Update from the President
November 6, 2020
Dear Wheeling University Community,
This past week has been a challenging one for our community. Since last Friday, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus, causing the closing of offices and the quarantining of employees and students. However, the infections have not deterred or undermined our ability to keep students on campus and learning in–person. This spike in positive cases has increased our concern for the health and safety among students, staff, and faculty. With 17 days until Thanksgiving break, adherence to our safety protocols is so very important. Our commitment to wearing a mask, washing/sanitizing our hands, and continuing to social distance will guard against the spread of this terrible virus.
Our random surveillance testing this week has resulted in two new positive COVID-19 cases—a decline from last week’s results. Both individuals have been placed in quarantine. As an additional safety precaution, we are instituting new dining guidelines inside the Benedum Room to better ensure social distancing protocols are followed. As such, the seating capacity at dining tables will be limited to four people. Also, we are requiring all students and employees to wear masks on campus at all times – both inside and outside.
Unfortunately, I continue to hear that protocols are being misinterpreted or relaxed in some departments and this cannot be the case. Having protocols and guidelines are important, however, what is most important to flattening the curve is for everyone to follow these rules. Students – please make smart decisions and do not gather in large groups, stay on campus, and do not give in to the temptations of traveling outside the area. You are safest on campus. Faculty and Staff – you too must make smart decisions and not do anything that endangers the health of this campus community. As we learned last week, the decision of a few can and will affect many of our students and employees. Keeping everyone safe and healthy is our top priority.
With flu season approaching and COVID-19 cases on the rise, it is important for everyone to get a flu shot this year. As such, a flu shot clinic, coordinated by CVS Pharmacy, will be held for all students and employees from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, November 20 in Troy Theater. A small fee will be charged to those whose insurance coverage is not accepted. Getting a vaccine protects you and those around you from getting the flu. Flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, making it harder to distinguish between the two viruses and both can result in serious illness.
There is still time for students to register for our ‘Wintermester.’ This term begins December 12 and runs until January 10, 2021. We will offer a variety of courses during this term including Business 161 – Start Up a Business: Design & Planning, Psychology 161 – Psychology of Coaching, and Engineering Science 464 – Alternative Energy Sources. In all, 27 courses will be offered, which gives students the chance to get ahead academically. Students can find the full list of courses, as well as register for courses, in Academus. Pricing is the same discounted format as our Summer of Purpose.
A water break on campus has caused us to shut off water campus-wide until approximately 6 p.m. today. Local contractor, Savage Construction, is on campus making repairs to the broken line. I ask for your patience and understanding while we work to fix this problem.
I am enormously grateful to this community – you have certainly stepped up to help whenever there has been a need. Since March, this community has found solutions when challenges arose. You have approached every situation with grace and generosity – putting the needs of others ahead of your own. Your care for our students and one another makes me so very proud to be a part of this wonderful Cardinal Family.
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University