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COVID-19 Community Digest: July 21, 2020

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To keep faculty and staff informed of actions and activities related to maintaining the health and safety of our community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the following communication will be distributed as needed to campus. Please visit the COVID-19 website for more details and updates.

Message From Human Resources

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the ongoing dissemination of information related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an ongoing effort across campus to define what resources are needed to be ready for the return of all campus community members. The COVID Response Team has been working with health care professionals, local health district professionals, and senior leadership to prepare each area of our University to be safe for the overall community.

We hope that you and your families are well. If any member of the Wittenberg University community feels they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 OR is currently experiencing symptoms (fever over 99.9, cough, shortness of breath, possible nausea/diarrhea, possible loss of taste/smell), please alert the University immediately here. After normal business hours, call the switchboard at 937-327-6231 OR email the COVID Response Team.


Face Coverings

The Office of Human Resources has developed several new protocols for employees, contractors, visitors, and volunteers to aid in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. Links to all new protocols are below. Each can also be found on the new Protocols and Testing button on the COVID-19 website.

  • Protocol for Employees, Contractors, and Volunteers Returning to Campus: Read More
  • Protocol for Visitors That Request to Visit Campus: Read More
  • Protocol if an Employee, Contractor, or Volunteer Has Been Exposed to a Confirmed Case of COVID-19: Read More
  • Protocol if an Employee, Contractor, or Volunteer Has Symptoms of COVID-19: Read More
  • Protocol if an Employee, Contractor, or Volunteer Has Positive Test for COVID-19: Read More
  • Protocol for Employees, and/or Their Dependents, That Have a Higher Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19: Read More

Returning to Campus

At this time, we continue to invite our employees back to campus as necessary and on an as-needed basis. We also continue to encourage some of our employees who can work remotely to continue to do so through July unless contacted earlier. Our return to campus has been staggered to allow for additional testing of our safety protocols to ensure we are keeping the entire campus community as safe as possible. Mandatory COVID-19 Training through SafeColleges has been assigned to all employees, and some volunteers and on-site contractors. This includes four courses, three of which are mandatory and one optional. The total training time (including videos and quizzes) for all four courses is under 40 minutes.


Community Pledge

As members of the Wittenberg community, we must take steps to protect the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, a Community Pledge has been approved, which we will encourage all to sign prior to classes resuming. More information on how to sign the pledge electronically will be forthcoming.


Fall 2020 Semester

As has been communicated, we plan to resume in-person classes on Monday, Aug. 17, a week earlier than the originally scheduled date of Aug. 24. There will be no Fall Break, and on-campus instruction for fall semester will end November 24, two days before Thanksgiving. The semester will conclude with remote instruction and assessment after the Thanksgiving holiday. See new Academic Calendar


Face Coverings

All members of the Wittenberg community are expected to wear a face covering in all shared indoor environments. Face coverings/masks will only be required in outdoor spaces when individuals are in close proximity to others and unable to physically distance. Wittenberg is providing two face coverings per student and employee for the upcoming semester. See Face Covering policy.


Course Delivery & Classroom Learning

Provost Michelle Mattson continues to work with faculty leadership to keep disruptions in teaching and learning to a minimum, including forgoing the traditional Fall Break to accommodate the earlier opening/ending dates for classes. While Wittenberg hopes to offer as many in-person classes as possible, the University is also examining hybrid options. Additionally, faculty members are developing ways to build flexibility into their courses, to support evolving student needs, and to meet all available public health guidance. The provost's office recently communicated the course delivery and overall efforts to students in a special e-letter here.


Move-In

Move-in will be carefully structured and staggered to ensure safety and reduce density. All move-ins are being scheduled by appointment only, and the schedule of staggered dates is available online. Questions regarding the move-in schedule should be directed to housing in student development.


Student Support

The Dean of Students Office, COMPASS: Sweet Success Center, and Counseling Center are continuing to support at-risk or distressed students by coordinating efforts. If you know a student in need, contact the Office of Student Development here.


Campus Events & Gathering Expectations

Based on public health guidance, campus events and gatherings will be different this fall in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Wittenberg community members should expect to stay engaged virtually when physical meetings are not an option or recommended. There will be limits on the size of any in-person gathering. External visitors will be greatly limited as will off-campus travel. Many of the University’s large-scale events will be suspended for fall or offered virtually. A campus events policy will be posted by the end of July.


Intercollegiate Athletics

Wittenberg, along with the members of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), have worked diligently over the past two months to devise a safe and responsible return to campus and, more specifically, a return to sport plan for the 2020 fall athletic season. Click the links below to learn all the details.

  • Fall Sports Scheduled To Open Play On September 18: Read More
  • Wittenberg Athletics COVID-19 Resocialization Plan: Read More

Spring Semester 2021

At this time, the spring 2021 semester is scheduled to begin as planned on Monday, Jan. 11. However, it is possible that we will have to make changes to the spring semester calendar as well, depending upon the public health situation and guidance provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Governor's Office, and the Clark County Combined Health District. We will make spring semester plans publicly available as soon as possible.


Concerns & Questions

If you have a concern about exposure (yours or someone else’s) to COVID-19, please complete this online form. If you have general questions about COVID-19 and Wittenberg University’s response, please email the COVID Response Team at covid@wittenberg.edu.

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