Oct. 14 Message to Students: You Can Do This...

To Our Students:

We first want to thank those of you living on or near campus for your outstanding efforts to protect one another by following university protocols for reducing COVID-19 transmission risk. 

Since the semester began, you have helped keep our positive test rate quite low, and entirely avoided blatant health infractions requiring discipline. Staying 6 feet apart, wearing masks and keeping gatherings small represent significant changes from student experiences in earlier semesters; we very much appreciate your consistency in adhering to those practices.

As we approach winter months, however, the news for the nation is not nearly so positive. Over the past two weeks, the positive case count has grown by more than 20 percent, and all but 11 states have seen increases. 

Ohio is among them; on Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine noted that average daily case counts are nearly 50 percent higher than two weeks ago, and hospitalizations and intensive care use is climbing as well. These most recent results led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to require those coming from Ohio to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

As it happens, travel has played an increasingly prominent role in recent cases here. While we fully understand the desire to attend events like weddings or connect with family after weeks apart, we ask that you carefully consider the potential implications for others on campus. Is that travel worth causing classmates to face 14 days of quarantine? Or infecting a faculty or staff member? 

As we write, the semester is in its eighth week. You have just over five weeks left of on-campus classes. Winter weather will make staying healthy more challenging, but we believe you are more than up to the task. Please continue to do all that you can to keep from contracting or transmitting the virus, and encourage classmates to do the same. 

Thank you again.

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director, University Health and Counseling Services