Communications to All Employees

Welcome to Fall Semester at Utah State!

Welcome, faculty and staff!

As we begin fall semester, there is a buzz around our Utah State University campuses that we have not experienced in far too long. After several semesters with students and many employees connecting to USU remotely, it has been exciting to see you on campus.  

I continue to be impressed by your resilience and willingness to create new processes and adjust how you work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of you deserves recognition for facing the many challenges of the last 18 months.  

While it is exhilarating to have a full campus again, we know the pandemic is not yet in the rear-view mirror.  Our success this year depends on everyone taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Actions You Can Take 

  • If you have not already and are able to do so, please get the COVID-19 vaccine. It is the best way we have to protect ourselves and each other. The university will provide weekly vaccine clinics throughout September. These clinics offer the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine, are free and open to all students and employees, and do not require an appointment. We will also offer follow-up second dose clinics in the coming months. Once you are fully vaccinated, upload proof of vaccination at aggiehealth.usu.edu. This information will help USU case containment get the right information to you if you are exposed to a positive case. USU will require that students are vaccinated no later than the beginning of spring semester, and we will provide more details for this requirement soon. 

  • We know from scientific research as well as experience last year that face masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. In light of the increase of the more contagious Delta variant, we ask that everyone wear a mask in public indoor settings, including classrooms, especially when social distancing is not possible. We have signage across campus to that effect. Though state law requires that no one be excluded if they refuse to wear a mask, individuals are free to ask others if they can mask up together. You can download approved COVID-19 signage for use in your office. Please note, disrespectful behavior or retaliation toward any member of the campus community based on a person’s mask use (or lack of) is prohibited and will not be tolerated. 

  • The university asks anyone who is sick with any symptoms to stay home and get tested for COVID-19. USU offers USU COVID-19 Paid Leave to employees in situations related to COVID-19. Free COVID-19 testing will continue on the Logan campus for the year. Free testing is also available throughout the state

Limiting COVID-19 Exposure 

With students back in classrooms this semester, the university is using a new Green-Red-Orange classroom protocol to contain cases and prevent disruptions to in-person learning as much as possible.  USU will continue to both perform case containment and monitor wastewater (sewage) on campus for elevated levels of COVID-19. These tools help us determine when to target COVID-19 testing to specific groups, such as on-campus residence halls or classes.  

Get the Latest Information 

I realize that returning to campus is a big adjustment and that there is some trepidation of what the next few months will bring. If you have questions about what USU is doing to keep our campuses communities healthy, as well as how you are a part of that effort, please review the COVID-19 website, especially the updated frequently asked questions for employees. Additionally, watch for the weekly COVID-19 update in the Utah State Today email newsletter you receive every Thursday. If you still have questions, email covid-19@usu.edu.  

As we navigate fall 2021 semester, we anticipate adjustments along the way. I appreciate your flexibility, resilience, and commitment to the health and safety of our campus communities. You are each a part of making our university extraordinary. We can do this because we are Aggies! 

Sincerely, 

Noelle E. Cockett 
President


Student Vaccination Requirement for Spring Semester

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Just before noon today, the Utah Board of Higher Education issued a letter encouraging USHE colleges and university presidents to consider requiring COVID-19 vaccines for their students. Utah State University officials are now working on an implementation plan for USU campuses. Vaccination will be required no later than the beginning of spring semester 2022. As outlined in Utah Code Section 53B-2-113, students can opt out for religious, medical, and personal reasons.

Students want to be in face-to-face classes and participate in activities and events, and we want to make sure they can enjoy all the traditions and opportunities that make being an Aggie so special. COVID-19 vaccines are our most important tool in the fight against COVID-19 and will help us keep classes and activities in person while protecting the health of all campus community members.

Students who have already been fully vaccinated should upload their vaccination record now. Students who can be vaccinated should make plans to visit a vaccination clinic. Clinics on the USU Logan campus offer the fully approved Pfizer vaccine, are free, and open to students and employees. The first Logan clinic is scheduled for Day on the Quad on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Pre-registration is not required.

Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine unless they have symptoms, and students who are not fully vaccinated are more likely to have to quarantine one or more times during the semester.

We will be sharing more details for this vaccination requirement in the coming days. Thank you for doing your part in helping us keep our Aggie family healthy.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Please Stay Home if You're Sick

Dear Faculty and Staff,

This is an exciting and busy time as we prepare for fall semester to begin with our students and employees back on campus. While we have looked forward to this for a long time, we must keep in mind that COVID-19 remains a serious health issue and take responsibility for protecting ourselves and those around us.

I urge you to:

  1. Get vaccinated if you are able to do so. Vaccines are the best available tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially with more contagious variants circulating. They are safe, free, and easy to access.
  2. If you are sick, stay home. It may be that you just have a headache or a cold, but COVID-19 has many different symptoms that may change with new variants. It’s important to not bring any illness to work. Also, get tested for COVID-19 if you are sick or have been exposed.
  3. Wear a mask indoors. The CDC recommends even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in high COVID-19 transmission areas, which currently includes most of Utah.

I know it can be difficult to not come to work when you have a lot of work to do, but please stay home whenever you are sick. If you do feel well enough to work from home, talk to your supervisor about that option. Also, all USU employees, benefitted and non-benefitted, are eligible for paid leave for reasons related to COVID-19. Contact Human Resources if you have any questions about COVID-19 leave.

Thank you for your dedication to USU, and your diligence in keeping our campuses healthy and ensuring a successful academic year.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Supervisor Town Hall Scheduled

Dear Supervisors,

While most of this message will focus on USU employees returning to their campus locations, I want to begin by thanking you for your leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. As is often said, these are unprecedented times. I’m especially grateful for those who have been on-site for the past 18 months. The frontline staff providing services such as housing, dining, and facilities have done a tremendous job in challenging conditions. Please pass along my thanks to your employees as they continue to navigate and adjust.

Town Hall for Supervisors

As more employees return to campus, supervisors will have numerous issues to work through. I will address some of these issues here and also hold a town hall meeting for supervisors next Wednesday, Aug. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on AggieCast. A panel of administrators from human resources, legal, emergency management, and academics will be on hand to describe solutions and answer questions.

Returning to Fully On-Campus Operations

The complexities of COVID-19 continue to create challenges for our work environment. Employees are now expressing concerns about the new wave of cases caused by the Delta variant and how it could impact them or those they live with who are at a higher risk or can’t be vaccinated. I ask supervisors to continue to be flexible and creative in providing a healthful and professional work environment. The Temporary University Policy 20-T1: COVID-19 and Temporary Work Arrangements provides information on how to work with employees as they return to campus. I’d like you to:

  • Consider offering split shifts to reduce density or relocate individuals to increase physical distancing.
  • Continue to provide a Zoom option for meetings to reduce room density when everyone is on campus.
  • Model mask-friendly behavior and provide masks and ample cleaning supplies for employees.

If employees express needs that may require an accommodation, please reach out to the Human Resources ADA coordinator by emailing hr@usu.edu.

Upcoming Telework Policy

Some employees would like to continue teleworking after working from home for 18 months. A new USU telework policy will be finalized by the end of October; the policy will provide guidance on telework positions, as well as evaluation of performance and productivity. Telework is not a guaranteed right and will be based on job function and at the discretion of the department head or director. The telework policy will help the university provide a healthful work-life balance and lower USU’s impact on poor air quality days.

Reducing the Risk of Transmission

As employees and students return to our campuses and centers, the university will continue to encourage everyone to take responsibility for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection to themselves, their families, and the community. We strongly recommend that everyone get a COVID-19 vaccine if they are able. To protect privacy and maintain confidentiality, a person’s vaccination status will only be collected through AggieHealth. You should never ask employees or students if they are vaccinated.

Also, please continue to require sick employees to remain at home and follow the process to pay university COVID-19 leave for COVID-19 related absences. Model this behavior as well by staying home when you are sick. The CDC provides an updated COVID-19 symptom list as it monitors the virus and its variants. Check USU’s COVID-19 website for information on testing if exposed to COVID-19, or if you have symptoms. USU will continue to provide free on-campus testing for the next year.

I deeply appreciate and respect the work you do for USU and the thought and care you put into your role as a supervisor. I am excited to have everyone back on campus for the start of fall semester. The last few weeks of August and beyond will have a buzz of energy we haven’t experienced in far too long.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


USU Safety Alert: COVID-19 Cases Rising in Utah

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

State and local health officials are concerned about a recent increase in COVID-19 cases across Utah, linked to the more contagious Delta variant. This increasing trend has been seen at USU, as well. While university COVID testing went three weeks after the end of spring semester without identifying positive cases, currently the USU testing lab is reporting 1-2 positive results each day.

Nearly all of these cases are among unvaccinated individuals. Additional cases are highly preventable: The COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective tool we have to stop the spread of the original virus and new, more infectious variants. All Utahns age 12 and older can now get a free COVID-19 vaccine, and we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

In addition to being free, many health departments, clinics, and pharmacies have vaccines available without an appointment and at convenient hours. Visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution/ to find locations near you. There are many myths about vaccines in Utah and across the nation, but you can find accurate, scientifically based information at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-facts/.

If you do feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, please get tested. The Logan campus has free testing for students and employees in the East Stadium lot, Monday through Friday, 8-10 a.m. You can schedule a test here: https://aggiehealth.usu.edu/confirm.aspx. If you are not in the Logan area, visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-testing-locations/ to find a testing location.

Thank you,
Ellis Bruch
Director of Emergency Management


Summer Changes to COVID-19 Response at USU

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Congratulations on a successful end to spring semester! It was wonderful to have our 2021 graduates and their guests on campus to celebrate commencement and the awarding of their degrees.

Summer semester has already begun, and at USU, this summer will also be a season of transition. I want to outline some coming changes in COVID-19 protocols and expectations, along with plans to progressively bring more people back to our campuses.

These changes will shift responsibility for protecting ourselves from infection with COVID-19 from the university to a more personal responsibility. The best tools we have for doing that are:

  1. Get vaccinated. Visit usu.edu for information on scheduling a vaccination.
  2. Stay home when you have any kind of illness or have been exposed to COVID-19. This action helps keep our workplace healthy and therefore, USU fully supports employees staying home as needed. If you suspect you have COVID-19, get tested. Also, your supervisor can assist you with COVID leave that is available to all employees.
  3. Practice social distancing and good hygiene habits.
  4. Wear a mask when you are in a large crowd and/or close to others who may not be vaccinated.

As of June 1, masks will no longer be required, but rather will be recommended within all USU buildings and shared vehicles – particularly in areas where you can’t maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. USU will retain the ability to require masks for certain situations, such as large gatherings and specific events or work environments.

Beginning on June 1, USU employees who have been working remotely should begin shifting to their university location. Departments can use the next few months to update operation plans and review employee concerns, with the intention of having all employees back at the university by August 15. If you have a safety concern about returning, you are encouraged to discuss it with your supervisor or share it privately using this form.

USU is planning for a large increase of in-person classes for the fall, with more than double the classroom capacity from spring 2021 to fall 2021. USU will continue to offer courses in a variety of methods to provide flexibility and access, with a goal of also returning to USU’s standard number of in-person course offerings in spring 2022. You can help ensure we make this goal by getting vaccinated.

It is exciting to begin transitioning to a post-pandemic world and returning to the events, traditions, and interactions that help make the USU experience so special. By being mindful of our actions and taking responsibility for our wellness, we can continue moving in this very positive direction.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Logan Campus April 16

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

In partnership with the Bear River Health Department (BRHD), USU is offering a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the Logan campus:

Friday, April 16
9 – 11:30 a.m.
Eccles Conference Center

This clinic will provide the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a second dose after 21 days. Please only register for this clinic if you will be in the Logan area for your second dose. There are 500 vaccines available Friday; USU and BRHD hope to offer additional clinics depending on supply.

You must make an appointment in advance, and signups are first-come, first-served for USU students and employees only. Sign up for the April 16 clinic here: https://brhd.jotform.com/210975329994976.

To ensure all available vaccine doses are used, USU offers a standby list. Get more details and sign up here: https://www.usu.edu/dps/emergency/vaccine-stand-by.

Because parking is limited in the center of the Logan campus, we encourage clinic participants to park elsewhere and walk to the Eccles Conference Center.

Vaccines are also available from health departments, pharmacies, and health care providers. To find other locations where you can be vaccinated, visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution or use https://vaccinefinder.org/.

Thank you,

Ellis Bruch
Director of Emergency Management


COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Logan Campus April 9

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

In partnership with the Bear River Health Department (BRHD), USU is offering a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the Logan campus:

Friday, April 9
9 a.m. – noon
Eccles Conference Center

This clinic will provide the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single dose. There are 1,000 doses available; USU and BRHD hope to offer additional clinics depending on vaccine supply.

You must make an appointment in advance, and signups are first-come, first-served for USU students and employees only. Sign up for the April 9 clinic here: https://brhd.jotform.com/210897574194973

Because parking is limited in the center of the Logan campus, we encourage clinic participants to park elsewhere and walk to the Eccles Conference Center.

Vaccines are also available from health departments, pharmacies, and health care providers. To find other locations where you can be vaccinated, visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution or use https://vaccinefinder.org/.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit https://vaccine.usu.edu/ or watch the video “Talking Vaccines: USU Extension Faculty Answer Some of Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions” at https://www.usu.edu/today/story/talking-vaccines-usu-extension-faculty-answer-some-of-your-covid-19-vaccine-questions.

Thank you,

Ellis Bruch
Director of Emergency Management


What to Expect at USU this Spring and Beyond

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we enter the final six weeks of the semester, I want to thank you once again for all that you have done in the past year. When you compare where we were a year ago with where we are now, I hope you feel both accomplishment and optimism. Please take advantage of these longer, warmer days to recharge and care for yourselves.

I want to share some updates and information on what you can expect at USU campuses for the rest of this spring and into the fall.

COVID-19 Vaccines

You have probably heard that anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. I strongly urge you to be vaccinated if you are able. Vaccines are a key part of ending the pandemic and getting back to the in-person activities and events that are highlights of Utah State University. 

USU will work with local health departments on vaccination clinics for employees wherever state vaccine allocations make it possible. But I urge you not to wait for a USU-sponsored vaccination clinic as we do not have any scheduled at this time. To see where you can be vaccinated, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution or use vaccinefinder.org. Demand is high right now. If you can find an open appointment, take it. If you can’t find an appointment, keep checking—cancellations or increased allocations will change availability.

Mask Requirement Updates

The statewide mask mandate is likely to end on April 10; however, all USU campuses and centers will continue to require that masks be worn in buildings, as well as in vehicles with more than one occupant (such as shuttles). We have reduced virus spread across the university system thanks in part to everyone’s commitment to masking up, and we will finish spring semester strong and healthy by staying the course. 

Coming Back to Campus

While we are looking forward to reopening our campuses and centers, repopulating the university will not be like flipping a light switch. Instead, it will be done carefully and systematically as each county we operate in reaches the “low” transmission level. Departments and units should start the planning process now for how they will repopulate their areas in the future. 

I know that many of you have had to reorganize your lives to work from home through this past year, and I am grateful for your dedication and resourcefulness in continuing to perform your duties. I look forward to everyone returning to the university, and once we are all back, we will develop protocols and policies for remote work in a post-COVID world.

Looking Forward: Fall 2021

Next fall will look and feel a lot more like the back-to-school experience our students knew before the pandemic. USU plans to offer most fall classes in person, with a regular academic schedule. We have delayed fall registration this year to give more time to assign courses and arrange classroom space for maximum in-person opportunities. There will still be multiple course delivery options to provide flexibility for students and accommodate instructors. 

We are all very encouraged by decreasing COVID-19 case counts and the increasing number of people getting vaccinated. I am optimistic that we are moving in a positive, more normal direction.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President 


Reminders for the Beginning of Spring Semester

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to 2021! I hope you each had time to take a well-deserved break from work over the holidays.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 case numbers have continued to rise in Utah over the last month. The high positivity rate (number of positive tests as a percentage of total tests) means that we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to keep family and friends, as well as our campuses and centers, healthy. Some important reminders:

  • If you can work remotely, continue to do so. Reducing the density of people on our campuses and centers helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those individuals who must be on campus to perform their job duties.
  • If you must be in-person to complete your work, please continue to comply with USU policies requiring wearing a mask on campus and practicing social distancing. This applies even if you have had COVID-19 or been vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • If you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested. Testing is recommended at the onset of symptoms or about seven days after the date of exposure. Employees near the Logan campus can access free testing Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the East Stadium Testing Site. Testing is also available in Cache Valley for family members and across Utah, including at new temporary rapid testing sites. Find a testing site near you.
  • When a vaccine is available to you, please get one. The benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risks. Getting our campus community members vaccinated against COVID-19 is the fastest way to get back to in-person learning and regular campus activities. USU hopes to play a role in reducing barriers to getting our students and employees vaccinated by hosting vaccine clinics at our campuses as we do with other immunizations. We will distribute information on vaccine clinics as they are scheduled. In the meantime, learn more about Utah’s vaccine distribution plan and strategy.
  • Although employers are not required to extend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) beyond Dec. 31, 2020, USU has opted to provide paid leave for certain COVID-19 related situations in 2021. For more information see our COVID-19 Paid Leave Fact Sheet.
  • Continue to review the USU COVID-19 website for case counts, testing, and employee specific information.

As much as I hate to say this, the pandemic will likely persist for several more months. I appreciate your efforts to help keep our campus community healthy and for your contributions to USU during this challenging time.

Finally, I am deeply troubled by the events that unfolded in our nation’s capital yesterday and join others throughout the world in denouncing violence. These events demonstrate a need for all of us to maintain civility in the face of ideological divisions. I urge the Aggie community to increase their engagement in peaceful democratic processes at all levels and look for ways to rise above the unrest in our society. These events are understandably stressful to all of us. Learn more about mental health resources provided by USU, including counseling, on the Aggies Thrive website.  

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


What Utah’s State of Emergency Means for Faculty and Staff

Sent on Nov. 9, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Last night, Governor Gary Herbert issued a new State of Emergency in Utah due to increased COVID-19 hospitalizations and unsustainable case rates. The Utah Department of Health has said that hospitalizations and ICUs are nearing capacity, and healthcare providers will be unable to care for Utahns in the coming days if this surge continues. It is essential for us to follow the Governor’s order to protect you, your family members, and all of the Aggies on our campuses and in our centers.

Governor Herbert calls on us to take the following actions:

  • You must wear a mask in public and when within six feet of anyone you don’t live with. This means you should wear a mask whenever you leave your home. The statewide mask mandate will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
  • You must keep social gatherings to household-only until the State of Emergency expires on Monday, Nov. 23. This means you must not gather with anyone you don’t live with for the next two weeks.

Work Remotely Whenever Possible

It is essential to decrease the density of individuals on our campuses and in our centers so we can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Your supervisor will be working to creatively schedule staff to meet the needs of our community while encouraging telework. Though some employees provide essential onsite tasks, all others should work from home in order to reduce overall density and protect those who must report to work onsite.

Events Must be Virtual or Postponed/Canceled

All extracurricular events and activities must be virtual, postponed or canceled at least through Thanksgiving break (Monday, Nov. 30). This includes student clubs, intramural and club sports, speaker events not tied to classes, alumni events, and department or unit gatherings.

Campus Facilities Remain Open

For now, university facilities on our campuses will remain open during regular hours, including libraries, computer labs, and recreation facilities. Dining locations that serve residential housing will remain open, but cafés will be take-out only due to limited seating capacity.

Testing for COVID-19

In addition to the above precautions, Governor Herbert’s executive order requires that most university students are tested weekly in order to identify potential asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 and prevent spread. We are working to get weekly rapid testing for students available no later than Wednesday, Nov. 11, on the Logan campus.  Other campuses will follow.

If you have symptoms or if you think you may have been exposed, you should be tested:

Thank you for your efforts to keep our university communities healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


COVID-19 Testing Available Before Thanksgiving

Sent on Nov. 5, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thanksgiving break is only a few weeks away. Those of you planning to travel over the holiday are no doubt considering how you can protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. 

Testing Available for those Leaving for Thanksgiving

To help you reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, USU will provide testing to those who are leaving Cache Valley for Thanksgiving break. You can use the test result to determine your best course of action for the holiday. Please take a quick survey to help us plan for how many individuals would like to receive testing.

Complete the Survey>>

More Critical than Ever to Take Precautions 

I am deeply appreciative of the actions that you are taking to protect our university community so that we can maintain in-person learning, research and outreach activities. However, with rising infection rates, now is the time to increase precautions. Rising cases of COVID-19 in Utah are severely stressing health care systems, which is impacting the quality of care that sick individuals receive. USU’s Logan campus is in an area that has been designated by the state as having a “high” transmission level. Please do your part to protect yourself, USU students and employees, the local community, and your family members. 

  • Wear a face covering anytime you are interacting with individuals outside your household. 
  • Get tested if you have symptoms or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Getting tested is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have been exposed to the virus and do not have symptoms, it is recommended that you wait 5-7 days to get tested in order to improve the accuracy of the test. 
  • Stay home if you are ill. We have heard many stories of COVID-19 beginning with very mild symptoms. Please stay home if you feel unwell, and get a free test on campus right away. 
  • Stay home if you are sick, waiting for test results, or asked to self-isolate or quarantine. Your actions protect others.
  • Limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people and wear masks when you meet. 

Thank you for all you have done to protect others and help USU continue to function. We still have many months before the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, but I am proud of the resilience all of you have shown as we navigate this difficult time together.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Important COVID-19 Updates for Supervisors

Sent on Oct. 30, 2020

As we head into the latter half of the semester and into the holiday season, I want to provide you additional clarity around supervisory and employee expectations. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The USU COVID-19 Testing Site provides free tests for employees near Logan. If you have an employee who has symptoms or who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, encourage them to get tested and provide paid time from work for them to do so, if possible. Learn more about testing at USU and how to make an appointment. In most cases, USU’s testing site provides results more quickly than other local testing sites. Employees throughout the state can also seek testing at local testing sites. These test sites bill health insurance, but testing should always be free with a testing order.
  • Testing is now available to monitor employees in Logan for COVID-19 infection. Employees who have frequent contact with students and the public may benefit from regular testing to monitor for infections. Schedule a test by visiting www.usu.edu/covid-19/testing and follow the instructions for “If you do not have symptoms.” Testing is free and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Follow USU’s protocol when an employee has been exposed to COVID-19. If an employee is exposed, or suspected of being exposed, to COVID-19, follow USU’s protocol to minimize further exposure to others. You may also contact covid-19@usu.edu if you have questions about what to do.
  • Paid leave is offered for COVID-19 related absences. One of USU’s most important preventative measures encourages anyone who is sick or asked to self-isolate or quarantine to remain at home in order to protect our community. Employees who need time off due to a COVID-related issue may be eligible for paid emergency sick, family, and/or medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This includes non-benefited employees. See the USU FFCRA Summary Sheet to learn more or contact hr@usu.edu.  FFCRA benefits are available through Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Plan for absenteeism. Because we are asking anyone who is ill to stay home, you should plan ahead for increased absenteeism due to COVID-19, the common cold, the flu, and other illnesses. Employees who are showing signs of illness should be sent home to rest and recuperate. Please also encourage your employees to get a flu shot.
  • Encourage telework from Thanksgiving to January. With classes moving to remote instruction from Thanksgiving break through the end of semester, you should consider how your department will operate during the holiday season. Given high COVID-19 transmission rates in Utah, USU continues to encourage telework whenever possible. Though some employees provide essential onsite tasks, others should work from home in order to reduce overall density on campus and protect those who must report to work onsite.
  • Employees in wage/hourly jobs that will end at Thanksgiving break may find other work at USU. Please refer them to either Career Services or Human Resources to find job opportunities that will still be available after the break.
  • Eliminate stigma around COVID-19 to break the chain of transmission. You can help minimize the risk to our entire community by protecting those in your area from stigma associated with exposure to the coronavirus or an infection. When individuals self-isolate or quarantine as directed, they minimize the risk to others. Greater risk is created when individuals are hesitant to seek testing or be honest about their exposure due to being stigmatized when they return to work. Please discuss this issue with your staff and ensure you are modeling positive behavior.

You can find information about how USU is addressing the pandemic at www.usu.edu/covid-19. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Human Resources or the COVID-19 Safety Committee.

Thank you for your hard work in continuing to protect our students and other employees.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Update for USU Employees

Sent on Oct. 22, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you to all USU students, faculty and staff for being vigilant as we take daily, personal and institutional actions to counter the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the state. Now is not the time for us to lose our focus.

I want to update you on some recent changes on our campuses, specific to COVID-19, and also to provide some clarifications and guidance.

First, I hope you are aware that USU opened a COVID-19 testing site on the Logan campus for all students, faculty and staff. Having this testing site is a huge boost to our case containment efforts, as it will make testing more accessible, and those tested will receive results usually within 24 hours. Read more about the USU Logan testing site or schedule a COVID-19 test. Because of capacity constraints, this testing service is not available to USU dependents.

Second, the increase in COVID-19 community spread will likely increase the number of employees who are out sick or in quarantine. I ask that all departments and units plan now for those absences and work with their teams and our COVID-19 Safety Committee to ensure an action plan is in place. On our website, you can find more information to help employees navigate the illness. Please note that we still encourage people to telework where possible, to stay flexible, and to reach out to Human Resources if there are questions about working remotely or taking leave from work.

Speaking of students and employees staying home, there have been questions about the differences between quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing.  For more information about case containment strategies, please visit the COVID-19 website.

Additionally, Governor Herbert recently replaced the Phased Guidelines and the associated “color-coded guidance” with a new COVID-19 Transmission Index. Please take time to look over these new measures and the safeguards associated with each transmission level. With Halloween next week, the Utah Department of Health has also provided some recommendations for celebrating safely.

Finally, I encourage you get a flu vaccine this fall to help relieve the burden on our health system and protect your fellow Aggies. Contact your local health department to find out where to get a flu vaccine. Employees on the Logan campus can save the date for a flu vaccine clinic on Nov. 17. More information will come soon.

While we know we are not yet at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made remarkable progress in lowering the risk of infection on our campuses and centers. In fact, USU was recognized on Oct. 14 as being one of the Top 10 Colleges Deserving Recognition for their Response to COVID-19 by College Magazine. This was a university-wide recognition for the efforts each and every one of you have taken. Thank you for your continued determination and resolve to help us get through the pandemic.

Stay Aggie Strong.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Welcome to Fall Semester

Sent September 1, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Welcome to fall semester at Utah State University! I hope you are excited to continue doing what we do best: teaching, research and outreach. I appreciate all the work each of you do so we can meet our mission as Utah’s land-grant institution.

New Potential COVID-19 Cases

As expected, we have seen new COVID-19 cases in our Logan campus community. We put in long hours all summer to prepare for this and have worked to minimize and contain potential cases with help from our local and state health partners.

In case you missed the safety alert sent Sunday afternoon, wastewater monitoring that began this summer on the Logan campus showed elevated levels of coronavirus in a sample that included four residence halls. The students in these residence halls were immediately quarantined, and we worked with Intermountain Healthcare to test them for COVID-19. Students in these halls were asked to fill out the COVID-19 Questionnaire, which activates the COVID CARE Team to provide meal delivery, academic accommodations and other needed resources. USU’s case-containment team will work to release students from quarantine as they receive their test results. Those with positive test results and their close contacts will continue isolation and quarantine for the appropriate time period. We are extremely grateful to these students who, through their actions, have reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection on our Logan campus.

You can monitor COVID-19 cases in our university community at www.usu.edu/covid-19. Note, these cases include USU students and employees throughout the state who have reported a positive test, including those who are studying or working remotely. If you feel ill or are asked to quarantine, please fill out the COVID-19 Questionnaire. This information helps us trace and contain cases to minimize the spread and ensure you are supported while you quarantine or isolate.

De-escalating Conflict

The university has sent several emails and other communications to students and employees about USU’s policy on wearing face coverings and other prevention guidelines. I’m impressed by the overwhelming number who are wearing a face covering, particularly inside, with compliance growing every day. 

A training video has been developed to help you approach and de-escalate potential issues about face coverings, social distancing, and related COVID-19 safety issues should they arise with students, visitors, or colleagues. The video will provide you with techniques for engaging with these individuals in a non-confrontational way.

For instructors of in-person classes, if a conversation with a non-compliant student becomes unproductive and this student will not leave the classroom, you should suspend class with the understanding that the class period’s information will be made available at a later time. Students who refuse to wear a mask in a classroom or building can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. Employees or visitor who are not wearing a face covering can be reported to the COVID Safety Committee.

Questions about Free Expression

You may encounter employees, students or visitors expressing their political or other beliefs out loud or on face coverings, clothing, personal items, or even on Zoom backgrounds. Please bear in mind that in the majority of circumstances such expression is protected. Instead of confronting these individuals, please contact the Office of General Counsel who can answer questions about appropriateness.

Preventing Zoom Bombing

USU takes the threat of “Zoom bombing” (having unwanted/uninvited visitors in Zoom class/meeting doing inappropriate things) very seriously. You can secure the use of Zoom for classes and communication using the university’s Zoom license and platform and also learn how to secure your classes or meetings on the CIDI website. If you experience any Zoom bombing, please report it immediately to the IT Help Desk (797-HELP).

Continue to Practice the Four Principles of Prevention

Thank you for wearing a face covering, social distancing, practicing prevention hygiene, and staying home when you are sick. I know you are doing all you can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in our community. This truly is a team effort and we are all in this together. I appreciate your resilience in the face of so much change and how hard you are working to support each other and our students.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Email to Supervisors on Return to Campus

Sent on August 19, 2020

Dear Supervisors,

As we approach the start of fall semester, many employees are planning to return to campus while others will continue to work remotely. This email provides information about both modes of work, and offers tips to help you supervise employees during this unusual time.

In this email, you will find information on:

  • Department operation plans
  • Employees working remotely
  • Support for onsite employees
  • Principles for prevention of COVID-19 infection
  • Communication with direct reports

Department Operation Plans

If you have not already done so, please complete a department operation plan. This plan should include who and when people will be working remotely as well as what safety protocols will be implemented for onsite employees. Once approved, you should share this operation plan with your employees to ensure they understand what your department and the university are doing to protect them during the pandemic.

Support Remote Work Whenever Possible

While certain employees are essential for the operation of our campuses and centers during fall semester, you should continue to encourage employees to work remotely whenever possible. Lowering the density of people on campus – in classrooms, offices, or elsewhere – is key to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Reducing the number of employees on campus protects those employees who must be on campus to perform their work and provide support for students, staff and visitors.

Support Onsite Employees

You should ensure employees who must be onsite for work have the protective equipment they need to perform their jobs in as safe a manner as possible. Protective equipment includes masks, plexiglass partitions, office layouts that achieve social distancing among employees and visitors, appropriate disinfection, and signs explaining the principles of prevention of COVID-19 infection.

Also, as we face outbreaks in our communities and on campus this fall, some employees may be asked to isolate or quarantine or may need flexibility to care for school-aged children due to exposure to COVID-19 or illness. You are encouraged to be flexible and compassionate with those employees whom you supervise as we navigate through COVID-19 challenges together.

Four Principles of Prevention of COVID-19 Infection

You should discuss the four principles of prevention of COVID-19 infection with all of your direct reports. It is vital that you lead by example and create a culture of caring where everyone shows respect for each other and supports the safety of those they work with. 

The four principles include:

  1. Wearing a face covering. Everyone must “mask up” in buildings and outside if social distancing is difficult. Exceptions are limited but include individual offices where only one person is present, cubicles surrounded by plexiglass and at least 6-feet social distance from other employees and visitors, designated eating areas, and specific activities such as actively exercising where 6-feet social distance is maintained. If an employee cannot wear a mask, you should reach out to the ADA Coordinator in order to discuss accommodations. Make sure you understand these expectations so you can share them with your direct reports. As a supervisor, you are expected to enforce USU’s policy on face coverings.
  2. Practicing social distancing. Encourage your employees to maintain at least six feet between themselves and those from other households whenever possible. Employees should avoid shaking hands, hugs, and high fives as these actions can be points of transmission.
  3. Staying home when sick. The symptoms of COVID-19 are varied and can range from severe to non-existent (asymptomatic). Encourage your direct reports with even mild symptoms to stay home and self-isolate. Those employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 or are waiting on COVID-19 test results should complete the COVID-19 questionnaire. Employees should be encouraged to consult with a health care provider about COVID-19 testing if they have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 infection.
  4. Practicing prevention hygiene. All employees should wash their hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and keep work and living spaces clean and disinfected. As a supervisor, you should review these practices with your direct reports on a regular basis.

Communicate With Direct Reports

Your leadership is critical in helping ensure employees are provided as safe a working environment as possible. We have provided a PowerPoint presentation that you can use when you discuss expectations for fall semester with your direct reports. Also, please read through the information provided at www.usu.edu/covid-19 so you know how to answer employee questions. Check in frequently with your direct reports to answer questions, get feedback, and explain expectations. These actions will instill a sense of calmness, logic and focus.

Please also provide time for your direct reports to participate in employee Town Halls, or to watch recordings of these Town Halls at some time during the work day.

Please know that we greatly appreciate your leadership and service. You are essential to helping us successfully meet our core mission of education, research and outreach during this unique fall semester.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


COVID-19 Updates for Employees

Sent August 4, 2020

Dear Staff and Faculty Members,

Thank you for joining me for the employee town hall on July 30. We received many questions, but because of time constraints, we could not answer them all. If you have a question that was not answered, you may find the information you need by checking the topics below:

Face Coverings Mandatory on USU Campuses

USU has a new temporary policy that requires face coverings be worn in all buildings and outside when social distancing is difficult to maintain. There are exceptions for eating and drinking in designated areas and when in a personal office or work area (under certain circumstances). This policy builds upon Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s executive order on face coverings. The City of Logan also requires face coverings inside retail and public locations and outside these locations whenever 6 feet of social distancing is difficult to maintain.

If you have questions about how the USU policy specifically applies to your situation, you can learn more on the USU COVID-19 website. Remaining questions should be addressed to the USU COVID-19 Executive Task Force at covid-19@usu.edu.

High-Risk Employees

If you are in a high-risk category, you should follow stricter guidelines than the general population to reduce your risk of being exposed to COVID-19. You can reach out to Angie Clayson, the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources, to receive help with accommodation requests. Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible while working with employees who have identified themselves as high risk.

COVID-19 Situation Update

The Utah Department of Health provides COVID-19 trends and case counts for the state of Utah as well as by local health departments.

Repopulating USU Campuses

Students will soon start arriving on our campuses, with fall semester classes scheduled to begin on Monday, August 31. In anticipation of the fall semester start, offices providing essential onsite services to students and employees should repopulate as approved in the unit’s COVID-19 department operation plan. Not all employees are required to be on site, and working remotely may be approved by supervisors on a case-by-case basis. 

Be Aggie Strong, Mask Up!

Recent research shows that an individual infected with COVID-19 may be infectious before they develop symptoms. There is also concern that many people who are infected with COVID-19 do not know they are ill. The best available science demonstrates that if everyone wore face coverings, the transmission rate of the disease would be significantly lower. For this reason, wearing a face covering or mask that covers both the nose and mouth is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19. So let’s all be Aggie strong and mask up.

Thank you for your hard work to prepare for fall semester!

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Invitation to Town Hall for Employees

Sent on July 16, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff Members,

As we all get ready to welcome students back to campus, I want to share some new information with you, including the budget cut from the state legislature, a voluntary separation incentive program, and the university’s plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses.

Please join me for a Town Hall on Tuesday, July 21, from 9 – 11 a.m. on www.aggiecast.usu.edu.

I will be joined by the following individuals to provide you with the information and answer your questions:  

Ellis Bruch, Director of Emergency Management
Doug Bullock, Associate Vice President of Human Resources
Dave Cowley, Vice President for Business and Finance
Mica McKinney, Vice President for Legal Affairs
Robert Wagner, Vice President for Academic and Instructional Services
Bill Plate, Vice President for Marketing and Communications.

During the Town Hall, you will have the opportunity to submit a question. There will likely be questions we may not have time for, but you can also find answers on one of these websites: 

usu.edu/ready
usu.edu/covid-19

Please join me on Tuesday, and thank you for all you are doing to protect other members of our campus communities while we fulfill the mission of Utah State University.

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Updates for Returning to Onsite Work

Sent on June 29, 2020

Dear USU employees,

Thank you for your tremendous effort over the last several months to help Utah State University meet its mission while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infection to our campus communities.

Returning to Onsite Operations
In the last week, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn and Governor Gary Herbert have expressed deep concern over the recent surge in the state transmission rate and new COVID-19 case counts.

For this reason, I have extended the pause on returning to onsite operations on the Logan and Brigham City campuses from July 1 to August 1. We will continue to evaluate local onsite operations at other USU locations on a case-by-case basis as we recognize different counties vary in risk levels. We also recognize that some units need to return to onsite operations sooner than others, particularly those that support students or provide health and human services to our communities. These units will work with their deans or vice presidents to get final approval of their operation plans through the COVID-19 Employee Safety Committee.

To be clear, those campus areas that are successfully working remotely can continue to do so, and may be approved to do so through fall 2020.

State Executive Order on Wearing Masks

Governor Herbert announced on Wednesday, June 24, that he will issue an executive order requiring mask wearing when physical distancing is difficult in all state facilities, including higher education institutions. In keeping with this executive order and as I have stated previously, everyone at USU campuses and centers must wear a mask in all university facilities when it is difficult to physically distance from others. Thank you for joining me in wearing a mask so we can demonstrate that Aggies respect and care for each other.

Budget Changes from the State Legislature

In a special session on June 18, the Utah Legislature implemented a 2.5% budget cut on state higher education institutions. We are fortunate that the budget cut fell on the lower end of what was being considered by the state. My leadership team is currently looking at ways to best implement this cut. You will hear more about this in the coming weeks. Please note that across-the-board salary increases will not happen this fiscal year, though salary increases attached to promotions will still be honored.

Self Reporting Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Diagnosis

While I recognize that your health status is private information, I ask that you complete the COVID-19 Questionnaire in the following cases:

  • If you have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • If you have had close contact (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) with someone who has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • If you suspect you have COVID-19 and are seeking testing.

Your health information is kept as private as possible and only used to ensure you are supported while you quarantine or isolate, and to determine if any steps, such as disinfection of your work area, are needed to prevent spread of the virus.

University and Personal Travel

Traveling increases an individual’s chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19. While all university-related travel must be approved by your dean or vice president, you must also discuss even your personal travel with your supervisor to develop a contingency plan if you must quarantine after returning home. Learn more about USU’s guidelines for travel.

Fall Course Schedule

I know you, like me, are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus this fall. Next week, students will learn more about how specific courses in their fall schedule will be taught. This information, as well as all updates, will be found at usu.edu/covid-19.

Finally, I want to reiterate that it is up to everyone on our campuses to create a learning and working environment that minimizes the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to visit usu.edu/covid-19 to see new updates on how USU is addressing COVID-19 related concerns.

Take care of yourself!

Sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Email from President Cockett on the Return to Campus

Sent June 5, 2020

Dear USU Faculty and Staff,

As we get ready for a return to onsite operations, I want to share with you a variety of scenarios that may unfold in the coming months and our thinking behind these plans.

While there is discussion of moving the state of Utah to the “green/new normal,” there is also concern from state health officials about the recent rise in positive case numbers in Utah, including in Cache County. Therefore, the university will continue to be vigilant in reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection on our campuses and centers. This is the only way our university will be able to prevent a widespread outbreak on our campuses or centers and possibly into the local community.

Also, we want to deliver a successful fall semester with in-person learning opportunities for our students and stakeholders. Widespread infection on one of our campuses or centers would force us to return to remote services, eliminating these in-person experiences.

Returning to Onsite Operations
Universities, particularly residential campuses, are unique institutions that foster and embrace face-to-face interactions and gatherings of individuals. Though this is typically a strength, it presents unique challenges in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

In planning for the return to onsite operations, I have charged working groups with creating protocols for events, campus visitors, travel, student life, housing and dining, research, and classes – all focused on reducing the risk of infection while moving forward with our institutional objectives.  Information on these protocols will be disseminated through emails, video conferences and the USU COVID-19 website.

Here are some things you should know:

  • Departments and units must create operation plans to minimize risk of COVID-19 infection to employees, students, and the public. Supervisors have received guidance for developing the plans through a virtual Q&A, and will receive more training next week. Employees within a unit should work together to identify flexible solutions that ensure social distancing, use of face coverings, and other prevention strategies. These precautions are absolutely key to ensuring we can remain on our campuses and in our centers.
  • I encourage you to take time to recharge before fall semester begins. Though your summer vacation plans may have changed, everyone should be sure to take time away from work to relax.

Prevention Essential to Return to Campus

As more employees return to campus, the risk of spreading COVID-19 will increase. Each of us must do our part to protect other members of our Utah State family. Everyone in our campus community is expected to:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wear a cloth face mask or face covering whenever social distancing is difficult to maintain. This is particularly important due to spread that occurs before a person knows they are ill. As more people return to campus, social distancing will become more challenging, and face coverings will be more essential.
  • Practice prevention hygiene: cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands frequently, and disinfect high-touch surfaces often.
  • Stay home when you are ill, even with mild symptoms. You should get a COVID-19 test if you have any one of these symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and pains, decreased sense of smell, or a sore throat.
  • Self-report if you have been asked to isolate or quarantine. This allows us to accommodate your absence, provide leave pay during this time, and minimize risk to others.

Support Colleagues in Distress
We have all seen enormous disruption in our work and personal lives over the last few months. These are truly trying times, and we are impressed by the resilience and flexibility of our USU people. Each of you have found ways to continue your work despite all the challenges.

The turbulence of the last few months is affecting everyone in different ways. It is more important than ever that we support each other, respect our differences, and embrace inclusiveness in our community. We will face a challenging year ahead, but if we remain united as an Aggie family, I am confident we will come out better than ever. 

Remember – Aggie Strong!

Noelle E. Cockett
President


Email to Employees

Sent on March 15, 2020

Dear USU Employees and Supervisors: 

Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, we strongly encourage supervisors and employees to work together to identify flexible and creative solutions to ensure the continued operation of the University.

This is even more necessary as events outside the university, such as the closure of the local school districts, place additional burden on our employees. There are a number of options you may consider, including but not limited to flexible schedules, temporary task assignments, working remotely, etc. Please refer to the Employee FAQs for answers to specific situations. These FAQs will be updated often so please check the link frequently. If you would like assistance, please contact Human Resources as you work through these issues. You can reach Human Resources at 435-797-0122 (during regular business hours) or hr@usu.edu.

We appreciate your commitment to USU and the important work that we must keep going.

For more information about how USU is addressing COVID-19, please visit https://dps.usu.edu/emergency/covid-19/index.

Sincerely,

David T. Cowley
Vice President for Business and Finance


Email to Employees 

Sent on March 4, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

We are writing to you today to make you aware of what Utah State University is doing to address the threat of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus). As of today, March 4, 2020, there are no cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Utah. However, this situation is rapidly evolving, and it is important we all take steps to protect the health and safety of our campus communities across the state.

USU has created an interdisciplinary task force to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the university is taking appropriate steps. We are tracking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department and working with our local health departments, particularly Bear River Health Department in Logan.

If COVID-19 is discovered in Utah, local county health departments would work with the Utah Department of Health to take the lead on tracking patients, recommending isolation or quarantine, and investigating who patients have come into contact with to help prevent the spread of the virus.

USU has a webpage dedicated to providing up-to-date information about COVID-19 at www.usu.edu/COVID-19.

Travel

USU is following CDC guidance, and when applicable, passing this guidance along to international travelers and others in our campus community. The university has restricted all travel to countries with a level three or four travel health notices from the CDC, including at this time China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. All students who were studying in these areas have returned to the U.S. and have been asked to isolate themselves for 14 days to ensure they do not develop symptoms.

We have asked those who are traveling internationally on university-related studies or business to evaluate the risks of staying where they are or consider returning home. For those planning upcoming university-related travel, either international or domestic, we ask they carefully consider risks and the cost of potentially cancelling trips. Anyone already planning university-related international travel, must register with USU’s international travel registry so they are covered by International SOS insurance. 

Whether you are planning a trip or already travelling, you may reach out to USU Risk Management if you are concerned: risk@usu.edu | 435-797-1844.

Staying Healthy
You can protect yourself from all diseases, including COVID-19, by following everyday best practices to avoid the spread of germs. Learn more from the CDC.

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

USU is rolling out a social marketing campaign aimed at preventing the spread of any disease on campus that encourages community members to stay home when they are sick and follow best practices to prevent the spread of germs. We appreciate cooperation with these guidelines from everyone, including supervisors and professors who may have to accommodate ill employees and students.

If You Are Ill

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and have travelled to impacted areas, or have close contacts who have travelled to impacted areas, please seek care at your local emergency department or health care provider. Call the hospital or your provider ahead of time to let them know you are coming.

As new information emerges, please remember that the risk of COVID-19 is not connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of those who may be tested for or have confirmed coronavirus infection. Sharing accurate information from only reliable sources is the best thing community members can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading. 

Thank you for helping to keep our campus community healthy and safe.

Sincerely,
Noelle E. Cockett