New Normal

The campus continues to monitor national health status as pandemic concerns fade.


Liam Klingensmith, Staff Writer

From more than two years of COVID-19, and now the spread of Monkeypox, there always seems to be some sort of health crisis in the world that ends up affecting students at Grossmont. While the outlook may be starting to trend up, there are still health problems to be monitored.

Since COVID case numbers keep dropping, on-campus classes are back in full effect, while online and hybrid classes still happening. With this came more rule changes on campus as well.

The biggest change is that students and employees are no longer required to be vaccinated to attend or work at Grossmont. This is definitely helping drive up student registration numbers, but will still take a while to get back to pre-pandemic levels of enrollment. 

Masks are now optional when outdoors but still required when indoors for both teachers and students. At the time of press, the indoor masking policy is scheduled to be reevaluated on Monday, Sept. 19, to decide whether to keep the requirement for indoor use or get rid of it.

For students looking for COVID testing, Rapid Antigen tests are available in the Health and Wellness Office on campus. Testing when symptoms are present, or when students and employees have been around someone who tested positive, is still recommended. This helps the district keep track and help prevent any on-campus outbreak.

Relevant COVID-19 case information is still available on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District website, with detailed student and employee cases organized by campus and date. The Health and Wellness COVID section online still has information on vaccines and steps for a daily checklist for anyone.

While monkeypox cases are fairly low in San Diego County, the district is still taking the threat seriously and guiding any questions to the County of San Diego’s monkeypox information website. People with symptoms are definitely recommended to get tested as to prevent any possible spread on campuses.

Last semester during the new peak of the pandemic, students seemed to be much more worried about the virus. Now, when asking students how they felt about mandates and most restrictions dropping, most sounded enthusiastic, or at the very least glad to hear of new progress. 

“The masks should have been gone at least since last semester,” said Kyle Harker, a student at Grossmont. “All the high cases at the beginning of the year were just because people had the first real parties on New Year’s since all of this started.”

When asked how he would feel if there was another outbreak, he said: “I ain’t gonna be worried at all. After all me and probably everyone else has been through, just keep me at the school and don’t make me go back to Zoom classes.”

Another Grossmont student, Aaron Hom, somewhat echoed the same sentiment. 

“I’m super glad they’re thinking about getting rid of the masks,” Hom said. “I feel fine in my classes, haven’t been sick in forever, and I’ve been doing my normal daily things no problem.”

When asked about monkeypox, Hom said he is not worried. 

“It was looking like a big concern at first, but it’s already going away and I don’t hear about it anymore,” he said.

As it faced the pandemic, the district has worked hard over these past two and a half years, and it looks as if the hard work will finally pay off.

Hopefully, cases will continue to drop and student enrollment will continue to rise, while everyone stays safe and healthy.