Dear Union College Community,
We are experiencing a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases among students. In just the past two days, there have already been more than 20 student positives. More than 60 students are in quarantine. This number will continue to increase as we complete contact tracing.
What we are seeing
- There are several concerning differences between what we are observing now, and what we observed earlier this term and last term. They include increases in:
- the overall number of cases
- symptomatic cases
- the number of individuals who become positive in quarantine
- The virus is being transmitted within friend groups. We do not have evidence that this is the result of a small number of large gatherings.
- We are seeing fatigue in compliance with health and safety protocols, most notably, less adherence to social distancing and mask wearing.
These increases remind us that COVID-19 is still present in our community and surrounding areas, which underscores the continuing need for vigilance.
What we need you to do
Help reduce the risk of an outbreak that could jeopardize a successful spring term.
- Follow health and safety protocols. If you have relaxed your compliance with health and safety protocols, return to what you were doing earlier in the term.
- Note that there are no visitors allowed in campus buildings – including residence halls.
- We recommend double masking, even when you are not on campus.
Be mindful that your activities and decisions, both large and small, can affect our entire campus community and beyond. What we do this week, and what we do when classes resume next week, will likely determine whether we have a spring term with more activities and interactions, or one reminiscent of the more challenging days of winter term. Please remember that a healthy Union starts with U.
We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and will share additional information later in the week.
David R. Harris