Updates Regarding New Campus Restrictions

Dear Ripon College community,

As we complete the sixth week of the semester, I want to thank you for the incredible effort we have made together as an institution to “Reunite Ripon” in the face of a challenging public health situation. We have —  collectively —  been able to return to in-person learning with relative success and only a limited number of positive cases on campus. 

Unfortunately, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin and in Fond du Lac and surrounding areas continues to grow at a significant pace in recent days. According to the Fond du Lac County Health Department, the positive case numbers are only likely to increase in the weeks ahead as the weather gets colder and people begin to spend more time indoors.

In order to do our best to complete the semester in-person, we are putting in place the following changes of procedure, effective at the end of the day on Friday, September 25.

  • Outside visitors to campus are further restricted. No unauthorized visitors to campus without express permission from College staff.  This includes family members, friends from outside of the College and community memberships at Willmore.
  • Indoor activities are further restricted. With the exception of scheduled in-person classes, faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to hold all gatherings, practices or meetings outdoors or consider canceling the events. All indoor activities (except classes) will remain capped at 10 participants. Physical distancing and masking requirements must be followed indoors and outside.
  • Faculty and staff members are encouraged to work from home. Unless absolutely necessary (for example, teaching in-person) to be on campus, faculty and staff should elect to work as much as possible from home.
  • Students should remain on campus. Students are strongly discouraged from leaving campus during the rest of the semester unless for an emergency or at a currently employed off-campus job.
  • Get a flu shot as soon as possible. Students have access to free flu shots in the Health Center; Faculty/Staff are also encouraged to get vaccinated at their own healthcare provider.
  • Food service (SAGE) will encourage Rally on the Run options. SAGE has reinvented Rally on the Run so that meals to go will be available from any station. 

These new rules are designed to be able to further minimize health risks for all of us in the coming weeks so that we can remain on campus. The community should, however, be prepared for further restrictions in the coming weeks if the situation in the surrounding areas or on campus should change. This may still include a further move to online classes where students remain in residence on campus or a return to home and a rapid transition to solely online learning.

My thanks again to each of you for having taken the extra care to help keep our campus community safe the past six weeks. It is time for us to redouble our efforts as we move into the second half of the fall semester.

 

Sincerely,


Zach Messitte

President


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