As we prepare to resume in-person instruction on Monday, September 21, I want to give a brief update on where we are in our COVID-19 journey.
Part of this message remains very much the same – wash your hands, mask up, stay a Tiger apart, monitor your health, do not gather in groups of more than 10 (except for classes and other University-sponsored activities), and do things safely outside when you can. My thanks to everyone who is consistently looking out for others and following our health and safety protocols.
To date, there have been 163 known cases at Wittenberg, all among students. At the peak over last weekend, there were more than 250 students who were active cases or who were in quarantine because they were close contacts. There are 67 active cases and 7 probable cases as of today. Of the cases we know of now, we expect a majority to be released by the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) before the end of the weekend. Those students not released, along with about 40 in quarantine, will be absent from in-person classes as we begin next week. With the positive case and quarantine numbers decreasing, we are re-starting in-person classes as scheduled on Monday after consulting with the CCCHD.
All that said, we must do better, students especially. That is the message from me and from the CCCHD. The cases we are seeing are traceable to student social gatherings and living environments. In my walks around campus, I see students choosing not to follow what we have clearly outlined in every communication, sign, conversation, policy, and activity.
I understand that this is a difficult time, and I recognize that our current reality is a challenge as Wittenberg is defined by engagement — in class and outside of it. But if we are to continue to be together on campus, we must show that “We’re In This Together” — all day, every day — and that means adhering to all health and safety protocols.
We have signs of success in managing the initial wave of cases, but let me reiterate: if we are to be together on campus, we must do better. Being together is what all of us want. Toward that end, we are planning stricter enforcement of our policies and procedures. Behavior has to change, and choices have to change, so I am going to say this again: wear your face covering, practice social distancing, and maintain good hygiene. In short, #TigerUp and do your part — for you and for all of us.