Dear Students…Welcome back to campus for the spring semester! I know you all are pleased to be back at Samford among friends and attending new classes. Now that the first week of the semester is behind us, I am writing to remind you all of some very important COVID-19 updates.
The Spring Guide for Returning to Campus includes essential requirements that will protect each member of the Samford community and allow us to remain on campus for the duration of the semester. I would like to remind you of some of those critical guidelines:
1) Face coverings are essential in minimizing COVID-19 risks to you and those near you and are required in all public spaces on campus including classrooms, libraries, event venues, public or shared restrooms and dining facilities. Face coverings must be worn even if alone in these non-private spaces. Face coverings also are required in outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible, including parking lots, on sidewalks, in building entrances, and other areas where individuals are likely to pass in close proximity. Please always wear a mask when you’re outside your room unless actively eating or drinking and physically distanced. Masks and cloth face coverings are not substitutes for social distancing. The CDC provides specific guidance for using effective face coverings to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends use of masks that:
- have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric;
- completely cover the nose and mouth; and,
- fit snugly against the sides of the face without any gaps.
2) As in the fall, members of the Samford community can use the following form when individuals fail to follow the university’s guidelines and protocols. For undergraduates, reports will be handled by the Student Conduct Office. Complaints regarding graduate or professional program students will be forwarded to the respective program director or dean. Those violating COVID-19 safety requirements may receive an initial warning, depending on the severity of the situation. Subsequent violations may warrant immediate sanctions and fines, up to and including suspension from the university. Our collective effort to follow these requirements are necessary and appreciated so that we can maintain and potentially expand on our face-to-face learning and group opportunities.
3) Throughout the campus, all furniture has been arranged carefully in order to allow for safe distancing. Furniture also has been added in places to give you more opportunities to connect with one another. Do not move chairs, tables or other furniture.
4) I appreciate your continued partnership in our efforts to accurately report positive cases on campus. Please remember, all students and employees must immediately report a positive COVID-19 test diagnosis to Covid19health@samford.edu (students) or Covid19employees@samford.edu (employees) within two hours of obtaining this information.
5) Likewise, I appreciate your continued involvement in the university’s expanded spring COVID-19 testing program. As cases rise and ebb, and particularly with new strains of the virus now in the southeast, testing allows us to stay in front of the challenge. As a member of the Samford community and as a condition of being on campus this academic year, all students and employees have agreed to participate in Samford’s COVID-19 testing program. Please remember that missing your testing appointment may render you ineligible to access the campus and/or attend classes in person. Therefore, if you miss your appointment for any reason, please reach out immediately to COVID19health@samford.edu so we can reschedule your appointment.
6) Samford remains committed to keeping you informed of positive COVID-19 cases on our campus. As in the fall, the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard is updated every weekday and includes the number of student and employee on-campus cases.
We appreciate your continued partnership as we seek to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. Thank you for your cooperation in ensuring everyone’s safety and well-being. Remember—Mask.Wash.Distance.Test.Report! And be kind. Take care…. Buck Brock
Harry B. Brock III (Buck)
Executive Vice President