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Dear DePauw Students, Faculty and Staff, 

As we start the fall term, we wanted to send an update so that the community has clear and current information about COVID mitigation on our campus.  As a reminder:

After the first week of extra-curricular and co-curricular activity for students, we have identified a small cluster of six positive cases within the student population. These positives appear to be due to group activities without masks and do not represent untraceable spread. The identified students have been isolated through our contact tracing process and are under the care of DePauw Health and DePauw’s CARE Team. 

Mitigation strategies and protective behaviors are effective at preventing the spread of COVID. We encourage you to practice protective behaviors including vaccinating, masking, socializing outdoors, distancing when able, washing your hands, and staying home when ill. These are highly effective strategies that you can use to protect yourselves and your community. As a reminder:

  • Masking is required during classes and similar academic activities regardless of vaccination status, unless the instructor notes for pedagogical reasons masks are optional for the faculty member (if vaccinated) and/or for vaccinated students. 

  • Masking is required at all large indoor gatherings (50 or more) regardless of vaccination status.

  • Masking is required for unvaccinated individuals when indoors except when in the privacy of their own space.

  • Masking continues to be highly recommended for all vaccinated individuals when indoors.

Additional Fall guidelines are available here.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Even if you are vaccinated, you can contract COVID-19. We continue to recommend daily monitoring of your health and reporting to DePauw Health Wellness Center or your primary care physician if you have any concerning symptoms. 

Symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. More information from the CDC regarding symptoms can be found here

What to do if you are sick

If you are sick or have symptoms, please contact DePauw Health for further direction. Please immediately self-isolate from others and wear a medical mask or cloth face covering.  

DePauw Health does not currently accept walk-in appointments and should be contacted by phone at 765-658-4555. 

Close Contact Information

You are considered a close contact if you have been within 6 feet of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. To this end, it will be advantageous if faculty can establish student seating charts in classrooms so students who do not know each other, but would be considered close contacts, can be contact traced if a positive result were to occur. 

Identified close contacts are notified by DePauw through the contact tracing process. If someone from DePauw calls and leaves you a message, it is imperative for you to return the call and wait for instructions. If you believe you meet close contact criteria and you have not been notified, email contacttracing@depauw.edu with details.

The Mitigation Team is working with the DePauw CARE Team on a mechanism to notify faculty when there are extenuating circumstances that require a student not to attend class in person. As with other communication from the DePauw CARE Team (concerning critical issues such as a death in the family, mental health concern, physical illness, etc.), specific details will NOT be included. Rather, the message will inform the instructor generally that there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the student from attending in-person classes for a specified period of time. The message will encourage the student and faculty member to work together to address the situation. Additional details of this approach will be announced as soon as possible. 

Putnam County Spread, Local Testing and Vaccination Opportunities 

Because of the current level of transmission in Putnam County, the Indiana Department of Health will be running a special clinic to increase testing and vaccination efforts in Putnam County. They will be offering PCR and Binax tests as well as Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccinations at Robe Ann Park Monday 8/23 through Wednesday 8/25 from noon - 8:00pm and are capable of administering up to 300 tests per day. 

Putnam County Hospital is currently offering COVID-19 testing Mondays from 10am-2pm, Tuesdays 1pm-6pm, Fridays 10am-2pm, and the first Saturday of every month from 8am-noon.

The Putnam County Health Department is also administering vaccinations. Visit www.ourshot.in.gov to secure an appointment, which is strongly recommended. Walk-ins are accepted from 9:00am-11:30am, and 1:00pm-5:30pm. 

Sincerely, 

The COVID-19 Mitigation Team 

Sarah Steinkamp
Dorian Shager
Julia Proctor
Mariel Wilderson
Scott Spiegelberg
Sharon Crary
Stevie Baker-Watson