Over the past four days we have had eleven students test positive for COVID-19. All are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Through contact tracing we have quarantined more than 130 additional students for the protection of the campus. As we have been repeatedly reminding everyone, it is imperative that each of us act responsibly, wear facial coverings in public settings, socially distance and use common sense. When we do this, we protect ourselves and the campus community.
A significant majority of the student body are to be commended for following the rules and enabling D&E to complete about 80% of the semester to date. Your cooperation and maturity in this time of crisis is greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, a small number of our students have chosen to act irresponsibly, and in so doing have put their fellow students, faculty, and staff at risk. Risky behavior such as large gatherings, on or off-campus parties, and particularly going to local bars has resulted in the virus being introduced again to the campus community. In addition to being disappointed in this irresponsible behavior, I want to make clear that not following COVID protocols will result in disciplinary action. Students isolated in the Byrd Center or quarantined in your residence halls must follow the rules of your separation without exception. As has already occurred this semester, egregious violations of COVID protocols will result in dismissal from the College. This is necessary for the protection of the campus community.
D&E is committed to completing this semester with the present blend of primarily in-person classes mixed with limited hybrid and online offerings. Your full cooperation in following the rules is the key to the next three weeks. In advance, I offer my thanks for your decision to act responsibly and do what is best for our campus community and keeping #DEStrong.
Chris A. Wood
Halliehurst, Second Floor
100 Campus Drive, Elkins, WV 26241