Coronavirus Update - 3/23/2020
March 23, 2020
As federal, state, and local governments put into place increasingly stringent measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, Washington College is doing what we can to safeguard the health and welfare of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors. Only a handful of students remain on campus, most faculty and staff are working remotely, and access to campus buildings has been restricted to those who have permission to be here. To protect those remaining students and those essential employees who must be on site to provide campus services to our students, Washington College is restricting vehicular access to campus. Barriers are being installed at three of the four campus entrances, directing all traffic to use the northern entrance at Greenwood Avenue. Those without authorization to be on campus will be turned away.
At last count, approximately 68 students remained on campus; many of those students have plans to leave within the next couple of days. A small number of students who cannot return home will remain on campus.
ADDRESSING STUDENT NEEDS
Some students now learning remotely face additional challenges, ranging from food insecurity to poor internet connectivity. The Student Engagement Office is conducting a survey to assess students’ critical needs for food, technology, or other assistance, and College Advancement has launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to help students get what they need to be successful through the end of the term. Please give if you are able.
Considering Governor Hogan’s announcement this morning to close non-essential businesses, the Emergency Operations Group noted the importance of minimizing the number of individuals on campus. To that end, the hotline will be discontinued and a voicemail recording will direct callers to use the shared email box firstname.lastname@example.org, which will be monitored by Jennifer Pass, Elaine Grant, and Claire Hansen going forward.
STUDENT’S TEST RESULTS
We are now at Day Nine since our student’s COVID-19 test was received at Quest Lab, where test results are still pending. Part of the delay is attributed to a backlog of cases at the first lab, ARUP Lab, which then directed the test to Quest Lab. The student’s close friend and traveling companions remain in isolation and symptom-free. Their end date for isolation is March 27. As for the student who was hospitalized, he is now in good health and good spirits, passing the time by Skyping with family and friends, and binging on Netflix. Oh, and today, like hundreds of other Washington College students, he logged into Canvas to resume his coursework.