Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Room 204
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)

COVID-19 Update

Ora Hirch Pescovitz

An Update on COVID-19 Concerns

Friday, November 6, 2020

To all campus community members,

I am writing to address the rapidly increasing rates of COVID-19 infections now taking hold across the globe, as well as right here in Michigan.

Over the past ten months, our community of students, faculty and staff have done an excellent job of limiting the spread of the virus by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, washing our hands frequently and avoiding unnecessary gatherings of even small groups of people. I want to commend and thank you for rigorously following the Grizzlies Protect Grizzlies: Healthy Together campus infection prevention guidelines.

However, in the past two weeks, there has been an alarming spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Oakland County. Unfortunately, our campus has not been shielded from this trend. We have seen an increased number of COVID-19 cases occurring within our campus community. This suggests that some of us have become more complacent in our efforts to protect ourselves and one another.
I do recognize how tiresome it is to follow the prevention guidelines. I also know that people are under an enormous amount of stress. I am thankful that our entire community has worked together like a family in an unprecedented effort to provide the absolute best possible learning, living and working environment for our campus community. These efforts have resulted in very low rates of COVID-19 infections. We now risk nullifying these efforts if we fail to continue to exercise these effective precautions as the infection rates are surging.

Recent studies have shown that this virus spreads most rapidly in community settings, especially when we tend to let down our guard. This means that we must remain vigilant, not only when we are on the OU campus, but everywhere we go. So, please remember to adhere to the same guidelines whether you are at a family gathering, if you go to the grocery store, to a restaurant, entertainment venue or any other outing. Please remember that many virus cases are spread by people who are asymptomatic, so you can get the infection virtually anywhere. Also remember that our mitigation measures are highly effective.

Please join me in redoubling our efforts to stay one step ahead of COVID-19. So, as we prepare now for the last few weeks of the semester, festive holiday season and recess periods, I need everyone to join me in redoubling our efforts to stay one step ahead of COVID-19 at all times.

I am so proud of our amazing community. I wish you all the best.

Thank you,