Rise in COVID Cases in Hamilton County Causes Concern For Young People

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – According to data from the Hamilton County Health Department, nearly 40 percent of all new cases since October 1st have been in the 11 to 30 age group.

Videos on social media showing large gatherings on college campuses nationwide with little to no mask-wearing or social distancing has sparked concern that young people are not taking the virus seriously.

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But UTC freshman Jaycie Sewell says that the university has been cautious with restrictions.

“Most classes typically are all in person but this semester they’re all online and I’m a freshman so they try to give freshmen like one in person class. So I have one in person class and they’ve been very good with like covid restrictions. They had like total mask mandate, cleaning everywhere you go,” says Sewell.

Sewell says that many university activities such as sporting events, clubs and Greek life have been done virtually or cancelled all together.

Casey McCormack in the Department of History relayed her experience of being a lecturer in the age of Covid, saying that rising numbers of cases among students has made teaching difficult.

“In my giant survey I have like two classes that are 80 students a piece, so I have 160 students that I never see that’s totally online. And I’ve gotten at least a third of each class, students have been put into isolation. So even though that doesn’t affect my class because it’s online, I’m still like wow that’s a lot of students that are still getting infected,” says McCormack.

McCormack says that missing out on in-person teaching has also been difficult, calling it the best part of her job.

Students and faculty at UTC have had to make some adjustments due to the pandemic, but remain optimistic that their precautions will continue to keep everyone safe.