November 19, 2020 - COVID-19 Update: Focus on virus concerns, surges heightens
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Last week's news of potential COVID-19 vaccines was quite welcomed and to many feels like a light at the end of the tunnel. However, the good news was quickly dampened by the seriousness of increased concerns over the virus' surge throughout the nation - particularly in Georgia.
Since Nov. 12, the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report has indicated an increasing seven-day moving average of new daily confirmed cases of COVID-19. On Sunday, that level spiked above 2,000 - the first time the state has hit that high-water mark since Sept. 6 - and has increased steadily ever since.
As of Monday, CSU had 11 active positive, self-reported cases of students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19; however, the university has experienced a significant increase since last week regarding the number of active exposure cases. Reducing the spread and exposure to others is a two-prong approach: following public health guidance and knowing your own health status.
- Follow public health guidance: wear face coverings, maintain physical distance from others, avoid large-group gatherings and wash your hands frequently. You may also consider getting a flu shot, which will not protect you from COVID-19, but will ensure the flu doesn't make you more susceptible to COVID-19 and other illnesses.
- Know your own health status: monitor your symptoms, check your temperature, and consider getting tested before you go home and following a possible exposure or if you begin experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
And, don't forget, even after you leave campus for the semester to self-report a positive test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or possible exposure to someone who may have COVID-19. Only with this information can our COVID Response Team responsibly follow up with others with whom you may have been in contact.
Last week, we shared the CDC's tips for making a pandemic-era holiday gathering as safe as possible. But, please be advised - no gathering will be entirely safe. Especially when it comes to gatherings that include the elderly or those medically vulnerable to COVID-19, public health officials caution to skip the gathering this year so your entire family can gather next year.
Naturally, our Dec. 10 return-to-work plans may have many employees wondering how the current news may affect those plans. Our COVID-19 Response Team and the university's Executive Leadership Team continues to monitor the public health situation and will make prudent adjustments accordingly.
Cougars, let's remain serious about our health and the well-being of those around us. Remember that while we are readying for some upcoming holidays, COVID-19 will not take a vacation. It's up to each of us to protect ourselves and others, and to show that #CougarsCareEverywhere.
Dr. Chip Reese
Chair, COVID-19 Response Team and
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs