Dear Parents and Guardians of on-campus students,
It was such a thrill to see many of you on campus as you helped your students move in and get settled for our new school year. As we begin to engage with each other on campus in new ways, we have seen the great care our students have for each other and their community. Our current COVID-19 motto, Tigers Take Care, can be felt across our community and we will continue to count on your support in helping it ring true.
We have also already seen a small amount of viral spread on our campus. Despite your student’s careful attention to following our guidelines and our university plan, we were prepared for this to happen, as it has on many campuses around the country. Our plans are outlined in the Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements, which your student committed to follow upon their return to campus. As such, our Health and Safety team, along with DePauw Health and our contact tracing team have already begun to inform individual students regarding actions they may need to take to help keep our community safe: isolation and quarantine. Both of these actions are CDC practices, and students will be requested to do so under the direction of DePauw University, the Putnam County Health Department and DePauw Health.
When a student is asked to isolate themselves, this means they have either tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, or are clinically confirmed by DePauw Health or another medical provider and awaiting test results. These students will be given instructions on what to bring with them (their “go bags”, including their thermometers, school work, electronics and power cords) as they are transferred to a building and room designated exclusively for isolation housing. The designated rooms are outfitted with sheets, towels, some toiletry items and cleaning supplies.
Students in isolation housing will be supported by a COVID CARE Team Manager who will ensure the student is connected to University services like appropriate dining delivery, Counseling Services, the Center for Spiritual Life, and a Health Manager who will monitor the student’s health under the guidance of DePauw Health.
These students will receive instructions on when to return to their regular living unit, and attend classes and other campus activities. It is imperative that they follow all instructions provided by contact tracers, DePauw Health and their Health Manager to help keep others from becoming infected.
For more information about DePauw’s isolation protocols, click here.
When a student is asked to quarantine, this means they have been determined by our contact tracing team to have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 or someone who was clinically confirmed by DePauw Health or another medical provider. As students have already been placed in individual rooms, quarantine instruction should not require students to move rooms or residence halls. Based on the interactions of students in apartments, residence halls or fraternities and sorority houses, we may ask an entire floor or building to quarantine.
This direction will require them to be much more careful as they go about some of their activities. Students in quarantine may leave their living unit to pick up food (grab and go only) at a location to be determined by Bon Appetit, and to lightly exercise outside, while wearing a mask and staying physically distanced from others. They will be asked not to attend any in-person classes for a period of time but will still be able to access their courses by remote methods. Students in quarantine should not pick up their mail, but rather work with the Mail Room to have someone else pick up mail and deliveries for them.
The purpose of quarantine is to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, given that we are living and learning in a larger community than you might be in your home. Our main goal with quarantine is to ensure we keep spread across our community as low as we are able. In some cases, students may end up being moved from quarantine to isolation with a positive test or clinically confirmed symptoms, or may be asymptomatic but still be able to spread the virus during the time they are quarantined.
For more information about DePauw’s quarantine protocols, click here.
Both of these situations may be challenging, physically and emotionally, for your student. We know that asking them to scale back their in-person activities and essentially become temporary remote students while on campus or in their residence is not an easy task.
But we need your assistance in asking your student to care for themselves and their classmates, friends and our employees when they are asked to quarantine or isolate themselves. Taking these directives seriously is what will help us ensure your student is able to attend in-person courses and on-campus activities once they are clinically cleared to do so. To that end, you can also help us by ensuring your student(s) have updated their current cell phone number in our system.
Please know that our resources remain available at all times. DePauw Counseling Services will be using a telehealth approach in delivering the majority of their services this term, and have updated their catalog of virtual support options for students on and off campus. Our Spiritual Life team is also available virtually for students interested in spiritual care, consultation and support. We encourage your students to stay virtually connected to friends and family.
It is our number one priority to care for the health and safety of your students. Our Health and Safety team, along with DePauw Health and our contact tracing team are dedicated to helping students directly who have been impacted by COVID-19. Students directed to quarantine or isolate will be asked to share this information with their parents or guardians.
Should you have any outstanding questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Student Academic Life at 765-658-4270.
Vice President for Student Academic Life and Dean of Students