Some of you have asked whether there have been any positive cases of COVID-19 among our campus community. I’m writing to share our process for reporting such cases.
Since COVID-19 emerged as a threat earlier this year, we have worked diligently to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Salem Board of Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Board of Higher Education for guidance on responding to suspected cases, reporting, and keeping our community safe.
As we entered spring break in March, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus. We were fortunate that we went to remote work and online classes just in time to prevent spread on campus. However, now that we are in mid-April there is broad community spread in our region, and we are aware that members of our campus community are impacted. We have been in communication with students, faculty and staff who have either tested positive for COVID-19, are presumed positive based on their symptoms, or have been exposed and have needed to quarantine. In all of these cases, we are providing outreach to make sure they have the health care and support they need, and are following the public health guidance.
Fortunately, we have not had to do contact tracing or notify the larger community as these individuals were not on campus when they were symptomatic and did not pose a known threat to our community. We will protect individuals’ right to privacy and will follow guidance to only share limited information with those who need to know. While the majority of our community is no longer on campus, we are prepared to respond to residential students or essential employees if needed.
Unfortunately, we expect the number of community members impacted by this virus to increase over the next month, and we will continue to provide them with support. We ask students, faculty and staff to notify us if they have been impacted by COVID-19 because we want to make sure that everyone is following public health guidance to protect the larger community and reduce spread. We also want to provide support and resources.
Who to Contact
If you are a member of faculty or staff and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to somebody who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please notify Ezekiel Holt, ADA and leave coordinator at email@example.com or by telephone at 978.542.7229.
Students impacted by COVID-19 should contact counseling and health services. Students can send a health portal message or leave a voicemail with health services, 978.542.6413. Our Nurse Practitioners will reach out to offer health care, guidance and connect students with other SSU resources as needed.
If an employee learns that a student is ill or suspects that they may have COVID-19 please notify Elisa Castillo, assistant dean of students for wellness, so a member of the health services team can reach out to this student and offer support. Elisa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continued care and concern for our community. We are thinking of those impacted, and we are forever grateful for the health care workers who are taking care of our community during this time. Thank you for staying home and following the health guidelines. Together we will get through this.
Elisa Castillo, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students for Wellness