Dear DePauw Students and Employees,
As you look toward travel over the next several weeks, either leaving campus or for other reasons, we want to remind you of the COVID-19 mitigation measures highly suggested by the CDC and state health departments. As of yesterday, the CDC is now recommending against travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.
For those who decide to travel, the CDC strongly recommends mitigation strategies including masking when around others at all times, proper hand washing techniques, and physically distancing yourself from others. Spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is happening among families and friends even in spaces where you may typically feel safe.
In recent days, we’ve received many requests from students and employees for asymptomatic testing as the holiday gathering season approaches. We want to caution you that testing is only one part of a strategy to reduce the likelihood of viral transmission to others. Non-pharmaceutical interventions - masking, distancing, washing hands and surfaces frequently, and staying away from others when you don't feel well - are far more effective to reduce viral transmission. A single test can give a false sense of security to those who are being tested and you should continue to be disciplined in your interactions with others.
Additionally, many COVID-19 testing options are becoming less available and some businesses and hospitals may now have local or self-imposed additional requirements or limitations, so please be sure to 'know before you go’, and check state and business websites when possible.
If after leaving campus you do not feel well, remember to isolate yourself and seek medical care. The DePauw Health Wellness Center remains an option for telehealth visits for all resident and commuter students as well as employees who are part of DePauw’s insurance plan. Employees and remote students who need access to care should call their primary physician.
As Indiana begins adding additional safety measures due to the high COVID-19 positivity rates, Putnam County’s status may change to orange or red. Changes such as these may not directly impact university operations but mean that additional restrictions have been implemented at the county level. The current statewide requirements for all Hoosiers can be found here, including limitations for red counties. We will communicate if any operations changes are needed.
DePauw is a community that looks out for one another and supports each other through the tough times. You have done such a great job of leading by demonstrating our public health practices, taking care when you were out in the Greencastle community, and helping us all take care of one another. I know it has been a difficult term for many and I thank you for your continued diligence on behalf of our entire campus community.
Alan P. Hill
Vice President for Student Academic Life and Dean of Students