COVID-19 Update, August 28, 2020

Dear Davis & Elkins College community,

As the first week of planned course delivery comes to a close, we remain hopeful on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. We are pleased with the small number of positive COVID-19 cases on campus, as well as the manner in which positive cases were handled and screening and testing procedures have been managed for the D&E community. It is D&E’s intention to proceed with course delivery on campus for the foreseeable future. However, the ability to provide courses through in-person and hybrid formats on campus is solely dependent upon your diligence. Ultimately, campus health and wellness is a shared responsibility.

COVID-19 testing: D&E statistics continue to be reassuring

As of the writing of this update, there are no active COVID-19 cases on the D&E campus. There is no question that is attributable to careful and diligent behavior by students, faculty, staff, and administration. Thus far, the incidence of positive cases in students is 0.87%, far below trending levels. The incidence among D&E employees is 0.28% and the incidence for campus as a whole is 0.68%. What we’re doing is working!

A required temperature monitoring system will continue for anyone entering the Benedum Dining Room. Commuter students and visitors to campus must undergo mandatory screening at the D&E campus entrance, and faculty and staff are screened daily. Anyone leaving campus outside of their designated commuter zone will be required to undergo COVID-19 screening/testing, as outlined in the Davis & Elkins College Guide for Returning to Campus:

All students, staff, faculty, and administration will notify the Office of Public Safety if they travel out of state or outside of their respective commuter zones. All students, staff, faculty, and administration who travel outside of these areas must report to the Office of Public Safety for screening before returning to work/campus.

Continued enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols

As college campuses across the nation fall prey to careless and reckless behavior related to COVID-19, D&E students are reminded of continued enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols. Simply put, these are special protocols put in place on our campus regarding behaviors related to the COVID-19 global pandemic and steps we can take on the D&E campus to help prevent the spread of the virus.

You can help our College continue to have on-campus instruction by making good choices and adhering to safety protocols. House/suite parties, going to bars, and gathering in large groups will likely increase the community spread of COVID-19 and decrease the likelihood that we are back to normal anytime soon. Negative behaviors that could harm our community cannot be tolerated. Violations of the Davis & Elkins College Code of Conduct will be processed in accordance with the discipline policy (sanctions range from/include fines, residence hall suspension, and expulsion).

You can still be careful AND participate in student events on campus!

Fun student events have been scheduled over the weekend and next week! Be sure to wear your face mask, keep your hands clean, and practice social distancing. Here is the full schedule of student events!

Double-check your student health checklist

Even though students are back on campus, you should continue to monitor your student health checklist of items to make sure you are healthy and safe. As we enforce special measures on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, part of our responsibility is to instill responsibilities in you. All students are asked to make sure they have adequate supplies of their own Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and over the counter (OTC) medication supplies. Those items include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • thermometer (digital)
  • masks (medical grade if of high risk to infection due to comorbidity)
  • disinfectant wipes
  • hand sanitizer – large bottle for residence hall room and pocket size for carrying around campus
  • cold and allergy medications of choice
  • pain/fever reliever (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.)

By maintaining this checklist, you can decrease or even eliminate routine visits to Student Health. For a comprehensive list of these supplies, please visit this link.

Check this weekly student update, the D&E Mobile App, and your email regularly for updates. The Emergency Notification System (nixle) will also be used as appropriate.

Please practice social distancing and stay well.

Dr. Rosemary Thomas

Vice President for Enrollment Management
Institutional Advancement