The University has traversed the fall semester, from August to the present, very successfully, adhering to the Restart Plan for instruction, work, and campus life. While we have done well in keeping the campus safe, our Plan and protocols will be increasingly stressed by circumstances beyond our boundaries, particularly the expected and now arrived significant statewide winter uptick in the coronavirus.
As a precautionary measure, in order to continue to maintain the safety of the campus environment, the University community must intensify its efforts to follow rigorously the already established health protocols, and it will require some additional protocols for the remainder of the fall semester.
Intensifying compliance with existing protocols, will require the following:
- All members of the University community must wear masks, practice social distancing, do Hawk Check consistently, wash hands and stay home if sick.
- Everyone should get a flu shot; this is mandatory for those who live on campus and strongly encouraged for everyone else.
- Members of the University community who do not live on campus must not come to the campus if they are sick or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Members of the University community who live on campus will be required strictly to limit trips off campus, to exercise rigorous caution when off campus.
- Employees who have been on campus and who become sick or believe that they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately do Hawk Check and then notify their supervisor or the Office of Occupational Health.
- Students who live or have been on campus and who become sick or believe that they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately do Hawk Check and notify the University Health Center.
- Promulgation of educational materials for both employees and students about the campus health protocols and the importance of compliance with them will be increased, and these materials will include specific advice about navigating Thanksgiving and the holiday season as safely as possible.
In addition, the following precautionary protocols have been added for the remainder of the Fall Semester, effective Monday, November 9.
Instruction: On-campus instruction has remained safe throughout the semester, and it can continue to be safe. All instruction is already scheduled to move entirely online effective Monday, November 30 for the remainder of the fall term. There is no reason to alter the specific and carefully developed plans for on-campus instruction between now and Monday, November 30 in those programs where the on-campus component is critical to the quality of the educational experience. However, as an additional precautionary measure, effective Monday, November 9 or thereafter, for those courses where the on-campus component is not required by the nature and content of the course material, instructors may, but are not required to, reduce the number of on-campus classes or switch to fully remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Instructors who choose to make such a change in the schedule must formally have that decision approved by the Department Chair, School Director, or Dean in advance and must communicate the change clearly to all students in the course in advance of any alteration in the schedule.
Residential Students: The residence halls have remained safe for students throughout the semester. However, to be sure that they remain safe, even while the numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing in the surrounding communities, students in the residence halls will be required to remain in residence until the scheduled departure date that they have chosen, either before Thanksgiving or at the end of the Fall semester on Monday, December 14. Residential students who must leave and return to the campus for work, for clinical placements, for healthcare, or for emergencies will be able to apply for a waiver and will be required to follow a special set of health protocols.
Work on Campus: The work sites on campus have remained safe for employees throughout the semester. However, to be sure that they remain safe, as noted in the Governor’s Executive Order 192, any employees who come to campus, whether they come every day or whether they come only on certain scheduled days, are no longer just encouraged, they are required, to complete the Hawk Check every day, and they absolutely must not come to campus if they are sick, if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if they are advised by Occupational Health to stay home.
Visitors to Campus: The University will strictly prohibit all visitors to campus from entering the University’s academic buildings and residence halls unless they have authorization to do so. Such authorizations may be granted only by the Vice President for University Facilities, the Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life, the Provost, the Dean of a College or School, or the University Police. The person who is hosting the visitor is responsible for arranging for this permission in advance.
The University community has done a remarkable job in maintaining essential activities during the fall semester in the face of the pandemic. With some additional effort, rigorous attention to health protocols, and precautionary measures, we will be able to complete this academic term safely.