|Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:
A short time ago, the University’s COVID dashboard was updated to reflect the 20 new COVID-19 infections we have confirmed in the past 24 hours. All these new COVID-19 cases are among students. As Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie shared in a message earlier today, the Public Health Team is concerned about this emerging cluster of infection, particularly given that most of those who have tested positive over the past week reside in North Campus residence halls.
It is critically important that we act quickly and decisively to undercut further spread of the virus within our residence halls, and more broadly across our campus community. For that reason, effective beginning at 9 p.m. today, the University will implement the following temporary actions to curb further spread of the virus on our campus:
· Until further notice, all in-person dining on campus, including the Schine Student Center, will move to grab and go service only.
· Access to public lounges in DellPlain, Shaw and Booth halls is temporarily suspended.
· The University will distribute a supply of disposal paper masks to all residents of DellPlain, Shaw and Booth halls. Until further notice, any individual living or working in DellPlain, Shaw and Booth halls will be required to adhere to a double-masking policy while in those buildings. The only exception to this policy applies to students when they are in their own rooms.
· Until further notice, all residents living in North Campus residence halls will be required to participate in COVID-19 testing twice a week. The COVID Program Management Office will contact all impacted students and provide a testing schedule applicable to your specific residence hall.
While we are optimistic these actions will help stem the spread of the virus, additional public health measures may be required if these initial actions prove inadequate to break the current chain of transmission. As soon as the data indicates that the current cluster of on-campus infection is controlled, these measures will be rescinded.
Finally, please hold yourself and those around you accountable. We cannot stress enough the importance of compliance with public health guidelines. If you have questions, concerns or information that could inform the Public Health Team’s response, do not hesitate to contact the COVID Program Management Office at 315.443.6180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Syracuse University Public Health Team