Last Thursday, we wrote to alert the community to an increase in viral spread on our campus. This week’s surveillance testing has revealed that the trend continues. As of this morning at 11:00 a.m., nine students and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 11 new cases so far this week. Based upon the positive cases on campus and the number of community members we are closely monitoring through contact tracing, it is clear that there is community spread on our campus.
Due to this fact, as well as a significant increase in COVID-19 cases within the larger Appleton community, we are immediately changing the university’s operating status to Orange Light: Open, Substantial Risk.
The following safety measures will take place immediately:
- All campus buildings will remain closed to the public and will be accessible only by keycard.
- All community members are encouraged to take extra precautions, including limiting in-person meetings and gatherings whenever possible and double masking for all indoor activities, regardless of vaccination status. Surgical masks will be available in all campus buildings.
- In-person dining spaces will be adjusted to accommodate enhanced physical distancing. Capacity in the Bringel Dining Room will be reduced, and Somerset will be opened as an alternative dining space. Capacities will be monitored, and students may be asked to move to another space to ensure physical distancing.
- Outside guest activities will be limited, and guests must remain masked at all times.
Final exams will proceed during the scheduled exam period, but location and modality may be adjusted. Faculty, please stay tuned for a message from Provost Catherine Kodat addressing potential adjustments. Students, please stay tuned for communications regarding potential changes to your exam locations or modalities.
We recognize that the end of fall term is a challenging time during which to make an adjustment to our operational status, and we appreciate the additional stress that our students, faculty, and staff may experience. This is why we have opted to adjust our dining spaces to allow our students to safely gather with their community during meals and are working to accommodate any necessary changes to complete the term as safely as possible.
If adjustments to our plans or operational status are needed, we will be in immediate communication with our campus community. We will also share updated information with those students and faculty who be on campus over winter break as soon as it is available.
Our commitment to Honor the Pledge, our dedication to one another, and our collective resilience is more important than ever. Together, we have limited the spread of virus on campus, and together we will overcome this challenging moment for our community.
As always, please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and stay tuned to your email for updates.
Be well and stay well,
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team