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Important Message about COVID-19 from President Chillo (3.22.2020)

As the University continues to respond to the continually changing context regarding COVID-19 in our physical environment and in our community (on-campus and remotely), I am committed to providing updates as our response to coronavirus evolves.

Late last evening, the University was contacted by a current student to inform us that a family member has tested positive for COVID-19. We are still gathering details and the dean of students is in touch with the student to ensure that we have all of the current information as to the health of the student and the family.

Here is the latest information as of this morning. The student is a commuter and the family member has tested positive and is currently in the 9th day of infection. The family member is under doctor’s care. No one in the family, except for the one family member, has tested positive. The student’s last contact on-campus was Friday, March 6 (before spring break). The dean of students has informed the student that she is not to return to campus and to self-quarantine as instructed by University policy and the CDC. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

As reported (Saturday), an employee at the University was diagnosed with pneumonia and has not yet been tested for COVID-19. The employee is following University policy regarding the illness and has self-quarantined for 14 days. Employees who may have come in contact with this individual have been contacted by the University and the affected employee. We have also asked those employees to identify who else they may have been in contact with during this period of time. As soon as additional information becomes available, we will keep you informed.

Given this weekend’s announcements, the University will ask all employees to work remotely until further notice. Some essential employees will continue to be present on campus on a modified schedule to ensure the continuity of the University’s operations. Essential employees that are needed on campus will be notified by their area vice president. Selected members of Cabinet are essential employees who report to campus on a regular basis, though the regular basis may be on a modified schedule. Those individuals are President Chillo, Vice President Munson, and Acting Provost Garriga. As a reminder, if you are working remotely and have not done so already, the University asks that you forward your office number to your cellphone or home phone number – instructions will be sent out later today as a reminder.

Again, I remind employees if you are ill or an immediate member of your family is ill, please contact Laura Custer, director of human resources, at custerl@thomasmore.edu. For students, please contact Antwone Cameron, dean of students, at cameroa@thomasmore.edu. Prompt notification is necessary to protect the well-being of the University community.

I continue to hope and pray that you and your families remain safe and healthy.

Best,

President Chillo