This has been an extraordinarily different semester for everyone -- faculty, staff and students – as we navigate teaching, learning and living during a pandemic. I’m both proud and grateful for how the campus community has rallied to overcome this unique challenge while at the same time maintaining some normalcy of life.
As we recently announced, the College is experiencing an increase in COVID-positive cases as a result of surveillance testing. I understand that this uptick makes for an anxious campus. However, we are confident in the safety protocols we have in place for our classrooms, residence halls, library, dining, and other services across campus to allow us to continue an on-campus experience for our students. Nonetheless, please also know that if we didn’t believe our measures of containment were working, we would convert to all virtual classes, which we’re poised to do if necessary.
We are working closely with the Mineral County Health Department officials as we monitor this situation. It is important for you to know that they have made it clear that the College is not the reason the county went from orange to red. In fact, MCHD commends our efforts to prevent further spread of the virus specifically mentioning timely reporting, supporting contact tracing, isolating positive cases/quarantining exposures, establishing and enforcing protocols, and conducting surveillance testing. MCHD is reporting that the northern section of the county is being the hardest hit and contributing to the greater case load that triggered the elevated alert level.
This is a fluid situation and we will keep you informed of any developments, In the meantime, please continue to do your part to keep our campus community safe. Wear a mask any time you are in public spaces, wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings. Continue to complete the daily wellness check and stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms.
As a reminder, if a student tests positive from an external testing site, they need to contact email@example.com. Likewise, should a member of the faculty or staff tests positive from an external testing site, they need to let their supervisor know they won’t be at work and notify firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will get through this together.
Jennifer E. Orlikoff, Ph.D.
President WVU Potomac State College