MESSAGE FROM TOM DEMARCO, DEAN OF STUDENTS
November 12, 2020
I’m writing with an update regarding our noticeable increase in positive cases of COVID-19, as reflected on the Campus Dashboard this week.
Similar to the spike we experienced in September, we are currently able to manage these cases and remain well-equipped and resourced to do so. However, the increase in cases require all of us to change the tone on campus.
With just under two weeks left until most students go home to finish the semester, we need to ensure the situation does not quickly escalate. We currently have every intention to finish the semester as planned, and we are very much able to do so if we all work together, just as we’ve done over the past three months.
Below are a few important updates on needed behavior from all community members:
- To help mitigate the spread of the virus, all extra-curricular, in-person programming and events will be virtual for the next two weeks.
The Student Health Center and Contact Tracing team are actively tracking any potential trends in positive cases. Cases currently appear to be dispersed throughout the community and there is no evidence of a single super-spreader event leading to positive cases.
- Most clusters of positive cases appear to be among groups of friends who interacted at social gatherings. Therefore, parties or social gatherings will jeopardize our ability to finish the semester as planned and compromise the health of our community as we prepare to travel home for Thanksgiving. Our ability to return to campus this spring may also be jeopardized.
- We are continuing our isolation and quarantine protocols. Students who live within 300 miles of campus will go home to isolate/quarantine. Students who cannot travel by car, or otherwise cannot go home, will stay in designated campus isolation/quarantine facilities. As we approach Thanksgiving, students who need to isolate/quarantine on campus will be doing so over the holiday.
- There has been an increase in confirmed reports of students not wearing masks when gathering informally in classrooms and other spaces. If you are studying or working with others, wear a mask and keep physically distant.
We know what we must do to mitigate spread: masks, distancing, hygiene. We know this works; it has worked for three months. Each of us needs to do our part.
We will continue to approach these circumstances day-by-day with our eyes on the finish line, which is now clearly in sight. Thank you for ending this semester just like we started it: by putting Community First.
Dean of Students