The restrictions in place through our period of High Risk and now Elevated operational posture have been effective in slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community. I sincerely thank those of you who responsibly abided by the public health guidance.
I write today to encourage you to keep up the great work, and also ask that you think carefully about your social interactions as we enter the weekend.
Contact tracers are continuing to report that small gatherings (between 3-10 individuals) are the primary driver for spreading the virus in our communities, both on campus and in the surrounding area. These small gatherings create an atmosphere of false security, lulling those present into reducing (or abandoning) the precautions we know to be effective: mask wearing, distancing, avoiding eating or drinking from shared containers, spending time outdoors, or in well-ventilated spaces.
I also want to emphasize that parties and large gatherings are prohibited by the university and students hosting such events are flagrantly disregarding the health and safety of themselves and others.
The in-person events of this week’s Wellbeing Wednesday were a demonstration in safe, deliberate, organized face-to-face programming. As we expand the calendar of face-to-face activities and events available from the university, please know that these spaces to meet and socialize with friends on campus have been highly designed and vetted by public health professionals for adherence to safety guidelines.
As we begin another weekend, please continue to keep your health and the health of your peers a top priority. If we are to continue moving in the right direction—first to Guarded posture, then Monitored—we must remain vigilant against complacency.
Brandi Hephner LaBanc
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life