this petition, are demanding that Rollins ends all mandates and restrictions. If a student wants to wear a KN95, get boosted and not go out in large social groups let them choose to do so. But also, let students choose to not wear a mask, and choose how they socialize with others. It is time to stop the controlling MANDATES and allow students to make their OWN health decisions.
- Rollins College Administration