I am writing to update the community on cases of COVID-19 on campus and the steps we must take to limit the spread of infection. There are three students in isolation as a result of positive surveillance and diagnostic testing this week. There are a number of students scheduled today to be seen at Bailey Health Center. Our contact tracing team has identified 24 students who were in close contact with these students, and they are in quarantine. Also at this time, case counts are rising in our state and region.

In an abundance of caution, early next week we will test all students approved to learn on campus. Students must register for a testing time slot through the MyHousing dashboard. Students who have tested positive this semester or are in quarantine do not need to register. They will receive a separate email from the health center with further instructions.

We are at a critical juncture in the semester, and I am concerned about the possibility of widespread dissemination of COVID-19 if we do not take immediate action. Our experience this week emphasizes that our behavior is the most important factor for determining the direction in controlling the spread of this highly contagious infection on campus. I cannot emphasize enough that individual behavior will determine our collective health outcome.

Testing alone will not guarantee a successful outcome. There are actions we must take to prevent an outbreak on campus until we are certain our case counts are not rising.

We must:

  • Wear face coverings.
  • Wash our hands frequently.
  • Clean our personal space.
  • Refrain from visiting bars or restaurants where people gather without wearing masks.
  • Remain on campus or in our residential areas (apartment or residence hall) except for essential activities such as picking up food. Additional permitted on-campus activities include running/walking, exercising at the fitness center, visiting the library or a lab, etc.
  • Adhere to physical distancing.
  • Stay home if we don’t feel well.

Additionally, the COVID-Related Addendum to the Student Code of Conduct has been updated to reflect the following necessary restriction:

  • Limit social gatherings to no more than five people.

Stay positive. Stay vigilant.

Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein
Director of Health Services