Skip to main content

Cases are slowing, but we must remain vigilant

DEPARTMENT(S): 
September 17, 2021

This message was sent to the WPI community.

Highlights:

  • The changes we implemented are working!
  • Positive cases have slowed, but we must stay vigilant.
  • Don’t go to class or work if you’re sick or have cold-like symptoms.
  • Professors and supervisors will be flexible.
  • Continue to wear your mask indoors and at large gatherings outdoors.
  • Hanging out with a few friends is fine, but please avoid large group social gatherings.

Dear WPI Community,

THANK YOU for pulling together earlier this month in response to the increase in cases we were seeing in our community.   Your efforts made a difference, and our case count is slowing.   This is excellent news, confirming that our testing program, vaccination requirement, and the commitment of our community to practice COVID safety works.  Over the past seven days we’ve seen just 12 new COVID cases, whereas the previous seven days brought 79. 

Our job now is to sustain this excellent progress.  We will continue to update our COVID dashboard and the We Are WPI site, where you will find the latest information about policies, recommendations and our FAQs. And, you can watch the recording of today’s Student Town Hall.

As a reminder:

  • If you have symptoms, STAY HOME
  • WPI will return to fully in-person instructional delivery next week.  Faculty will be as flexible as possible with students who are sick or need to attend COVID testing or medical appointments, and will use lecture capture for all suitable classes this fall.
  • Supervisors and managers will support employees who are sick. Employees should let their supervisors know they will be out; no need to share details or health information. 
  • Indoor contact sports and activities at the Sports and Recreation Center are back and will follow social distancing and masking guidance.
  • WPI’s Facilities and Events teams are actively working to provide more outdoor furniture to enable more outdoor activities, including instruction.
  • Events should be held outdoors whenever possible.  Ensure that indoor events allow for social distancing and/or make them virtual. Masks will be worn at large outdoor events (including athletics).

Most importantly:

Stay connected and informed, ask questions, and ask for help.

  • Students in need of assistance and support can reach out to WPI’s Student Development & Counseling Center (SDCC) at 508-831-5540 or sdcc@wpi.edu; you can also reach out to an RA, coach, professor, or an advisor.
  • Employees can reach out to Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free and entirely confidential services—including counseling (in-person, online, or by phone), as well as health resources, mental health toolkits, etc.

Once again, I want to thank you for your dedication and flexibility as we continue to navigate COVID; it is so clear to me that we all want the same things: to go back to normal, feel safe, make connections, have fun, and enjoy an enriching learning, working, and living experience filled with all that WPI has to offer—right now, and while staying healthy. That’s the goal we have made great progress towards already this year, and we will continue to embrace. It is precisely because the WPI community is the GOAT that I firmly believe we are on our way to achieving our better normal.   We Are WPI.

With gratitude,

Laurie