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September 3, 2020: Staying Safe Over Labor Day Weekend

Communication from ESU President Allison Garrett

September 3, 2020

Dear Hornet Nation,

Many of our students have shared with me that they enjoy being back in Emporia and on campus. That can only continue if we all — students, faculty and staff — take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others for the common good.

This is especially important as we face the Labor Day holiday, a three-day weekend that is traditionally a time to relax and unwind from classes and work, often with friends and family. We gather around food and drink while advertisers urge us to have one final backyard barbecue to end the summer.

As you prepare for your well-deserved break, I cannot stress this strongly enough: Your actions on- and off-campus are critical to remaining on campus for face-to-face classes.

  • Always wear a facemask.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Be cautious. Social gatherings of any size can increase the likelihood of spread, especially if they involve refreshments because we take off our masks to eat and drink and tend to forget 6 feet of distance.
  • If you do develop COVID-19 or are exposed to it and are told to isolate or quarantine, do it. Isolation and quarantine means you stay home 100% until you are released by public health — no guests, no errands, nothing. Your actions make all of the difference.

Remember, any students who have been told by health professionals to isolate or quarantine may submit an Academic Accommodation form or reach out to Dr. Shelly Gehrke ( for accommodations to classes so they may follow these health orders. In addition, students who live on campus can be moved into isolation housing.

COVID-19 has brought changes to our routines that we all find emotionally draining. Please let this weekend break refresh you. When we come back together next week, we will persevere as we continue to support each other and strive to achieve our dreams.

With Hornet Pride,

Allison D. Garrett