End of Semester/Return to Campus Update
I hope this message finds you well, and looking forward to the Christmas holidays and frankly, a break from the semester.
It has always been a top priority that you and your families are safe and healthy as we navigate the real-life challenges of the pandemic. The holiday surge in cases is already present and on the rise, especially after Thanksgiving. Indiana was recently noted as having the highest rate of infection in the nation for COVID cases, and Madison County continues to rise in daily cases.
The COVID task force has initiated a proactive response to mitigate the increased risk of infection by asking departments to provide maximum flexibility in allowing employees to work remotely when job duties allow, and by scheduling exit and re-entry testing (more details below).
In our best efforts to send you home to your loved ones in a safe and healthy manner, we have organized exit testing for students, faculty, and staff.
- Testing will be offered on Monday, December 14, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the O.C. Lewis balcony. This exit testing is free, rapid, and self-administered (not the common deep nasal testing as I’m sure you are more familiar).
- You may sign up for testing here.
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity, arranged by our COVID task force and Dr. Sarah Neal. You have the chance to have peace of mind if you choose to visit and celebrate with loved ones. Testing will also assist in developing an isolation plan for those of you who test positive.
Returning to Campus in January 2021
We plan to return to campus as scheduled on the academic calendar with classes beginning on January 13, 2021. Some fall and winter sports teams will start earlier as they prepare for their delayed season. For the safety and care of others, I ask for you to participate in the free rapid testing on January 11 prior to our collective return to campus, as noted below.
- The university will be offering re-entry testing exclusively to faculty and staff on January 11 from 9 a.m. – noon in the Reardon lobby.
- If you choose not to participate in AU’s free rapid testing, please make arrangements to get a valid (PCR) COVID test and report any positive result via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before returning to campus in person. Those who test positive will be given individual and confidential counsel.
I couldn’t be more proud of how our campus community has faced the challenges 2020 has brought us. Let’s continue to move forward together, united, and resilient. No matter what, we are #StillAU.
John S. Pistole