IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19 FROM PRESIDENT CHILLO (10.30.20)
Dear Thomas More Community,
We are closely monitoring any potential mandates and recommendations being made by the Governors of Kentucky and Ohio as the number of Covid cases increase across our region. While the number of Covid cases are on the rise in Ohio and Kentucky, we have been fortunate that the University’s numbers continue to hold in the “Low Alert” threshold. As you may know, Governor Beshear issued a series of recommendations for “Red” counties in Kentucky this week. We have reviewed those recommendations and we expect Kenton County to become a “Red” county shortly. In preparation, I have asked the Covid Response Team (CRT) to review our options as we are currently in “Low Alert” and what steps we need to implement should we move into a “Moderate Alert” on-campus.
Every Thursday, we will be reviewing these action items along with the number of Covid cases both on-campus and in Kenton County. This will inform our decision as to how best to handle the upcoming week at the University. Since this is a fluid situation, decisions will typically be made for one-week intervals from now until the end of the fall semester. If circumstances warrant, however, CRT, which meets daily, is ready to recommend options to me at shorter notice than a week.
Based on their recommendations along with Cabinet, the University will take the following steps once Kenton County moves to a “Red” county status and Thomas More continues to operate in the “Low Alert” threshold:
· Classes will continue to be held in the modality that they are currently operating in. In-person classes will continue to be held in-person.
· The Director of Athletics will consult with the host institution to determine the health and safety of the campus environment should that institution be located in a red county. No overnights will occur for our athletic teams traveling in red counties.
· We will be increasing cleaning in common spaces and restrooms throughout campus.
· We will be reminding employees and students that no social gatherings should take place.
· We will be further limiting outside guests and visitors to campus; and no visitors will be allowed in the residence halls.
Should Kenton County become a “Red” county and Thomas More moves from a “Low” to “Moderate Alert” threshold, the University will implement the following actions:
· Faculty may decide to pivot in-person classes to remote learning.
· Residence students may continue to live in residence.
· No guests or visitors will be permitted on-campus.
· All athletic events will be closed to the public and teams may be paused depending upon their Covid numbers.
· We will expand take-out options for Campus Dining.
· Remote work option will be expanded for employees.
Our focus continues to be the health and safety of our community, and as we navigate these unusual circumstances, we try to achieve a balance among a variety of factors, including student needs, the community’s well-being, the experience of our peer universities, the Governor’s recommendations, the data on cases both within our University community and the larger community in Kenton County, the especially mature management and containment of Covid by our students, staff, and faculty, etc. As we continue to monitor this situation and its potential impact upon our community, I encourage you to review the University’s Covid Dashboard daily.
Best, President Chillo