The following email was sent to the campus community on August 21, 2020.
Subject: Take precautions against getting and spreading COVID-19
This is a note that I would not normally send after the first week of classes, but let’s face it, these are not normal times.
So right off the bat – our goal has been to provide you with an on-campus experience that is a little different, but still gives you the opportunity to learn, have fun, grow and make new friends.
Our faculty and staff have worked very hard to make this possible. And, guess what? We made it through the first week. Faculty and staff are excited to be here and we hope you are, too.
But we can’t forget that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Our ability to keep campus open depends on all of us taking precautions. We all still need to wear masks. We still need to social distance whenever possible.
And this isn’t just important when we’re on campus. We’re all part of the Springfield community and we need to do our part to protect others and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
We know that normal for many of you means going to parties and hanging out with large groups. Unfortunately, this is going to put everyone at risk and jeopardize our ability to remain open.
Closures at other universities were driven by hotspots that resulted from parties, crowded bars and other large group activities. Please don’t be the superspreader.
We have had an uptick in students testing positive in the first week, which we expected. These students followed the right procedures and you need to, as well.
If you are exhibiting symptoms and don’t feel well – DO NOT GO TO CLASS, ANY EVENT OR ANYWHERE ELSE! Remain in your room and reach out to the COVID-19 Response Team:
Take quarantining seriously. It’s not a lot of fun, but it’s also not a joke.
Wear a mask and wash your hands.
And when you wear your mask, please make sure that it completely covers both your nose and mouth at all times – before, during and after classes, in the hallways, study/lobby areas, etc.
Be kind and considerate to others (we hope you do this all the time, but now it’s especially important).
You hear us talk a lot about our public affairs mission. During this time, being a Citizen Bear is more important than ever.
Clifton M. Smart III