January 5, 2021 Update

Cav Nation 

I hope this quick update finds you well. 

Our international and out-of-state students are in quarantine right now in anticipation of their return shortly … we thank you all for taking these steps to protect each other! 

Your university will continue to fight the spread of COVID, educate students, and build community. 

As we begin 2021 and prepare for classes to resume next week, I want to offer you my thoughts for the continuing face-to-face education while fighting COVID. 

I think we learned two things from Fall 1/Fall 2: the tools for disease suppression work and we must rebuild human connections. 

Small colleges and universities successfully contained COVID and avoided the large outbreaks experienced at large schools in large measure because each of you did your part … and we are all so thankful. 

Really … you modeled how to maintain an orientation on the public good … we must hold onto that even in times of stress!

The major tools we have are our “Seven to Remember” … they work! 

Another tool that is having good results is wide-spread voluntary testing. 

Governor DeWine has asked all colleges and universities to begin “Active Surveillance Testing” at a rate of no fewer than 3% of the residential population per week. 

As you know, we have sought to follow federal, state, and local guidance where it made sense … and we think this request for voluntary testing is reasonable and are working on our protocols. 

Rebuilding human connections is also urgently important to all of us. 

We are working on configuration adjustments to the classrooms (which has proven to be the safest space in North Canton!) that can keep everyone safe and reduce the potential for quarantine for all. 

We are also looking at the Residence Halls and after the two-week settling-in period we will evaluate making adjustments to allow movement between the Halls/Neighborhoods … we know that if the residents can maintain the same discipline with “Seven to Remember” exhibited elsewhere on campus then we should expect the same in the Residence Halls and that can help to make this happen. 

For our first two weeks on campus, we’ll have an adjustment period as we did in August … encouraging small pods, remain on campus to the maximum extent, and so forth. 

The week of January 25th we will evaluate some adjustments with the tools to fight the spread while rebuilding our human connections. 

Of course, throughout the Spring terms we will closely monitor the data and overall condition level on campus and make safety adjustments as needed as has been our practice. 

I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus, in the classrooms, online, in the Residence Halls, and elsewhere … and I thank you for your tenacity and determination to not let COVID derail your education! 

Hurry back … let’s get going again! 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help … we pray for our safe return and the health and well- being of our community.