Dear Campus Community,
Last spring, when we first began evaluating the effects of a global pandemic, it was hard to imagine what our campus would look like this academic year. Now, at nearly the midterm point of the fall semester, many of you have shown your commitment to our health guidelines. Thank you for wearing a mask when around others, practicing social distancing and good hand-washing & hygiene, staying home if you are sick, and seeking out testing if you have possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. EKU is often referred to as a home away from home. It is easy to be comfortable here and I love that about our community. But for now, we must never let complacency cloud our commitment to mitigate COVID-19.
Addressing a global pandemic is hard work - we know it can be restrictive and stressful, we know it limits activities, but we also know these measures will afford us our best shot at finishing this semester with an on-campus experience. This is a marathon--not a sprint. A surge of positive cases could require us to change our on-campus experience for both instruction and work. There is much work left to do as we enter the homestretch of this semester. We must remain vigilant, and adhere to the health and safety protocols that we know will work. We have observed local and national trends showing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. To reinforce the measures within our Colonels Comeback plan, we have reactivated our Colonels Care Coordinators program this week. You will see these dedicated volunteers inside our campus buildings to help with compliance and offer needed assistance to reinforce our guidelines. Continuing our on-campus experience is a shared responsibility by everyone in the campus community. I know we are up to the challenge.
Living and Learning During the Fall Season
Fall is a beautiful season on EKU’s campus. This year the changing temperatures will bring new challenges related to the pandemic. Outdoor spaces will be used less frequently and spending more time indoors with others can increase the spread of illness. Be mindful of mask-wearing and stay six feet or more from others at all times, even when wearing a facial covering. Facial coverings offer a higher level of protection. Still, they don’t replace the need for social distancing, and will not prevent someone from being considered a primary contact if they are within six feet for 15-minutes or more of a confirmed positive case. It is also important to limit interactions with those outside your household, and avoid large gatherings where social distancing is not enforced.
Campus Events and Activities
Our faculty and staff have worked for months to preserve as much of the learning and social experiences possible. EKU Athletics has prepared carefully to compete in our first home football game this Saturday, October 3, and will do so in compliance with all current guidelines. The Marching Colonels will provide a post-game show to celebrate the first home game and show off their new uniforms. We encourage you to cheer on our Colonels at Roy Kidd Stadium in a healthy way. Game day and ticket information is available at EKUsports.com. All of the same requirements expected in the classroom will be expected on game day too. You will notice new safety measures and seating changes to honor social distancing requirements, and tailgating is not currently allowed.
If we comply with all health regulations while gathering for game day, we can enjoy more flexibility for additional activities in the future. We are already beginning to allow more campus events that can be held in a healthy manner on a limited basis. We look forward to gathering again on October 23 & 24 for Homecoming Weekend. All events are being coordinated and approved through EKU Public Safety & Risk Management, Student Life, and Conferencing & Events. We also continue to provide and seek the best options for virtual programming and events with support from EKU IT Services. Please contact any of these areas to explore options that comply with our campus event requirements.
We are tasked more than ever with doing our part to keep ourselves and others healthy. I am so proud of you. For these final 2 months, continue to look out for yourself and each other. Thank you for the effort, thank you for the commitment, thank you for helping make EKU a great place to learn, work and live. Let’s keep it up.
David T. McFaddin
Published on October 02, 2020