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Be Safe Bobcats, July 24, 2020

Published: July 24, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The following message was shared with Ohio University employees on July 24, 2020.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are all staying safe and, despite the complexities of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, enjoying the summer months within the limitations of our “new normal.”

Today, I am reaching out for two reasons: First, I want to share significant progress on the implementation of our Fall Planning Report and Recommendations announced just over one month ago. Second, I believe it is important to acknowledge the concerning rise in cases we have seen across the State of Ohio, including not just Athens, but also Fairfield and Lawrence counties, home to our Lancaster/ Pickerington and Southern campuses, and to express our commitment to adjusting our plans as necessary to minimize risk to our University community and the region we serve.

I would like to thank our faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly over the summer to ensure we are ready to bring students back to our campuses, and I also thank our Bobcat community members who have reached out to ask questions and provide feedback throughout the process. Following our recommendations, and supporting much of the feedback we received, we have finalized our Interim Face Covering Policy , put in place an OHIO Pledge to ensure every member of our community is committed to public health, mapped every space to reset capacity and ensure social distancing, and much more. A comprehensive outline of our plans can be found at ohio.edu/coronavirus, which has been updated with the latest information.

That said, University leaders are diligently monitoring the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, and we continue to work with local and state public health officials to ensure we have the latest guidance available. This is an extremely fluid situation, and even as we continue implementation of the collectively designed fall plan, we are developing alternate scenarios to ensure we can deliver on our educational mission in any situation.

Thank you for your continued patience, and stay safe, Bobcats! Please watch your email and visit www.ohio.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and information.

M. Duane Nellis

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