Dear UMass Dartmouth community,
As I’m sure you have seen, the positive test rate of COVID-19 is rising across the country, state, and region. Though the UMass Dartmouth community has done an incredible job adhering to safety guidelines, these trends impact our university as well. In the past week, we have seen an uptick in cases, partly due to a cluster of positive tests amongst a group of non-residential students. As in the past, our surveillance testing program discovered the first positive test and through contact tracing, we identified other individuals who tested positive and are now in the standard isolation procedure.
Experts predict that we will continue to see an increase in positive tests in the weeks and months ahead. It is how we respond that will make the difference. No matter where you live, I encourage you to continue practicing proper safety protocols, get tested, and engage with contact tracing if your local board of health reaches out to you. All students and employees can be tested for free on campus at Woodland Commons, so I encourage you to schedule your appointment via the Health Services Patient Portal.
While there are a variety of factors that are leading to an increase in cases, the proven methods to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe remain unchanged. Remember to:
- Wear your mask
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer
- Not share items like food utensils
- Limit your close interactions to a few individuals
- Avoid large gatherings
- Stay home if you are ill or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
I know how often you hear about these precautions, but we all must remain vigilant. With the semester around the halfway point, it is important we finish strong. Information on the transition to fully remote classes and exams after Thanksgiving will be sent to you soon. We are also currently finishing our plan for the spring semester. I appreciate everyone’s patience and commitment to health and safety protocols as we navigate this pandemic together.
Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chancellor