Mumps Continues to Affect Students and Staff Alike


"The Sally" building, where many nursing students are running hospital simulations to gain experience they are losing from the mumps.

While the total number of mumps cases on campus continues to rise (the official number now being 12 on day 30 of the outbreak), students and staff alike are feeling the effects of the outbreak whether they are infected or not. 

Among them: 

Nursing Students

Nursing majors are facing major difficulties in their classes due to the mumps outbreak. As is true of many of her fellow students, one anonymous nursing student has had trouble getting into hospitals to work hands-on with patients and doctors, a “clinical” requirement of the major. 

[The hospital] and the [Bethlehem] health bureau have decided that we are not allowed to return to clinical due to the added risk to the patients until further notice,” the student said, referring to the possibility that Moravian student nurses may unknowingly be infected with mumps and pass it on to patients  

Before the outbreak began, nursing students were able to go into the hospitals for a mere three weeks. Now, “the earliest date we have last heard that we are allowed to return to the hospital is November 5th,” the student said. “However, if more cases [of mumps appear on campus] then the date may be pushed back again.”

As a consequence, nursing students are completing some of their clinical hours on campus in the simulation lab in the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Center for Health Sciences (“The Sally”) and through student vaccine clinics. “Even so,” said the student, “we are missing out on significant experiences, [which includes] continuing and practicing our knowledge in the clinical setting.”

Education Majors

Education majors are another group of students that is experiencing major difficulties because of the outbreak. They, too, are being restricted from their practical experience because of the outbreak on campus, forcing them to miss out on gaining crucial knowledge and experience.

Students who are enrolled in field experience classes are required to work a certain number of hours in a school setting, both for class and by law. While the professors can be understanding of the circumstances, the state is not. Regardless of weather advisory closings, holidays, or even illness, if a student does not meet the hour requirement set by the state, they automatically fail their class. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The students have to meet their hours — and this outbreak has been making that difficult for some students. 

Thankfully, the students are going back to work with their field experience students, but unfortunately the hours and experience they missed is gone for good. 

Student Athletes

Student athletes are facing difficulties, as well. 

Nathan Hannis, ‘22, a member of the lacrosse team, spoke about how the outbreak had interrupted the team’s fall practice and scrimmage schedules. “It ultimately put our season on pause, which [then] didn’t allow us to meet for our normally scheduled team practices and lifts.” With the help of the team captains, the players used their free time to focus on schoolwork and to fine tune their skills in the weight room and on the practice field. They also held captain-led team practices. That’s fine for now, Hannis said, but “nobody wants this issue to drag on longer than it has to.”