COVID-19 Dashboard launched and a message from President Rochon

August 31, 2020

As we begin our second week of classes, I want to compliment our community on the amazing effort I've seen so far from our students, faculty and staff to help keep one another safe. But we have a long way to go this semester. If you were to consider this academic year as comparable to a marathon, we just crossed the starting line and it will take hard work, flexibility and grace to see us through to the finish line.

Let me underscore again the vitally important need to avoid gathering in large groups, maintain good hand hygiene, wear face coverings and allow for six feet or more of distance between individuals. 

This is imperative because we have seen the number of reported cases of COVID-19 within our University community rise in recent days. This is due to individuals doing the right thing by filling out the self-report form and University contact tracing protocols being followed. Everyone is strongly encouraged to self-monitor and check daily for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should fill out the form so you can be assessed and contact tracing can begin, if necessary. 

Because we know that our community is concerned about the number of positive cases, we have developed a public COVID-19 dashboard. The dashboard is a way to provide information to the public while maintaining the required confidentiality of those who have tested positive or are determined to be close contacts. The dashboard will be updated on a weekly basis and provide data from the previous week. It is now available on the COVID-19 website.

The database shows weekly positive case numbers and total reported cases since the self-report form became available in March 2020. The numbers are categorized into two groups—students and employees. Importantly, a bar graph of the student cases also shows the weekly numbers of those in self-isolation (those COVID-19 positive), both off campus and on campus. Additionally, the database shows numbers off and on campus of students who are in quarantine (those identified as Close Contacts—within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more). We appreciate the hard work of those doing the contact tracing. This investigative work by trained, dedicated employees allows us to provide this information and is vital in helping prevent the spread in our community. Additional information may be added to the dashboard over time. You are invited to review the dashboard every Friday afternoon for the latest updates.

Once again, thank you for the work you are doing to care for one another. We must not let our guard down. Mitigating the spread of this pandemic is in the best interest of each and every one of us.

Stay well,

Ronald S. Rochon, PhD
USI President