Weekly Bark Column October 16th, 2020
Happy Friday, students!
With November fast approaching, I want to commend you for your ongoing commitment to your health and the health of our community so far this semester. We’re doing well in the aggregate, with some room for improvement.
Here’s the latest on our COVID-19 testing results and related efforts:
COVID-19 cases: As of yesterday, we have had only one positive COVID-19 test out of the 1,993 tests we’ve conducted on campus–and none since August.
Effluent testing results: Great news! Results returned on October 14 from wastewater samples pulled on October 9 showed no presence of coronavirus in effluence from residence halls. This was the fourth set of all negative results in a row.
Testing for students living off-campus: Last week, we began COVID-testing approximately half of our students who are living off-campus. This testing was done to assess what might be unfolding with our off-campus students. All 99 tests conducted came back negative. Way to be, off-campus Pios!
COVID Risk Assessment Survey: To better understand how CAS students are feeling about COVID-19 prevention practices, we fielded our first monthly survey. Thanks to the more than 500 students who took the time to complete the brief survey. Here are some key findings:
The symptom tracker is causing some confusion. About half of respondents didn’t know about the form, while others were unclear when or how often to complete the form. Melissa Osmond from Health Promotion and Wellness sent an email this morning about the reporting form, which clarifies our expectations. Please take a moment to read and absorb that message.
- While most students are complying with face-mask requirements and other risk-mitigation practices, especially in the classroom (89%), students reported diminishing compliance in residential spaces and other common spaces (56-59%). And about a third of students reported observing people in residence halls other than their own. As always, use your face coverings, practice good hygiene, maintain your social distance, and monitor yourself for symptoms. Don’t visit residence halls other than your own, and definitely don’t use restrooms in other halls.
- The symptom tracker is causing some confusion. About half of respondents didn’t know about the form, while others were unclear when or how often to complete the form. Melissa Osmond from Health Promotion and Wellness sent an email this morning about the reporting form, which clarifies our expectations. Please take a moment to read and absorb that message.
- Social spaces: It’s great to see students using the social spaces we’ve opened up in the last couple of weeks. A reminder: As with all indoor activities, participants are expected to observe documented occupancy requirements and maintain appropriate social distancing measures: wearing masks, staying six feet apart, etc. All participants are required to sanitize the equipment before and after use. We ask that residents using the classrooms sign in and out of each space for potential contact tracing.
Have a safe weekend. And, as always, WeB4Me@LC.
Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan
Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students