We’ve recently received a number of concerns about students who appear to be sick with COVID-like symptoms but are continuing to move about campus as if they were well. In several instances, students have contacted faculty or staff members to express concern that students with symptoms have not notified Student Health and Wellness and are attending classes. In other cases, students exhibiting symptoms have ignored requests from peers to be evaluated at the health center.
Allow me to remind you again that if you are experiencing even mild symptoms that are associated with COVID-19, you must contact Student Health and Wellness to be evaluated¹. Please do not ignore symptoms or assume that they are allergies. The majority of positive student cases on campus this fall have been identified through a patient evaluation by Student Health and Wellness. Research shows that symptomatic people are more likely to spread the virus, so the prudent course of action is to have your circumstances checked out before proceeding as you otherwise would.
I also want to encourage you to communicate with and respect each other. If you see a friend, roommate, or classmate who appears to be experiencing symptoms, talk with them. The most effective and immediate way to limit the chances of a spread is to communicate directly, at that moment. Directly engaging with a peer who may be sick is an expression of kindness and concern both for that individual and for the rest of the community — a point worth remembering if someone asks you if you have been tested or had symptoms evaluated at the health center.
These continue to be challenging times, but our shared commitment to one another remains our greatest asset. Thank you for all you are doing to keep the community healthy and safe.
Vice President for Student Affairs