Employ Preventative Measures as COVID-19 Trends Higher

November 16, 2020

I regret to report the number of positive COVID-19 cases has been trending markedly higher over the last couple of weeks.  This trend has been observed across our local region and state, as well as much of the country.  More importantly, the number of positive cases reported among members of the Southeastern community, especially students, has recently risen significantly.  However, consistent with our experience over the last several months, these cases appear to be largely associated with off-campus social and familial gatherings. 

In any case, many of these new positive COVID cases are associated with situations where the basic safety protocols are not being followed.  As I have done previously, I implore each of you to employ these measures both on and off campus.  Wear your mask.  Distance from others.  Wash your hands.  Avoid congregating in groups.

These are not unreasonable measures, but these practices significantly reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus. 

I absolutely understand the desire by all of us to return to more normal levels of social and familial interaction.  Unfortunately, these activities frequently lead to spread of the virus, placing members of vulnerable populations at risk of life-threatening illness, placing healthcare providers at risk of being overwhelmed and placing the economy at risk of severe downturn. 

Development of new preventative and therapeutic pharmaceuticals for COVID-19 are progressing quickly and likely will be widely available in the months ahead.  In the meantime, we must focus on the personal protective measures that we know help mitigate spread of the virus.

Again, I implore all of our campus constituents to always employ the basic protective measures and to avoid social and familial gatherings whenever possible.  By following these practices, we can control the virus rather than letting the virus control us.

In order to ensure our campus community is doing its part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, we will revisit our current framework for events and activities.  As a result, some currently planned events may need to be altered or canceled.

Additionally, I am pleased to announce the University has COVID-19 testing available free of charge to anyone who would like to be tested.  If you are concerned about your status, especially prior to holiday or end-of-semester travel that may put you in close proximity with individuals who may be vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19, you should consider getting tested. 

In partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health, the Louisiana National Guard will be conducting RT-PCR COVID-19 testing on campus November 18 and 19 in the Student Union from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on both days.  You can register at http://health.questdiagnostics.com/STLOU.

The University Health Center is also providing free Rapid Antigen testing - appointments can be made at www.southeastern.edu/health.


John L. Crain