Dayton, Ohio – University of Dayton President Eric F. Spina, Ph.D
began his “Dear Students” letter on Sunday with praise for their “cooperation in wearing face coverings, physical distancing and avoiding group gatherings. We’ve noticed a real improvement in recent days. I’ve seen it with my own eyes as I walked around campus.”

However, the Sunday message continued in announcing that in the past two days, a “concerning” number of students are now in isolation for testing positive or in quarantine as close contacts. Spina said, “It is clear several clusters of the virus have emerged among networks of students based upon activities that occurred a week or so ago that did not comply fully with our safety protocols. These clusters appear to be interconnected, and we need to take more stringent measures now to prevent the virus from spreading further.”

As of August 23, UD has 68 identified positive cases on campus. Individual cases are posted in detail on the UD dashboard reflecting results from individuals who have been working, living, studying or otherwise on campus. (See the UD status levels definitions below)

Status 1 – GREEN – CONTAINED: A small number of individuals have tested positive, and contact tracing suggests that exposures are confined and the situation can be contained, isolated, and remediated. If an exposed or infected individual is a resident, they will be referred to quarantine or isolation as needed. Affected areas are decontaminated and University medical and contact tracing staff can monitor for possible escalation. All other campus and residence operations remain unaffected.

Status 2 – GREEN – LOCALIZED: An outbreak, for example, could occur in a particular floor, classroom, office suite, or common area where contact tracing still allows for a high degree of confidence in the ability to isolate and contain any flare-ups. It may require a floor, class, office suite, or common area to be closed for a period of time to allow for proper decontamination and containment to prevent ongoing exposure. A larger number of residents may be put in isolation or asked to quarantine.

Status 3 – YELLOW – CAUTION: An outbreak occurs where the ability to contact trace with high confidence makes it difficult to identify a specific area for containment, isolation and remediation. It may be necessary to close affected areas or buildings, isolate or move affected students, and/or ask impacted employees to move to remote operations. Some courses may switch to strictly online modality.

Status 4 – RED – WARNING: In the event contact tracing cannot reliably identify affected parties or spaces and contain the spread of COVID-19 campuswide, the University may switch all students to fully remote learning while staying in their on-campus residences. Commuter students will not come to campus and will use virtual learning tools. Students with the ability to return home may be asked to do so. Impacted employees will be asked to work remotely. The University will return to more normal, in-person operations once it can contain the outbreak.

Status 5 – PURPLE – VACATE: If the spread of COVID-19 on campus or locally is such that public health guidance or direction, or the University administration with the advice of our medical panel deems it critically necessary for the safety of our entire campus community to move students off campus to continue their classes, the University will initiate the following process:

  • Students within 400 miles of campus have 24 hours to move out of their on-campus residences.
  • All other domestic students will have 48 hours to move out of their on-campus residences.
  • International students can work with CIP regarding any special accommodations.
  • Students unable to move out of their on-campus residences in the allotted time can email [email protected]to make alternate arrangements.

Should an immediate evacuation of campus be necessary such that students cannot take their belongings with them, the University will contact students at a later date about a possible move-out process.

In consultation with the school’s medical advisory panel and with the support of Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, U.D. elevated the campus status level to 3 – YELLOW – CAUTION.

A temporary shift to remote learning for undergraduate courses, Aug. 24-28 was implemented.

The university has implemented several measures to help identify, contain, and isolate the spread of the virus. Those measures include:

  • All undergraduate classes will be held remotely at least for the next week. Undergraduate commuter students should not come to campus. Please remember you are responsible for checking your email for updates from your instructors.
  • Graduate courses and clinical experiences may convene in person, with the permission of the program director and the dean.
  • Dining services will continue as established for this fall.
  • Mass will be virtual.
  • RecPlex will be closed, but outdoor recreation will be allowed using proper safety protocols.
  • Roesch Library will be closed to undergraduates.
  • Student clubs and organizations must meet remotely.
  • Undergraduate student employees should not report to work in-person, unless they work for Student Development, Dining Services or Admissions and receive guidance from supervisors.
  • Students are not to leave campus unless they have been asked to go home to isolate or quarantine, or unless it is absolutely necessary. Students who leave campus for extended periods may be subject to testing/quarantine/isolation upon their return.
  • As announced earlier, the University will launch the next phase of our testing program this week to help us better understand where clusters are emerging and to identify those who are infected with the virus, but who may not know it. This is essential as we seek to minimize the spread of the virus..
  • We continue to believe we can contain this virus on campus, especially with the positive attitude that so many of you have demonstrated. While we have seen the virus pop up in connected clusters, we have not yet seen wide community spread.

The President urged students to be forthcoming with contact tracers, and reminded students that neither them nor the contacts they identify will face discipline for “merely becoming sick.”

In a separate message to parents, faculty, and staff,  Spina said, “It is clear that while there does not appear to be wide community spread of the virus”

Spina added that the temporary move is a vote of confidence in the student’s ability and willingness to help limit the spread of COVID-19, “so we won’t have to make it a permanent move.”

Spina’s plea was for students to “Please remain vigilant about observing UD and public health safety measures, and encourage fellow students to abide by them. The entire campus community appreciates your efforts to wear face coverings indoors and outdoors, practice physical distancing, and, especially, to avoid gatherings or groups larger than 10 people.”