August 14, 2020 - COVID-19 Update
A message from President Hasseler - August 14, 2020
Dear Members of the Muskingum Community:
We are very much looking forward to welcoming both new and returning Muskies – and their excitement and enthusiasm – to campus for another successful fall semester. While things may look a bit different right now, the rich experience of living and learning at Muskingum has not changed.
Beginning this Sunday, August 16th, Muskingum University will officially welcome students back to campus for the fall 2020 semester, kicked off by our annual Move-In Day festivities. University planning teams and student leaders have spent weeks developing a safe, exciting transition back to campus this weekend.
On Sunday evening and throughout the day on Monday, there will be a variety of activities designed to engage students and to encourage some much-needed fun. We cannot wait for the energy of our students to return to campus soon and throughout the fall semester.
We are confident that the extensive plans and policies we have put in place will deliver a safe learning environment on campus. Our leadership team continues to work closely with the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department (ZMCHD), and our local healthcare providers, on implementing our robust health and safety, identification and response protocols. As you may be aware, Muskingum County was just designated a level-three (red) county by the Ohio Department of Health. While this classification is of note, based on a thorough review of the data, we believe it is still appropriate to move forward with beginning our semester on Tuesday, August 18. Thus, we are moving forward with our current plans to return to campus. We will, of course, continue to closely monitor the situation. While we do not believe it is necessary at this time, we have a well-constructed plan to transition to full-time remote learning should the situation demand it.
The well-being of our students and employees remains our top priority. As you may have noted in previous communications, we have been adapting our facilities and programs to ensure a healthy learning and living environment, while preserving the connections, activities and relationships that make this such a special place. Some of the most important safety guidelines developed include:
- Employees and students are required to electronically submit a daily health self-assessment through the newly developed “Muskie Safe” app which includes monitoring temperature and symptoms.
- Employees and students are required to wear face coverings in all campus buildings except in individual workspaces or personal residential rooms. Face coverings must also be worn outside when appropriate social distancing cannot be kept. Appropriate policies for ensuring compliance have been crafted.
- All classrooms and residential facilities have been reconfigured for appropriate social distancing. Floor markers and entry signage establish new traffic patterns for appropriate social distancing when moving within buildings. In addition, thorough cleaning protocols are in place.
- Robust COVID-19 diagnosis and response protocols have been established in collaboration with the ZMCHD and the Genesis Healthcare System. These protocols include regular screening of all students and employees, COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and the availability of appropriate health-related isolation and quarantine spaces following ZMCHD Guidelines.
To our Muskies, we match your eagerness to return to campus and are truly looking forward to beginning the fall semester together.
With the warmest wishes for a great start to the fall semester,
President Sue Hasseler