To Our Faculty and Staff:
We write today to thank you for the empathy and understanding you have shown students who recently have had to miss classes or other campus obligations because they were not feeling well.
Whether the cause was COVID-19, influenza, or some other illness, students have found you willing to provide extensions and other accommodations to allow students to recover without worries about missed deadlines or other responsibilities.
This patience is particularly appreciated this month, as COVID-19 case counts continue to grow. As we wrote students earlier today, last week’s total reached 187, more than triple the previous week’s number.
Those testing positive included 165 undergraduates, 10 faculty or staff members, and two graduate or professional students, putting the total positivity rate at 8.6%.
The trends reflect the higher contagiousness of the omicron BA.2 variant, which now accounts for more than three quarters of cases across the U.S. To date, however, research has not shown BA.2 to cause more severe symptoms than its predecessors.
We will continue to update you regarding changes in COVID-19 data and other campus developments. For now, please accept our gratitude for your ongoing support of students—and one another.
Ben Vinson III
Vice President for Human Resources