Journey Ahead Update: COVID-19 Dashboard
Throughout this unprecedented season, keeping the campus community healthy and safe has been the top priority of the Anderson University senior leadership team, its Board of Trust, and the COVID-19 Task Force.
Transparency and clear communication are vital to this effort. That’s why, over the last several days, we’ve been developing a COVID-19 Dashboard that will provide weekly updates on the number of individuals on campus who have tested positive for COVID-19. The dashboard will be live on the Journey Ahead website beginning Friday, August 28.
As of today, seven (7) individuals on campus have tested positive for the virus. These are active cases and include faculty, staff, and students. Each was handled appropriately to minimize potential exposure to others. Individuals who have tested positive are being isolated and cared for off-campus, and, pursuant to CDC guidelines, those who have been in close contact are quarantined until cleared by medical professionals. (Please note: this number is subject to change from now until the dashboard is published on Friday.)
We are pleased that, up to this point, it appears that all of your hard work and efforts are paying off. But we cannot let down our guard.
- Refrain from spreading rumors regarding numbers of positive cases, quarantine numbers, or other COVID-19-related information you might have heard. This information may not be reliable. The only accurate source of confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus is the dashboard. It will be updated every Friday beginning August 28, and will report total active cases along with new cases by week.
- Our mask/face covering policy is fairly straightforward. With few exceptions, masks or face coverings are required indoors at all times, and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. You should, however, recognize that a limited number of individuals may have health conditions or other extenuating factors that have been medically documented and appropriately approved to exempt them from wearing a mask or face covering. Because such situations are confidential, you may not be aware of those who need an accommodation. Please practice grace and understanding.
- Some students or faculty may need accommodations for in-person instruction. For instance, a hearing impaired student may depend on reading lips. In such an instance an instructor may not be able to wear a mask. Again, these issues are confidential, so we are asking you to reserve judgement and show grace to others.
- While wearing a mask or face covering is important, physical distancing is probably the most important preventative measure. Be sure to maintain a distance of six feet at all times--but especially when eating and drinking. While most of you are complying with this critically important protocol, special care should be taken to keep distant from others when you are in lines, particularly at Chick-fil-A and Books and Beans. Physical distancing is also important while eating and everyone should follow the protocols for community and family tables.
- It is very important that you keep the same safety measures in place while off campus. The virus is just as easy to transmit or contract if you are at a local restaurant, in a car with others, or at a store.
- Avoid being around anyone who is sick. If a student is sick, encourage them to contact Thrive Wellness Center at 864 -622-6078. Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources.
- If you are a student and are sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, it is critical that you isolate yourself and contact Thrive. Faculty and staff should stay home and contact HR.
- Please remember there are many reasons someone may be tested for COVID-19. It does not mean they have contracted the virus. Also, quarantine means different things to different people, but in reality it is simply a way to separate someone who may havebeen exposed to the virus or has symptoms while they are waiting on test results. It does not mean they have COVID-19. It is used as a precautionary measure to prevent potential exposure to others.
- Refrain from going off campus as much as possible. When we’re not managing a pandemic, Anderson is NOT a “suitcase” college. With fewer large group student activities on the weekends, it may be tempting to go home or go with a friend to their home. When you go off campus, even to visit with your parents, you run the risk of bringing the virus from off campus to AU.
We will continue to keep you updated and do all we can to maintain as safe of an environment as possible. Thank you for complying with the guidelines and protocols and for understanding the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself. Your willingness to protect others is at the heart of our University and Christian ideals.
Finally, remember that these measures are only temporary and we look forward to returning to normal campus operations as soon as possible.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.