Monday, August 24, 2020

Dear Members of the Campus Community, 

Welcome to the start of our 88th academic year. It is truly my pleasure to see so many of you on campus today. As you know, I started at Wilkes during a time when the campus remained quiet from our early departure in March. I confess that starting in the midst of a pandemic has been an odd experience, but it is one for which I continue to be grateful since it means working, learning and living alongside all of you. Thank you for all the ways in which you have welcomed me and my family to our new home. It is a privilege to warmly welcome all of you back to campus, masked and from a safe distance. 

As I mentioned during our virtual town hall meetings held earlier this month, we have been working to launch a dashboard that will track COVID-19 on our campus. I send this message on behalf of the following colleagues who oversee the University's response to the pandemic: Paul S. Adams, Vice President of Student Affair and Chair of the COVID-19 Daily Response Team; Mark Allen, Dean of Students and Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force; and Justin Kraynack, Assistant Vice President of Operations & Compliance and Co-chair of the COVID-19 Task Force.

The dashboard will serve as an informational source for our campus community and a tool that aids in our decision making. By visiting the link below, you will see that the dashboard tracks confirmed cases, on-campus quarantine and isolation housing, class formats and testing. 

COVID-19 CAMPUS DASHBOARD

Each day, a link to this page will be available on Today@Wilkes. In addition, you can view it anytime by visiting www.wilkes.edu/coviddashboard. It is updated at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. 

To date, there are two confirmed cases among our students. Both cases were confirmed before the fall semester and move-in activities, and neither student has yet returned to campus. They will only do so once cleared by Health and Wellness Services. It is important to provide context around cases within our community, so please note the bulleted narrative above the charts for important details. These will be updated as needed.

This next week will be a bit of a learning experience for us all and we continue to encounter changing guidelines that require our attention. Understand that we will continue to assess, adjust or tweak our reporting as needed. Please continue to look for updates from our COVID-19 task force and daily response team via covidupdate@wilkes.edu. We also welcome your thoughts, questions and ideas to that email address which will be monitored by committee members.


Sincerely,

Dr. Greg Cant
President