Message from Chancellor Watson on COVID-19 and Spring Break
Dear campus community,
Spring is officially here — and with it the hope of warmer weather and positive progress with regard to the pandemic. I am proud of the efforts of our faculty, staff and students to get tested and to practice safe behaviors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
These challenging times have taken a toll on all of us. Many are dealing with COVID-19 fatigue, and there is a desire to return to activities as they were pre-pandemic. But we must remain vigilant. We do not want to see another “wave,” so we must do all that we can so that case numbers continue to decrease.
We ask everyone at both our Whitewater and Rock County campuses to continue to follow the principles outlined in the Warhawk Social Covenant. This includes wearing face coverings, maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently and staying home if you don’t feel well.
Testing is fast, easy and critical.
A reminder that COVID-19 testing is mandatory for students, faculty and staff who come to campus, unless they are fully vaccinated. Schedule your test >>
As previously announced, Spring Break will be held April 19-23.
Without question, the health and safety of our campuses and our communities is our top priority. Mental health is one of the critical aspects of wellness that the pandemic has especially underscored, and it is central to our decision regarding spring break. This is why, working closely in consultation with our students and governance leaders, we decided to delay rather than cancel Spring Break.
I heard loud and clear that a Spring Break is a necessary part of helping to support the mental health of our students and others. I believe this decision is the best way to provide students, faculty and staff with a break during the spring semester, while also considering the concerns related to having people leave our campuses and return to our communities.
The EOC would like to remind you that the following travel protocols are still in place, based on the CDC’s current travel recommendations under COVID-19:
- Get tested for COVID-19 before you travel and immediately when you return, especially if you plan on returning to campus.
- Do not travel if you are COVID-19-positive.
- While on vacation, continue to take precautions:
- Wear a face covering
- Avoid crowds
- Maintain a 6-foot distance from others
- Wash your hands frequently with soap/water or use hand sanitizer
- If you are traveling outside of the U.S., allow for extra time to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to the U.S., as currently required by the CDC.
After Spring Break we’ll be back on campus.
We will return to campus for about three weeks to complete classes, final exams and commencement. In our ongoing effort to keep our campuses safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue mandatory testing and the following of the Warhawk Social Covenant practices.
As always, we will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19. If conditions change, we’ll work together as a university community to respond as necessary. Thank you, Warhawk family. Please be safe and be well as we usher in the spring season.
Dr. Dwight C. Watson