Important message from Chancellor Watson on COVID-19
Today, I need to have a frank conversation regarding COVID-19 and our community. Wisconsin is in the midst of a surge, including nearly a week of record-breaking positive cases. The state continues to see increases in the numbers of people hospitalized and deaths. UW-Whitewater’s positive test rates are also on the rise.
Our state is at a critical point in this pandemic. It is important that everyone do their part to curb the spread. Locally, if we want to keep our university healthy and safe, and to continue to function on campus, we must flatten the curve. How do we do that? Testing. Everyone needs to get tested – students, faculty and staff. This critical action will help stop community spread by identifying those who are contagious but not showing symptoms.
We expect students to be tested before they leave for home or elsewhere for the Thanksgiving holiday. Students who live in the residence halls will be tested twice upon their return post-Thanksgiving. UW System President Tommy G. Thompson is requiring this for all UW System campuses. President Thompson asks that we all spread a culture of responsibility and not COVID-19. Additional information on this measure will be sent to students in the coming days.
Faculty and staff should also be tested twice if they plan to be on campus.
While testing is critically important, there are other steps you can also take to help keep our community safe:
- Commit to staying home unless leaving is essential. What is essential? This would include going to work, to class, for groceries and prescriptions.
- Do not gather with people outside of your immediate living situation.
- Wear your mask. Face coverings help stop the spread.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
- Remain a minimum of six feet from others, even if you are wearing a mask.
- If you aren’t feeling well, stay home. If you show symptoms, get tested, stay home and isolate.
We can’t wait for someone else to do what it takes to stop the spread of COVID-19. Each of us has the ability and opportunity to flatten the curve. By committing to getting tested and following the guidelines, we can change the trajectory of this virus.
Dr. Dwight C. Watson