Dear Campus Community,
Let me begin by again thanking the Wright State University community for its collective efforts in keeping the spread of COVID-19 in check across our campuses and our region through disciplined and safe behavior this semester. Wright State students, faculty, and staff have been positive, responsible, and cooperative.
We are approaching the busy fall and winter holiday season when families and friends typically gather together indoors, so it’s more important than ever to not let our guard down. As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise in the Dayton region and across Ohio we all must continue to do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The holidays will need to be much different than in previous years to keep ourselves and others safe and to diminish the spread of COVID-19. Please consider avoiding any large gatherings that you may normally participate in and be mindful of physically distancing yourselves from others. If you plan to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, be sure to follow safe and sensible practices while you visit.
There are many ways you can make a real difference, and this year perhaps the best way is to model behavior that you have already been practicing on campus. Taking home what we have practiced on campus with face coverings, physical distancing, and handwashing is more important than ever before.
Overall, unless our state and local health partners intervene, we are still on course to finish out the semester in accordance with our fall plan. As you know, all classes will transition to fully remote delivery starting Monday, November 30. Fall Semester will conclude with remote finals too, and a virtual fall commencement is planned for December 12.
Because of the uptick in regional COVID-19 cases, we remind everyone who will be on campus next week to be particularly cautious about wearing masks and distancing from one another. We have made it through the entire semester with good results—let’s see it through to the holiday break!
Related to that point, I have received some inquiries about campus operations as we finish out the semester given that our students will pivot to 100 percent remote classes after the holiday and COVID cases are on the rise. As has been the case throughout the semester, employees should work with their supervisors to discuss moving to remote work if appropriate after Thanksgiving and into the next semester. It would be smart to consider in advance any technology concerns that may need to be addressed to support remote work. Students also should plan ahead and take advantage of services offered by the university to support their remote needs.
The safety and wellness of students and employees has been, and will continue to be, our number one priority as we make our decisions. We are taking the appropriate precautions to keep our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe. We will continue to monitor the pandemic in partnership with Greene and Mercer County Public Health Departments and the State of Ohio, and we will comply with guidelines and mandates as they evolve.
I also want to remind employees and students that cold and flu season is upon us. If you have any cold or flu symptoms, be cautious, and stay home. Now is the time to take care of yourself. I urge all on our campuses to take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and others safe this holiday season.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Douglas W. Leaman, Ph.D.