Go Home Healthy
It’s almost Thanksgiving! As you prepare to leave campus for the holidays, please do all you can to protect your own health and wellness.
By doing so, you’ll ensure the wellness of your family members at home. Your choices over the next several days will make a difference to the health of your parents, grandparents, siblings and loved ones as well as your local community.
Stay at Hope... to Go Home Healthy
In Ottawa County, community spread of COVID-19 remains very high, with the positivity rate now at 13.2% (compared to Hope’s 7%). The Ottawa County Department of Public Health continues to recommend that Hope students remain on campus until the break. In fact, with our sustained capacity for testing, isolation and quarantine, and contact tracing and notification, the safest option for students is to stay completely “within the Hope bubble” until exams are over.
Before going home: Stay at Hope
Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued “Holiday Safety” recommendations for higher education institutions. In the spirit of these recommendations, please plan to STAY AT HOPE until you depart campus for the break. By adhering to the “Stay at Hope” guidelines (below), you’ll be prepared to go home to your family — healthy and virus-free.
Beginning today, please “taper down” your activities by doing the following:
- Stay on campus. Eliminate all non-essential off-campus activities. Avoid going to restaurants, coffeeshops,
stores, and crowded places. Leave campus only for work, internships, grocery shopping,
medical care, off-site COVID-19 testing or other critical needs.
- Limit your on-campus activities to the basics. Stay in your residence as much as possible. Reduce your traffic to campus buildings, and limit your activities on campus to the basics: going to class, going to the testing center, studying, picking up food, and collecting mail and packages.
- Limit contact with others. Limit the number of people with whom you have contact, and reduce your in-person interaction
- Adapt plans for gatherings. Avoid all gatherings (outside of academic courses) and change all activities to a
virtual format, if possible. If you are participating in study sessions or group work,
make every effort to shift to remote.
- Wear a mask, keep a 6-foot distance and wash hands. Anytime you are outside of your private residential space — whether indoors or outdoors
— wear a face mask. Always maintain a 6-foot distance from others. And, wash your
hands well and often. These three safeguards, when practiced together, significantly
reduce risk of transmission and infection.
- Follow quarantine and isolation requirements. If you are in quarantine or isolation, follow the rules without fail. Be aware that,
though you can take a COVID-19 test while in quarantine, you cannot test out of quarantine. You must complete the 14-day quarantine period or the 10-day isolation period, and
you may not leave until you have had symptom assessment from the local health department
and have been officially cleared for release.
- Respect the limits of COVID-19 tests. A test represents only a snapshot in time, and negative tests often give people a false sense of security. A negative test does not clear you from future (and even immediate) infection. If you are tested and receive a negative result, remember that you still need to practice all the safeguards without fail to minimize your risk of infection.
COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM STEERING COMMITTEE
Submit questions about Hope’s preparation for COVID-19 to firstname.lastname@example.org