Campus Update - July 27, 2020
Dear campus community,
Eastern Kentucky University's Fall 2020 semester is just a few weeks away. We are excited to have students back on campus, pursuing their goals and dreams of earning a college degree. We are also happy to welcome our faculty back to the classroom, preparing the next generation of Colonels to do meaningful work in their communities. Our staff continue to work both in-person and remotely, as we all adapt to our Healthy at Work guidelines. A few students are already here, and most students will arrive on campus in less than two weeks. Staggered move-in appointments for housing start on August 8, and classes begin August 17.
Some of you have asked about COVID-19 virus testing. We will not conduct campus-wide testing of all students and employees at this time. Per CDC guidelines, the recommended course of action is the proper implementation of other infection preventive measures like social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection. We are working to secure testing that will be available through Student Health Services for students who are experiencing symptoms. Although not mandatory, we encourage students to obtain a test before arriving on campus and report the results to us. Employees may use one of the Kentucky testing centers.
We continue to clean and sanitize buildings following health regulations. High touch areas and common spaces will be cleaned multiple times daily in all University buildings. Also, sanitizing stations will be available to the campus community. We are working to provide a healthy environment for everyone to live, work, and learn on EKU's campus. The success of this semester depends on taking responsibility for our behavior and being mindful of the well-being of others. For example, be aware of social settings and interactions, such as after work or school gatherings and lunches with co-workers or peers. We wear masks, maintain social distance, and practice good hygiene to protect ourselves and protect each other. We are a community that must care for one another.
Responsibility, in this case, relies upon four basic behaviors. Research and public health guidance show us that if we practice these habits, we can reduce the virus's potential spread on campus:
- Wear face coverings.
- Practice social distancing.
- Commit to good hygiene and frequent hand washing.
- Stay home if you are ill or in direct contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Submit the Self-Reporting Form if you have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 case or you traveled within the last 14 days to an area with ongoing community spread of the virus. Details about the guidelines and answers to many commonly asked questions are outlined in the Colonels Comeback Plan.
Periodically, you may notice partial or full building closures as part of our advanced cleaning response. Closure of a space you previously visited does not indicate that you are vulnerable to the virus. If you had primary contact with someone positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted directly through state and federally accepted contact tracing protocols. Additionally, occupants of spaces affected by closures will be notified by EKU Environmental Health and Public Safety through several forms of communication that may include local signage, area emails or mass notifications depending on the extent of the impact on the building(s). When a potential exposure point is identified on campus property, all recommended cleaning protocols will be implemented to sanitize the affected areas to reopen the spaces safely.
For the first time since March, the arrival of students on campus will require some staff to return to their campus work stations. Many employees will continue to work remotely. Employees should contact their supervisors regarding their work schedules and locations. All questions about work assignments should be directed to supervisors. The Office of Human Resources can offer additional guidance on policies and reporting procedures. A structured Teleworking policy has been introduced by the University to enable continued flexibility in the coming months.
These expectations present new challenges but they also create an opportunity to act as a community and care for each other. Our firm commitment to fulfill EKU's mission of offering opportunities for our students is at the foundation of everything we are doing and are asking of you. We all must do our part to keep our fellow Colonels safe and healthy. Colonels look out for each other, and I know our character and resilience as members of the EKU family will continue to shine. Thank you for all you do, enjoy the final weeks of summer, and I look forward to an excellent Colonel comeback.
David T. McFaddin
Eastern Kentucky University
Published on July 27, 2020