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COVID-19: Reporting of COVID-19 Cases - March 31, 2020

Hello BSU Faculty, Librarians and Staff,

Today, we received notification of our first students diagnosed with COVID-19. Given the scale of this pandemic it was inevitable that our campus community would not be spared from impact. The three students are at their homes recuperating in isolation and have been diligent in following CDC guidelines for social distancing. We are communicating with you today in an effort to ensure that we are coordinated in providing the very best support to our students, and it is with that in mind that we share the following points. 

First, we would like to request that anyone who learns of a student with COVID-19 communicate that information to either myself cfrazer@bridgew.edu or Vice President Leuenberger dleuenberger@bridgew.edu. By providing us with this information, we can support these students during their convalescence by connecting them to Health Services clinical staff. We, like you, want to make sure students know that even in isolation, they’re not in this alone

Second, we would like to explain the process that occurs once a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 so that you can be assured that you need only notify myself or VP Leuenberger and then focus on supporting them in other ways. Once a student tests positive for COVID-19, several actions occur, including: 

  • they will have been asked to isolate for 14 days, presuming their symptoms are not sufficiently urgent to require hospitalization. 
  • the physician or laboratory completing the testing will have notified the local Board of Health, which may, upon notification of a positive result, initiate a ‘contact tracing’ process. 
  • if contact tracing is initiated, BSU will be notified so that we can attend to the safety of our community. 

Finally, while the individual impact of this virus ranges significantly, some students who are experiencing severe symptoms may not be able to fully participate in their course(s). We appreciate any patience, kindness and flexibility you can offer students that will support the completion of their work. In cases where the nature of the work or timing of the illness presents a unique challenge to academic success, accommodations may be appropriate. If you are aware of a student potentially in need of accommodations due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, please guide them to Jenna Shales in the Disability Resources Office, who can be reached via email at jshales@bridgew.edu.

These are unprecedented times for higher education, and thankfully the BSU community is uniquely well-suited to respond. We have always cared for each student as individuals, and that compassion is evident now during this time of unprecedented need. Let us support each other as we take action in supporting our students. 

Regards,

Chris Frazer
Executive Director 
Wellness Center
Bridgewater State University