In the midst of other high-priority matters, we cannot forget that we continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are a few items for discussion:
1. Mid-Year Break. For the first time in a long time, North Dakota’s cases are dropping significantly. In addition, it looks like multiple vaccines will soon be distributed across the country. Both these items are cause for hope, but we are not out of the woods yet. North Dakota’s numbers could turn around, and it will be months before the vaccine is widely available. As such, we need to continue to be vigilant and adhere to the safety guidelines. In particular, it is important to get tested before traveling for break. Remember, many of you may be asymptomatic or presymptomatic carriers, and you do not want to get other family members sick. We’re close to the end of this pandemic, let’s stay safe and healthy until it is over.
2. Testing Information. At the events on December 2 and 3, we collectively had 898 people tested at the SHAC with a positivity rate of only 3.5%. Of those tested, 612 indicated an affiliation with NDSU, and their positivity rate was 2.6%. Both positivity rates were considerably lower than prior NDSU testing events as well as being lower than the Cass County rate for that time period which was over 13%.
3. Weekly Testing. We’re continuing with testing at the SHAC, and you should enter using the south doors. However, there will be fewer testing events after finals week. The dates and times through the end of the year are as follows:
December 10: 1-5 pm
December 13: 1-4 pm
December 17: 1-5 pm
December 31: 1-4 pm
Student government is running another drawing for Visa gift cards for students who get tested this week and finals week. First place is $250 and there are five additional $100 winners.
We would like every employee to get tested at least every other week. However, if you are working in an area with significant exposure to others, it would be better to get tested every week. As always, being tested at these events should be considered work time, and I’m asking supervisors to be flexible to allow for employee testing.
Some final points about testing:
· Testing is free.
· You can preregister here. However, if you have already registered for a prior testing event, you do not have to re-register.
· It is not limited to people living on campus. All students, including off-campus students, are encouraged to participate.
· You do not have to have symptoms in order to get this testing. In fact, this testing is only for individuals who are asymptomatic. If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact Student Health Service or your local health care facility to determine next steps.
Dean L. Bresciani, President