Dear Marietta College Campus Community and The Long Blue Line,

We are now closing in on the end of the semester, with ONLY 6 days left of classes and 13 days until the last day of finals. Today, the College also hosted the Medical Division of the Ohio National Guard for the final voluntary community COVID-19 testing clinic in Marietta this year. With today being Veterans Day, I extend my thanks to the men and women serving in the Ohio National Guard who worked the drive-thru clinic to help keep our community healthy and safe — and I give thanks to all who have served our great nation.

Currently, our campus has 14 active cases, including 11 undergraduate students, one graduate student (who has not been on campus in recent weeks), and two employees. There are 43 in quarantine. You can monitor Marietta College’s daily numbers through our site — www.marietta.edu/covid-19-cases-reporting.

I am urging our students and employees to closely monitor for symptoms and to not take the wait-and-see approach in terms of interacting with campus if you are not feeling well. Contact your professors or your supervisors if you wake up not feeling well so you can make alternative plans to attend class or work. By refraining from interacting with campus when you are not feeling well, you are helping us reduce the number of necessary quarantines if you happen to test positive for COVID-19.

Monitoring for symptoms and fever are part of the Marietta College Cocktail (which also includes wearing a facemask, frequent handwashing and maintaining safe physical distances) — and following this protocol has allowed us to preserve in-person learning for the Fall 2020 semester. Locally, Washington and Wood counties are continuing to experience climbing case numbers — so I urge each of you to not let your guard down, especially during the upcoming holiday season. I know it will be difficult to turn down invitations to large family and friend gatherings, but please consider finding a new approach to the 2020 holiday season so we can, once again, enjoy a successful Spring 2021 semester.

As I mentioned earlier, the Ohio National Guard was on campus today for free testing. We have asked them to return in January and February for more test clinics and will learn more about those possible dates when the ONG finalizes their scheduling dates throughout the state.

For employees, Kenny Cline, the College’s Environmental Health Specialist, says those who have N95 masks that are qualified for disinfection through Marietta Memorial Hospital and Memorial Health Systems’ BioQuell system should contact him at kwc002@marietta.edu to obtain the proper bag and paperwork necessary to track the disinfection information. N95 masks can be disinfected up to 10 times using this method.

Faculty Council is conducting a focus group with students who have been in quarantine to determine ways to improve the College’s procedure and communication throughout this process. More work will continue over Winter Break to make these improvements. We will have seven students participating in what typically is our December Graduation, though it will be held on November 15th and will be invitation-only. The College is currently gauging student interest on a variety of scenarios for May Commencement, so please be sure to respond to requests for your ideas.

Our partners at Parkhurst Dining announced that the traditional Thanksgiving lunch will be offered tomorrow, Thursday, November 12, and will be available for pre-order pickup at Gilman, Red Brick BBQ and The Gathering Place. Parkhurst will continue to offer employees lunch during Winter Break, as well as reduced Chlapaty Café hours. More good news: Parkhurst is working to make the Green-and-Go reusable containers available for take-out meals for Spring semester. The College appreciates the flexibility that our valued partners have had throughout this year and for their efforts to make next year successful, as well.

Marietta College is currently working with the Ohio Department of Health to conduct wastewater monitoring on five high-occupancy buildings on campus. This monitoring allows health officials to detect fragments of the COVID-19 virus that would provide an early warning for potential cases stemming from a specific building. Students and faculty who may be interested in being a part of this monitoring team should contact Fred Smith, Director of Physical Plant, at smithf@marietta.edu for more information.

The College will continue to communicate updates during Winter Break when needed. We have two additional virtual Town Hall sessions on December 9th and January 13th, so please be sure to tune into Facebook, Instagram or YouTube for our latest information.

Thank you, again, for the work you all continue to do to help us reach the end of Fall semester it has been nothing short of fantastic!!!

Together, we will rise to the challenge!

Bring Forth a Pioneer,

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management