Samford community, students and employees... Two weeks from today we will complete a semester that many thought impossible just three short months ago. We came together and have thrived in the most unusual of times as one community. I want to thank each of you for your individual and collective efforts toward getting us to this point. It has not been easy on any of us but resolve has prevailed. As we navigate these last days, there are three important messages I'd like to share with you.
1. College football gatherings, Halloween and a full moon (among other things, of course) conspired for an unfortunate increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases reported on campus over the last five days. This serves as a sobering reminder that none of us are immune to the larger challenges posed by COVID-19. The reality of cases increasing in the United States, Alabama and Jefferson County will have an impact on all our lives, both at Samford and at home. What's my message? Be aware and be careful.
2. As we approach final exams and as you plan to return home for a holiday season with loved ones, it's important to guard your health in all aspects of your life. To do well on exams, being rested and sharp is essential; so is being able to attend class. To protect our families over the break, it's also worth remembering that we take more than suitcases home with us; we also risk taking home COVID-19. What's my message? Be aware and be careful.
3. To your awareness and care, Samford would like to add one more layer of protection and perhaps some peace of mind. For students traveling home to a high-risk environment, Samford is offering free rapid-antigen tests. If someone lives in the household to which you are returning and that person is among the CDC's at-risk groups for COVID-19, you will be able to make an appointment to test prior to heading home. Many of our students willingly have taken random tests to protect our campus; we likewise want to ensure the same testing is available to protect your families. More details will be forthcoming in the next few days.
For the last twelve weeks, we have worked together to address challenges unlike any we've ever experienced. We balanced science and daily life, needs against wants. And while sometimes we may have fallen short of an ideal, we never lost sight of our goal to provide the best possible safeworking, living and learning environments. Thank you to all for the grace and patience you've displayed throughout.
Be aware and be careful. Mask up; wash your hands; stay at least six feet apart andlove your neighbor. Take Care… Buck Brock
Harry B. Brock III (Buck)
Executive Vice President