MESSAGE FROM REV. JOHN P. STACK, OSA VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT LIFE
February 2, 2021
We have had three consecutive days of 60 or more positive COVID-19 cases on campus, which is very concerning. We need to alter our course immediately to ensure that we will not need to disrupt the semester.
Current Health Trends
- One week into this spring semester we have more than 50% of the total number of positive cases we had in the entire fall semester. These numbers are not sustainable.
- Contact tracing has shown that cases come primarily from social activity—even small gatherings. NOTE: Any size gathering, indoor or outdoor, in which people are not wearing a mask at all times and are not maintaining a physical distance of 6-feet or more risks spreading this virus.
- Contact tracers look for in-class, in-person transmission of which there have been no cases last semester or this semester.
- Today, the Student Health Center reviewed our cases and protocols with the Chester County Department of Health. The county indicated its satisfaction with and support of our practices and care being given on campus.
- There is no indication of a single event, or one type of event, leading to the current increase in positive cases.
What Should You Do?
- Interact with only a very small number of people.
- Maintain at least 6-feet of physical distance from everyone. When physical distancing is not possible, severely limit your time in that setting.
- Limit your close contacts. NOTE: Close contacts are identified as someone who was within 6-feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset.
- Wear a mask at all times—indoors and outdoors; in a classroom, lounge, study space, or other common area; even when you are in a room alone on campus.
- Contact the Student Health Center if you feel sick and be honest about your close contacts to protect the safety of our community.
- When eating and drinking, lower your mask only to put the food or drink in your mouth.
- Take advantage of “grab-and-go” meals and utilize the outdoor heated tents on campus.
- Limit social activities to outdoor and virtual social events that are updated weekly on the Community First website.
We must reduce the spread of this virus. Despite the challenges that winter weather and more time indoors may bring, it’s time to double-down. We can do this again but only with each person’s active participation.
Mental Health and Well-Being Resources
The stress of the pandemic is taking its toll on us in many ways. The University Counseling Center (610) 519-4050, the Office of Health Promotion (610) 519-7409, and Campus Ministry (610) 519-4080, along with many other departments, offer options for emotional, mental and spiritual support. These services are available to all students, whether on-campus, off-campus or at home. Use these resources. Take care of one another as well as yourself. Please visit the Self-Caritas website for more information.
Rev. John P. Stack, OSA
Vice President for Student Life