UD issues letter advising students to observe Covid-19 restrictions

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University of Delaware officials have issued a letter to incoming students that provides a heads up on Newark’s revised social gatherings limits and cautions students about conduct that would lead to Covid-19 case spikes.

The revised ordinance took note of UD being known nationwide as a “party school.” Newark residents have been concerned about outbreaks of the virus. The first cases Covid-19 cases in Delaware came after a get-together in the Newark area attended by members of the university community.

The letter refers to outbreaks at other campuses that led to decisions that included students being sent home to receive online-only instruction.

The letter also warns that students violating Covid-19 rules will be subject to suspension and expulsion.

The bulk of instruction at the Newark campus will be online, with a limited number of classes and labs.

It remains unclear as to the number of students, faculty and staff returning to campus.

The text of the letter is as follows:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our plans for welcoming you back to the University of Delaware campus, but it does not lessen our joy to have you as members of the Blue Hen community. We appreciate the resilience you have demonstrated as we all navigate this global crisis together.This semester, more than ever, it is important to remember that we are a community –– we each have the responsibility to make personal choices that keep ourselves and others safe.Right now, that means limiting the size of our in-person gatherings and following other public health guidelines wherever we are this fall. All Blue Hens must do what is necessary to“Protect the Flock”so that we can all be together again as soon as possible.

As we prepare to begin this unique semester, we write to make you aware of a few key items that will be essential to your success and to the safety of our community. This update concerns those living on campus and in Newark, as well as any Blue Hen who plans to visit Newark this semester.

First,the University has providedhealth and safety guidelines for studentsto help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and enable our safe return to a vibrant, bustling campus. These guidelines include:

  • Requirements for 6 feet of physical distance and face coverings for all individuals when engaging with others outside your household;
  • Testing for COVID-19, completing a daily health screening questionnaire and following signage if visiting campus; and
  • Where to report violations of these guidelines, as disciplinary actions will apply to any student who does not comply with these policies.

In addition,the City of Newark has announced temporary ordinances for those living and working in the area.Thatannouncement can be found here. Key points of the ordinance include:

  • Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 12 attendees, including the residents of the home.
  • Outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 20 attendees, including the residents of the home.
  • Anyone found hosting or attending an unlawful gathering may be fined up to $500 and required to perform up to 20 hours of community service. Repeat offenders will face criminal charges.

We know that limiting your in-person interactions during this time is not easy. All of us are feeling a sense of loss for the fall semester we had envisioned. However, recent COVID-19 outbreaks at University of North Carolina, Notre Dame University, University of Kansas, Michigan State University and many others have shown that large gatherings are the single greatest risk to students’ health and safety and to our ability to fully reopen the campus. We need you to step up as Blue Hens and do your part by following UD’s health and safety guidelines.

Students and student organizations found responsible for violating University policies, including attending or hosting large gatherings, will receive conduct sanctions potentially leading to suspension or expulsion.

If at any time you have concerns about a fellow student’s behavior, we encourage you toreport this information online to the Office of Student Conduct. In an emergency or when there are immediate safety concerns, please call 911.

There are plenty of ways to engage at UD this fall that benefit your personal and community wellbeing. We’ve been working all summer on theStudent Life Virtual Huband will continue enhancing this throughout the year to showcase your opportunities for virtual and safer in-person engagement. The remote student experience is at the forefront in everything that we do, and we remain committed to supporting the journeys of our students throughout and beyond UD.

You chose the University of Delaware for this chapter in your life, and we are asking you to partner with us as we work toward a full reopening of campus.

Avoid large in-person gatherings, especially indoors, and particularly those with alcohol or other conditions that make it less likely for health guidelines to be followed. Use the Virtual Hub to guide your virtual and in-person engagement. Let us know if you find yourself at, or become aware of, any unsafe gathering or other condition that threatens this collective goal.

As Blue Hens, you are known for your ability to channel your passion toward extraordinary goals. Keeping your eyes on the bigger picture is the fastest way back to the UD experience we love. Thank you for doing your part to make that happen.

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