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Week 20 COVID Campus Update

January 7, 2021

Spring semester, health advisory task force and commencement updates

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The new year is here and with it comes the promise of an end to the pandemic. Still, we have challenging days and weeks ahead of us. Our campuses are quiet(er) this month, a welcome breather from the intensity of our fall term. The winterim gives us an opportunity to recharge and reset our COVID Conscious approach, while planning for the next phase of our community response.

The usual Wednesday Wellness and Conscious Check-In emails will resume in the new term. In the meantime, we will send updates to inform you about planning for the spring semester. Our current case count for both campuses is included (below).

Your administration convenes weekly (on Thursday mornings) to discuss the C19 situation and to ensure Concordia’s ongoing safety and success. Today, we discussed several key topics that will interest you. President Ferry will touch more on these in his briefing tomorrow and we will be glad to receive your questions.

  1. Our approach this spring will replicate our successful approach from the fall. We invite every faculty and staff member to recommit to the COVID Conscious effort. We must start strong and maintain the same degree of diligence. This mindset requires focus and energy. These weeks and months have been, and will be, long. Starting the term strong: mind, body, and spirit is essential to another successful mitigation effort. We will do this, together.
  2. Our ad hoc health advisory task force (composed of key faculty and staff with deep expertise in all areas of science and healthcare: infectious diseases, microbiology, nursing, emergency medicine, etc.) continues its outstanding work to inform and guide our ongoing response. Currently, the group is working on:
    1. Our access to vaccines. We have filed the required paperwork in the state of Wisconsin, and made our initial request for vaccines. Now, we wait. In Michigan, we continue to work closely with the Washtenaw County Public Health Department and are following the prescribed phased plan for vaccinations. Unfortunately, much is out of our hands as the states manage the vaccine program.
    2. The advisory task force will also recommend how our campus community will adjust existing protocols during the spring term as more Concordians receive the vaccine. Please continue to pay attention to the emails and weekly updates for ongoing important information.
    3. Our approach leverages an aggressive screening protocol supported by a smart testing strategy. The advisory task force is exploring possible broadening of on-campus testing this spring. Please stay tuned.
  3. We are already discussing the May Commencement situation. We believe it is far too early to make any definitive decision about whether the event takes place in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid fashion. It is also too early to determine whether we keep the current date on the calendar or consider pushing the event back to allow for an outdoor summer event. We are determined to make this decision no later than March 1 and will engage you in the thinking as we deliberate.
Each of us continue to play a critical role in our collective success. Communicate with those you lead and serve, in the classroom, on athletic teams and clubs, in your work group. Model smart behaviors. Prioritize the well-being of others. Be vigilant in your choices. We give thanks to God for His provision. By His grace and goodness, we have weathered and we will continue to weather the challenge of the moment. Thanks be to God – for each of YOU.

Be well. Stay well.

COVID data, 12/30-1/5

Ann Arbor

  • We have 1 student and 0 employee active positive cases of COVID-19 connected to our campus community.
  • CUAA has flagged 1 student and 0 employees through our Medicat Daily Symptom Tracker.
  • 0 students who are positive are isolating in our residence halls.
  • We have 0 students and 0 employees in quarantine due to close contact exposure. 

Wisconsin

  • We have 3 students and 6 employee active positive cases of COVID-19 connected to our campus community.
  • CUW has flagged 10 students and 9 employees through our Medicat Daily Symptom Tracker.
  • 0 students who are positive are isolating on campus.
  • We have 5 students and 2 employees in quarantine due to close contact exposure.

Gretchen M. Jameson, Ed.D.
Sr. Vice President
Office of Strategy and University Affairs
Concordia University Wisconsin | Ann Arbor

Categories: Faculty / Staff