August 21, 2020
Dear Ursuline Students:
Next week, you’ll start your fall semester classes and take the next important step toward your future as an Ursuline grad! Before then, please review this important message.
When you signed up for D2L and email, you signed a COVID-19 Acknowledgement form. You may re-read the form on MyUrsuline, if you are logged in. We want to remind you that in signing that document, you promised to assess your health every day, including measuring your temperature, before coming to campus.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that we are responsible for one another as never before in the lifetime of anyone in our community. Our health is dependent on your responsible behavior; your health is dependent on our responsible behavior. Assess your health daily!
Keep up your good health practices 24/7! You need to be just as careful off campus as you are on campus. Remember that COVID-19 spreads easily at parties, large gatherings, and anywhere that you don’t wear masks and keep 6’ apart. Don’t be part of the spread.
The What Ifs
Public health experts are learning more every day about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Given what we know today (which could change next week), here is how we plan to respond to the following what ifs.
What if federal or state officials order a shut down?
We will return to all-online instruction and limit access to campus if mandated by state or federal regulators to do so.
What if Cuyahoga County (which includes Pepper Pike) is raised to Level 4, the most serious/highest-incidence rating for COVID-19 cases per capita?
In collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, we would plan to return to all-online instruction in a “Virtual Plus” model (see below) and limit access to campus. When the county returns to a lower/safer level, we would look towards a safe return to campus.
What if we have a significant outbreak on campus?
If the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 or in direct contact with those infected becomes high enough, this could prompt us to return temporarily to all-online instruction in a “Virtual Plus” model and limit access to campus. We are working closely with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and they will guide our decision-making.
What if someone living in a residence hall tests positive?
We will urge any resident student diagnosed with COVID-19 to recover in their permanent home. If that is not possible, students can isolate there and have meals delivered while they recover. Faculty will provide online instruction. The student can return from isolation after all three of the following are true:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
- Symptoms have improved
And while we are all about freedom of expression, remember not to post about someone else’s health status on social media. That's their story to tell, if they choose!
If we go back to online instruction, how will things be different than in March?
A lot has changed since March. Among many examples: we have purchased powerful cleaning products and upped our cleaning schedule; we have installed acrylic screens and hand sanitizer stations; we have removed lots of furniture from campus to accommodate only a few people in any given room; and we have all learned to wear masks, wash hands more than ever, assess our health, and keep a safe distance.
For these reasons, if we need to return to online instruction, we are calling our model “Virtual Plus.” You will have virtual/online instruction to limit face-to-face interaction, but you will also keep your access to necessary resources on and off campus. We will provide details when/if we operate on “Virtual Plus,” but in general:
- We will not close residence halls.
- Nursing clinicals will continue, as long as they are allowed by our practice partners.
- Field work for other disciplines will likely continue, as long as those sites remain open.
- We anticipate the Library and computer labs staying open for student use.
- We anticipate the fitness center remaining open.
Let’s take care of ourselves and one another, Arrows!
Stay tuned and stay safe. We are excited to see you on campus next week! And remember—we are all in this together.
Deanne W. Hurley
Vice President for Student Affairs
Civil Rights Investigator
Kathryn M. LaFontana, PhD
Vice President for Academic Affairs