We’re now halfway through the fall semester, and even though many of you are justifiably exhausted, I’m asking you to push just a little longer to get us through the end of November. When classes resumed on campus in August, we developed a road map to guide on-campus instruction through the Thanksgiving Holiday. Our number of COVID-19 cases are now the highest they’ve ever been – five staff members and 32 students have tested positive – but as Joey Smith, Montgomery County Public Health Director, told us earlier this fall, we’ve developed a great plan to minimize cases on campus and even when cases increase, we need to follow that plan.
That plan remains accessible on our website, but I want to again remind you of a few key components:
- Masks are required in all campus buildings.
- Everyone must follow social distancing guidelines, staying at least six feet apart.
- Wash your hands often.
We have plenty of hand sanitizer in stock, along with other COVID-19-related supplies, so please don’t hesitate to ask for something. If you have symptoms or if you’ve tested positive, we need you to fill out the APSU COVID-19 Reporting Form. This will allow us to conduct contact tracing, protecting other members of our campus community, while also providing you with additional resources. Everyone also needs to download the Peay Mobile app to their phones and conduct the daily health screening on the app. When you visit a campus location with a QR Code, please scan it so we can effectively contact trace if more cases arise. Here is a short video to help you use the app:
Please follow all these guidelines while you are off campus as well. From the data we’ve analyzed, I’m happy to say hardly any COVID-19 transmissions have occurred on campus. Our main concern is off-campus gatherings, which is why we paused all fraternity and sorority events for a two-week period earlier this month.
For students, the application is now open to be the University’s next student trustee. This is a great leadership position that provides an important student perspective to our Board of Trustees in the decisions they make. For information, visit this site.
Early voting has also started. It’s important that you participate in all elections, and I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. Make sure you have a voting plan because the lines are long, and once you vote and receive an “I Voted” sticker, take a picture and tag me in it. I’ll share these pictures on social media because I want to make sure everyone is encouraged to vote.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, I will host another “Pop-Ins with the Prez” from 1-3 p.m., through Zoom. These “pop-ins” are a time for faculty, staff and students to share any of their thoughts or concerns with me. You can sign up for a 15-minute slot at this link.
I discussed much of this yesterday during my weekly social media town hall. If you missed it, you can watch it below.
October 14, 2020 Town Hall with Interim President Dannelle Whiteside
Thank you again for wearing your masks and following our COVID-19 guidelines. We've almost reached the finish line, but we can only get there together.