Dear Marietta College Campus Community and The Long Blue Line,

With the start of every semester, there are so many things we look forward to accomplishing. Reflecting on all that we have already achieved despite the challenges we have faced since March 2020, I know we are so very capable of reaching every goal we set for ourselves and for our community.

Over the weekend, we welcomed our students back to campus, and on Monday, our classes resumed in person. As I mentioned during last week’s email update and during the live Town Hall Q&A, our campus will continue to follow the Marietta College Cocktail even as the vaccines are made more available. In addition to the proper use of facemasks, we also encourage frequent handwashing, maintaining safe physical distances, and monitoring and reporting symptoms.

Upon arriving to campus, each student received a care bag that included a facemask, a digital thermometer, hand sanitizer, and a magnet that lists pertinent emergency and non-emergency medical and mental health contact information. In the classroom, seating has been marked to illustrate safe distances. Prior to the start of every class, professors and students are asked to survey the room to ensure those distances are kept. We know that this will reduce the number of quarantines necessary when we have a positive case. In-class group work that would necessitate students working in close contact is strongly discouraged. The exception is in science labs when students are properly wearing full PPE (N-95 facemasks, face shields and gloves) under the guidance of a science faculty member.

Parkhurst Dining encourages students and faculty to utilize the auxiliary dining space in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center during the busy lunch rush, and Parkhurst has reestablished the Green To Go Program. Also,  Parkhurst will handle meal delivery to students who are in quarantine, and those students will also have access to daily health walks if they choose to sign up for them.

With regard to testing and vaccines, the Ohio National Guard’s Medical Division was on campus Tuesday for voluntary testing and will return every Tuesday at least through March 2nd. We have requested that they continue testing through the end of the semester. On Tuesday, we had more than 530 tests given in four hours, and all of the results will be released within 48 hours of the testing day. To put just how valuable of a service this is to Marietta College, Tuesday’s testing saved us more than $50,000. I encourage students and employees to utilize this free service being offered by the Ohio National Guard. The link to sign up for the voluntary testing will be sent out to campus each week. Additionally, Marietta College’s COVID-19 numbers are updated daily on our site — www.marietta.edu/covid-19-cases-reporting. We learned that the ONG Medical Division that has provided testing on campus is also authorized to administer the vaccine when it becomes available.

Our local health departments and Memorial Health System have created COVID-19 vaccine sign-up links that will help determine when individuals qualify for the vaccines and also provide a way for health officials to contact each person to schedule those shots.

Washington County//Marietta/Belpre Health Department:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScf1Sn7V3J-c8m_g4UaQcsS4zs8mSZMz8IyGuQaipQW3hld-g/viewform

Marietta Memorial Hospital:

https://mhsystem.org/coronavirus/#anchor-covid-19vaccinewaitlist

For West Virginia residents:

https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Vaccine.aspx

It is great to see our campus community back together and I look forward to another successful semester. Be sure to tune in this Friday, January 22nd, at 7:00 p.m. to watch our women’s basketball team take on the Otterbein Cardinals for their first home game of the season. You can watch the game online at pioneers.marietta.edu.

Go Pioneers!

Bill Ruud 
President and Professor of Management