14th Weekly Campus Health Update

Dear Students, Families and Colleagues,

I hope you are well as the semester draws toward a close.  I write to share an update on campus and community health and related guidance on holiday travel.

We have continued to test every student on campus each week.  Like the first week of November, last week’s testing (Nov. 8-14th) again showed no student positives, an excellent result.  One employee tested positive, for a total positivity rate of 0.16 %.   Although we have seen good health results on campus, our local community continues to have high rates of COVID-19, and we need to maintain a high level of vigilance and be particularly careful about masks, maintaining distance, and other public health guidance.  Further information about campus and local health status is available on our dashboard.

As cases rise across the country, there has been significant concern about travel and holiday safety.  The Ohio Department of Health has issued important guidance for students and families, here, and we definitely encourage everyone to follow it in order to avoid the spread of illness over the holidays.  We tested every student on campus again on Wednesday and Thursday this week, both to maintain a good view of campus health and to ensure that students travelling next week, as many are, would have a recent test result before leaving.  Students are receiving test results individually, and we will share the summary information on those test results early next week, once they are all returned. Any student who needs to stay on campus due to isolation or quarantine will be able to do so.

The State of Ohio is continuing to see high numbers of COVID-19 cases.  The governor has put in place a curfew asking people to stay home between 10 pm and 5 am unless they need to travel for work or other necessities, such as getting food.  Lowry dining has shifted operations so that food is take-out only after 10pm, in accordance with this curfew.   Like everyone in Ohio, students on campus are expected to follow the curfew order, and to be in their own residence halls between 10 pm and 5 am, unless meeting needs for food, work, medicine or medical care.

Next week is the last week of classes, and will also be my last weekly campus health update for this semester.  (We will, of course, continue to test and support students who remain here for winter break, and also share information on spring plans regularly.) As we enter this season of gratitude, my deepest thanks go again to everyone – students, colleagues, and families – for your extraordinary care for one another and dedication to the Wooster community.

With best wishes,

Sarah Bolton