September 17, 2020: Public Health Update

To our Wesleyan community,

Greetings. As we all settle into the routine of the fall semester, however unusual it may be, I would like to address a topic that affects us all: stress. Faculty, staff, and students alike, whether studying or working on-campus or remotely, are feeling the mental fatigue that accompanies this ongoing pandemic. Whether it is concern about our own health, the health of friends and family, or just coping with all the changes and inconveniences to daily life, we are all feeling it.

August 31, 2020: Positive Student COVID-19 Test Result

To the Wesleyan community:

We have finished our first week of testing, and as classes begin and we’ve completed a few thousand tests, we can report that two students have tested positive for COVID-19. Two employees have also tested positive. Though unfortunate, this is an occurrence we were well prepared for. The employees are taking the appropriate precautions, and the students, in the care of Health Services, are resting comfortably in supportive isolation.We have also initiated contact tracing, and close contacts have been notified for appropriate quarantine.

August 28, 2020: Public Health Update

To Our Wesleyan Community,

The fall semester has arrived. It is wonderful to see students, faculty, and staff on campus. Health Services has been busy at the testing tent on Andrus Field this week assisting as members of the campus community take their COVID-19 tests. So far everything is going smoothly, and we thank everyone for their cooperation and patience as we all get accustomed to this process.

To date, we have received results for 1,875 tests, with only one positive test result for an employee, who was immediately isolated. To remain informed about our testing results and procedures, visit Wesleyan’s COVID-19 Dashboard, which will be updated regularly. On the dashboard, you will find an alert level for the University, which provides context for the situation on campus, as well as a tally of active cases, cumulative results to date, and test results by week for all students and employees who are tested on campus.

We are also aware of several students who received positive COVID test results when they took a test prior to leaving home. These students have delayed their arrival to campus until they are medically cleared, and Health Services will remain in touch with these students to track their recovery.

August 19, 2020: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan community,

As we prepare to welcome students back to campus next week, I’m happy to report that Connecticut continues to do well with decreasing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19. That said, the unprecedented increases in cases and hospitalizations in most other states in the country are sobering. In addition, the mean age for cases is decreasing, and we’re continuing to learn more about the serious post-COVID syndromes experienced by many young people, including chronic fatigue and hypercoagulopathies (blood clots to the lungs, etc).

During the pandemic, it is important to distinguish between the things we can change and the things we cannot. The unpredictable course of the coronavirus and other people’s behaviors (including those who choose not to wear face coverings and congregate in large groups) are examples of the latter—generally out of our control. The best place to focus our energy is on the things we can control, which come in two parts.

July 24, 2020: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

Welcome to the dog days of summer. Did you know this expression actually comes from the rise of Sirius, the dog star, from July 3 to August 11? It has nothing to do with dogs, though my Labrador Retriever remains skeptical. And there’s your piece of trivia for the day!

I write to you amidst a heat wave in Connecticut, as my colleagues and I are working hard in preparation for the start of school, just over a month away. Today, I’d like to share details of Wesleyan’s plans for COVID-19 testing.

July 1, 2020: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan community,

Happy summer! The weather in Connecticut has been sunny and warm (some might say too hot!), and I am happy to report that cases of Covid-19 have continued to decrease in our state thanks to people generally following the rules. This is critically important as the University prepares to reactivate campus with the well-being, health and safety of our community top of mind. We will share much more information on the safety measures the University is planning in a campus update next week.

June 17, 2020: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

I trust your summer is off to a good start. I’m happy to report that currently the coronavirus in Connecticut appears to be slowing down with fewer hospitalizations and deaths.  Much of this is due to the strong efforts of many residents in adhering to social distancing, using face covers, and largely staying home. We are heading in the right direction but in no way should we let our guard down. If we become lax in our efforts, we can very well experience a resurgence or ‘’second wave” of the virus…

June 4, 2020: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

I hope this finds you safe and healthy. This past week, the impact of the pandemic has been overshadowed by the terrible news that is gripping our country. The senseless death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor, and so many others; the ugliness of racism; and the disregard for human life. We all need to do everything in our power to promote respect, kindness, and caring to all.

You may have seen other troubling headlines recently noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) surmises Covid-19 may be here to stay. This is bad news, but perhaps not as bad as it may sound…

May 28, 2020: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan community,

Congratulations to all students for completing this academic year, and especially the Class of 2020, whom we celebrated during a virtual Commencement this past weekend. Knowing this class the way I do, I know you will be making our world a better place.

With the 2019-20 academic year officially a wrap, we now turn our full attention to planning for the next year. One thing that will be increasingly important as we prepare for an eventual return to residential education is contact tracing, and I’d like to offer a brief introduction…