The COVID-19 Operations and Implementation Team temporarily closed the Waterfront after three positive cases were suspected to be caused there on Wednesday Nov. 18. After a surveillance pool test of 115 people resulted to be negative, the Waterfront reopened on Sunday Nov. 22.
Assistant Vice President of Operations Adam Colby sent an email on Nov. 18 to the Eckerd community regarding the Waterfront and how the college was addressing the issue. In the email, Colby said a deep cleaning would be performed and additional testing of staff members and EC-SAR members would be conducted.
“We went into response mode and said, ‘All right we gotta get this place closed down,’” Waterfront Director Renee Register said.
Register said about 109 student employees and EC-SAR members and six staff members were tested the morning of Nov. 19.
Sophomore Cameron Robinson, a recreational staff member at the Waterfront, participated in the surveillance testing. Robinson said he had to spit into a tube and everyone’s tubes were separated into five groups where their saliva would be mixed together.
By Saturday afternoon, the tests came back negative, allowing the Waterfront to re-open.
“I want people to feel comfortable that we are cleared, that we are following protocols and that we are safe,” Register said.
Recreational staff members have put in extra work with disinfecting every piece of equipment ranging from boats to lifejackets. Robinson said every time equipment is used, he rinses it down with water and wears a face shield while using sanitizing spray on it. He said he then waits 10-15 minutes for it to disinfect then he rinses it again.
“We want our students to be involved, engaged and doing something,” Register said. “We don’t want you guys to be feeling like you’re sitting in your rooms with nothing to do.”