We look forward to the start of the Spring Semester on Tuesday. Thanks to your commitment to our COVID-19 safety protocols and our track record of success in providing a safe environment, we remain deeply committed to providing a near-full slate of on-campus classes and activities for you this spring. We’re writing to summarize our enhanced plans for safety that we shared earlier today in our virtual Town Hall.
Positive Trend and High Student Vaccination Rate
First, some good news. While Northeast Ohio experienced a large surge of COVID cases driven by the Omicron variant over the holidays, the rate of new cases, although still high, is beginning to decline dramatically. The average daily number of reported cases in Cuyahoga County is down 47% from two weeks ago. We’re also pleased to share that 79% of CSU students responding to our mid-November survey (utilizing a random, stratified sample) reported they were vaccinated.
Building Improvements for Better Air Quality
We’re excited to share with you that we’ve completed enhancements to our heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in our residence halls, high-traffic buildings and major classroom buildings. These upgraded systems are designed to improve air quality and may provide additional protection from viruses like COVID and remove other contaminants.
Take Care of Your Mental Health - Assistance is Available
We understand that you may have concerns or anxiety about returning to the classroom. Help is available.
You may seek mental health support 24/7 through the CSU Counseling Center.
You may also want to take advantage of the TESS mental health chatbot (not for emergencies). TESS provides coaching, coping skills and strategies. Text “Hi” to 415-360-0023 and use the code “vikescare” to get started. Ensuring a Safe Spring
Please keep these safeguards, guidelines, recommendations and reporting requirements in mind as we begin the spring semester and continue operating in this “new normal.”
- Vaccination and booster shots remain the best protection. The science has never been clearer. Vaccination plus a booster shot offers the absolute best protection against serious illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. Vaccines and boosters are readily available. Go to gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov for locations near you. CSU Health and Wellness Services continues to provide vaccinations for students, faculty and staff every Tuesday and booster shots on Wednesdays by appointment. Call 216-687-3649 to schedule.
- Free masks available/enhanced masking recommended. You are still required to wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth when indoors on campus. We are recommending, but not requiring, that you use a N95/KN95 or surgical mask instead of, or in conjunction with, a cloth mask. Studies show that these masks provide better protection than cloth masks against the Omicron variant.
- To help you upgrade, we’re providing you with free masks. Our student safety ambassadors will be passing out masks during the first two days of classes. In addition, masks are available at residence hall front desks, the Student Center information desk, the Rec Center information desk, and in the offices of our college deans. Safety ambassadors will continue to monitor mask compliance, but we ask for your help. If you see someone who is not wearing a mask, or is wearing it incorrectly, please politely ask them to correctly wear a mask.
- Get tested if you are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Contact your health care provider for testing advice. Testing is also available at Health and Wellness Services, Monday through Friday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week, resuming 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. hours on Jan. 18).
- If you test positive, isolate and follow CDC guidelines. Please email our CARE team or call 216-687-2048 and let your course instructors know that you will not be in classes. We have asked faculty to provide resources for you to keep up with your course work.
- Please follow CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine.
- If you’re sick, stay home! The health and safety of you, your classmates and our entire community remains our top priority. If you are sick, please stay home and get better before returning to campus.
Thank you for working with us to provide a safe campus. Together, we can have a great experience this semester. Welcome back and good luck with your studies!