Update August 20, 2020 - President Nora Miller has released a video message regarding confirmed Coronavirus cases on campus.
OK, everybody take a deep breath, and then let it out. We’ve had some positive COVID cases here on campus. We knew that was going to happen, and we are prepared. We have protocols that we are following, and we are in communication with the top officials at the Mississippi State Department of Health, and we are following their recommendations.
We responded quickly with getting information about close contacts of those who tested positive, and they have been informed that they were in close contact with someone who tested positive. The state department of health advised us to treat one group as an outbreak since they had three positive cases in that group. Their recommendation was that the entire group go into quarantine, which is what we have done. We will continue to work with the state department of health to get this group tested, and we will follow their guidelines.
If someone gets COVID, or they have to quarantine because they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID, or they were part of a cohort where an outbreak has occurred, it doesn’t mean that they have done something wrong. It just means that they have been around someone who has come down with it, or someone who has been in close contact with someone who had it. This virus can sneak around corners and slip through cracks.
Go back and read our campus renewal plan, and pay attention to the flowcharts that explain what you should do if you have symptoms, if you have been identified as a close contact, or if you have been with someone who has been identified as a close contact.
We are requiring that masks be worn except when we are alone either in our personal workspace or residence hall room, or are eating. We are asking everyone to take their temperatures and use the coronavirus self-checker every day.
We have set up classrooms and meeting spaces that maintain physical distancing, we’ve placed reminders everywhere. We have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available. We have misters that are sanitizing classrooms, hallways, auditoriums, etc. We have grab and go selections and carry-out available for dining.
What we need to do now is to remember to take those deep breaths, practice some self-care. Do the Coronavirus self checker every morning. If you don’t feel well, stay home. Avoid being around others. If this means you have to miss class or miss work, notify your faculty members or supervisor.
OK, let’s take another deep breath. Relax, but DON’T relax the vigilance. WEAR your mask. Wash your hands. Maintain physical distance. Don’t gather in groups unless absolutely necessary – and when you do, follow the guidelines about the number of people who can safely meet indoors or out. WEAR the mask!
We can beat this virus if we all do our part. BE a WISE Owl (Willing to Interact in a Safe Environment). Stay safe.
President, Mississippi University for Women