Dear Lawrence Community,
Last Friday, community spread—or spread of the COVID-19 virus for which the source of infection is unknown—was confirmed in Outagamie County and, more recently, in Appleton. With the news, it is even more important that we follow Governor Evers’ Safer-at-Home order and the guidance of our local health department and CDC in order to ensure the safety of our community and mitigate the spread of the virus.
The most important thing of each of us can do is to practice social distancing. Every Lawrentian needs to continue to do everything we can to help “flatten the curve” by social distancing. As we continue to learn more about the impact of community spread, the ease of which the virus spreads, and the impact of spread from individuals who are not displaying symptoms, social distancing is crucial.
- Maintain at least six feet between you and another individual.
- Avoid public transportation whenever possible.
- Limit non-essential travel.
- Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded venues.
- Practice good hygiene, disinfect surfaces you touch, and avoid touching your face.
These guidelines need to be followed whether you are at work, at home, on campus, or out in the community. We also encourage all members of the community to wear masks whenever they are outside of their home. Lawrence is currently in the process of procuring cloth coverings for students and employees on campus. In the meantime, people are encouraged to make their own out of scarves, bandanas, T-shirts, or other cloth materials.
Please remember that it is imperative that you stay at home if you are ill. It is critical that employees do not report to work—and students do not visit campus facilities outside of their residence—while they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath (information on symptoms including atypical symptoms, along with a self-checker, can be found on the Wisconsin Health Connect website). Currently, the CDC recommends that individuals remain at home until at least 72 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications or at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
If you believe you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please call your health care professional immediately. If you are a member of faculty or staff, or a student living off-campus, this means your local health care professional. Students living on campus can reach out to Wellness Services.
As was expected, our campus community is not immune from the impacts of COVID-19. As of this morning, 12 employees are currently self-isolating after potential exposure to the virus. Five students have been self-isolated since the original spread of the virus; one student currently remains in isolation and is expected to leave on April 10. None of the students exhibited signs of the virus.
We will share updates on the impact of the virus on our campus community as needed on the COVID-19 News blog. The blog remains the best source of information about the University’s response to this evolving situation, including a thorough FAQ and links to resources for our community.
Thank you all for your support, resilience, and patience as we weather this unprecedented global emergency. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.
Richard L. Jazdzewski, Psy.D., LP Associate Dean of Students for Wellness Services