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Nov. 13, 2020: Concluding the Semester

Communication from President Allison Garrett

November 13, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty + Staff,

Back in June, we announced that we would end on-campus classes on November 20. The last week of classes, as well as final exams, will occur online following Thanksgiving.

As we close our in-person time on campus next week, there is important information I need to share with you. As evidenced by the sharp increase in cases, community spread of COVID-19 is occurring across the nation, state, locally and on campus.

It is more important than ever for all of us to take safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The mitigation strategies that we implemented at the beginning of the semester continue to be effective safety measures that limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Self-assess and isolate if you have any symptoms of illness. Isolation means stay home; don’t come to campus for work, class or studying and don’t run errands.

Wear your mask; it works. Health authorities advise that wearing masks reduces the spread of the virus. Both Lyon County and the City of Emporia now have a mask mandate.

Social distance. Stay at least 6 feet away from others. If possible, any time you spend with others is best spent outside. Risk of transmission is greatly reduced if individuals are outside. Masks are still required outside if you cannot stay at least 6 feet from others.

Limit gatherings — even small ones. Spread is happening within small groups and in social gatherings, especially where people are not wearing masks. Wearing your mask helps in small groups, but using video technology like Zoom or FaceTime is even better.

Stay home if you are ill or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

  • Renew your commitment to conduct a daily symptom self-assessment. If you are experiencing any symptoms, contact your health-care provider or the Student Health Center at 620-341-5222.
  • If you feel sick at all, even before taking a COVID-19 test, do not come to campus; do not go to class; and do not come to work.
  • Statewide, public health departments are struggling to keep up with the demand for contact tracing. If you are told you are a close contact by someone who has tested positive, quarantine yourself (stay at home and away from others) and monitor your symptoms for 14 days. If you become symptomatic, contact your health-care provider or the Student Health Center at 620-341-5222.
  • If you are tested because you have symptoms, isolate yourself (stay at home and away from others) until you receive the results, then follow the guidance of your health-care provider. Please be aware that statewide, the demand for testing is high. You may need to wait a few days to be tested, even if you are symptomatic. If you feel ill but are waiting to test, continue to stay home and isolate yourself from others.
  • Make a plan. Talk with your friends and family to develop a plan in case you test positive or are exposed. Where will you stay? What will you need with you or how will it be delivered? Think about things like clothes, food, prescriptions, toiletries, COVID-19 supplies, textbooks and study materials.

On-campus testing. The Student Wellness Center is prioritizing testing for those who are symptomatic, followed by those with known exposure. If you are not symptomatic, but would like a test, see below.

Free asymptomatic testing. We are working with CRL, the company we used at the beginning of the semester, to offer free saliva testing kits to students on the Emporia campus before leaving for break. Look for a separate email with more information.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Academic Adjustment. If you need to request an academic adjustment due to quarantine or a positive COVID-19 test, submit your request here.
  • Residence Hall Students. Continue to follow closing guidelines as shared by Residential Life.
  • Counseling Services. Students can find group counseling sessions to join on the Student Counseling Services Canvas page. Faculty and staff can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program.

As we enter the last on-campus class days of the fall 2020 semester, I want to thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do to keep yourself and others safe. Continuing to be vigilant also helps keep your family safe when you join them for winter break.

With Hornet Pride,
Allison D. Garrett
President