November 13, 2020

The Bark -- VPSL Column | November 13, 2020


Happy Friday the 13th, students!

As you may have read in an email from my office, this week we saw several new positive COVID-19 cases in our community. Our response systems worked as designed: we were able to quickly confirm those cases, get the affected students into isolation, conduct contact tracing, and direct anyone exposed to quarantine.

What we know about the infections reinforces what we’ve been saying for months, and what Governor Kate Brown JD ’85 reiterated at her “two-week pause” press conference on Monday: stick to your pods, stay vigilant, and stay on campus if you live on campus. Small-group spread is now the biggest driving force in the spread of the virus.

  • COVID-19 cases: As of yesterday, we have four positive COVID-19 tests out of the 2,283 tests we’ve conducted on campus, a positivity percentage of 0.18%.

  • Effluent testing results: As we expected given the positive cases on campus, effluent testing results returned on November 10 from wastewater samples pulled on Nov. 6 showed low-level positive results in the wastewater leaving Holmes/Hartzfeld, Roberts/East, and Forest/West Halls. Follow-up testing results are expected this afternoon.

  • Pausing our relaxed visitation rules: Given the Governor’s pause orders, and our own uptick in COVID-19 cases, we must pull back on the modest relaxation of on-campus visitation rules we just announced. Therefore, we will no longer allow students to enter any residence hall other than their own. I regret having to make this change, because I know how hard most of our student body has worked to keep themselves and their peers healthy. In addition to pressing “pause” on our own relaxed rules, we are modifying a few other rules to get us safely to Thanksgiving break:
  • The social spaces at Howard Hall will remain available on weekends, but occupancy limits are being reduced to no more than six people in a room.
  • The number of students allowed in Fields at any given time will be limited. Please observe the markings on the floor and follow Bon Appetit staff guidance.
  • There will be no seating available in Fields. Limited seating for dining will be available in both Stamm East and West, as well as limited seating in the Trail room for socializing and studying. Each room has a separate entrance and no guest passage between the two rooms is allowed.

Thanksgiving is around the corner, with finals on the other side. Take time this weekend to rest, recharge, and relax. Take care of yourselves. And please continue to be kind to one another.

As always, WeB4Me@LC.


Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan
Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students