None of us can guarantee what trajectory COVID-19 will take or guarantee a COVID-19 free environment. As is true in all other aspects of our lives until a vaccine is widely available, the risk of COVID-19 will remain real for the foreseeable future. Our focus has been and will aggressively continue to be to minimize and manage these risks through integrated, well-researched community-wide protocols and plans. Our approach includes but is not limited to:
- Managing campus density by having some staff and faculty work remotely. Combined with the part of the student population who will be off-campus for some or all of the semester, this will reduce the overall number and proximity of persons in one place.
- Personal symptom monitoring required by all faculty, staff and students on a daily basis and those with symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, etc.) will be required to quarantine until test results are obtained or a return to day-to-day routine is otherwise authorized under medical and public-health guidelines.
- Social distancing, including things like using larger and outdoor spaces for classes, using hybrid in-person and remote teaching models and the construction of more restrooms in residence halls to reduce the number of students using each one.
- Wearing of face masks which we know, along with social distancing, are among the most effective ways of minimizing the spread of the virus.
- Rapid and ample testing in partnership with The Ohio State University. Together with robust contact tracing to identify and contain potential additional exposures.
- Isolation and Quarantine: Because we know eliminating all risk is impossible, we will isolate those with symptoms until test results are available and we will have adequate, comfortable isolation spaces to ensure students who test positive for the virus are safe, supported and cared for. The same will be true for asymptomatic students identified through contact tracing as having had potential exposure, and as a result may be required to quarantine.
- Cleaning and sanitation: We have invested in state-of-the-art sanitation machines, stocked sanitation products and planned for staffing so that we can follow strict disinfection and cleaning protocols in all public spaces on campus, including classrooms, dining halls, restrooms, the library and other study spaces.
- High-risk community members: Our flexible academic plan outlined below allows us to accommodate students who may be at higher risk of illness. We also have employee policies and protocols in place for our faculty and staff with higher-risk circumstances.
- Healthcare support, in addition to our own facilities, support and services are available, thanks to Denison’s fortunate location near Columbus, at any of the five large hospitals nearby, including several ranked among the nation’s best.