Dear Marietta College Campus Community and The Long Blue Line,

The campus is fully engaged in the semester and our operations regarding how we navigate the pandemic have remained steady. Thankfully, our community remains committed to practicing the Marietta College Cocktail as a matter of routine and our other mitigation efforts continue to be our best defense against infection and spread of COVID-19.

Because there are fewer “new” news items to share, our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force has reduced our meeting times to every other week. Of course, if crucial information must be shared, we will meet and share that information with you as soon as we can.

In addition to following the Marietta College Cocktail, it is important for everyone on campus to tighten up their “bubbles” so we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as the number of students and employees who must quarantine because of positive cases. The vaccine supply is limited so we must continue to do what we can to prevent illness until everyone who wants the vaccine can access it. On Tuesday, the Ohio National Guard administered 534 tests to students and employees on a voluntary basis over the course of four hours, and we did see a spike in positive cases (13). You can track Marietta College’s COVID-19 numbers daily on our site — www.marietta.edu/covid-19-cases-reporting. Everyone on campus is encouraged to use this free, voluntary testing being provided to us every Tuesday.

I was informed yesterday that the ONG unit that has been coming to campus have also begun administering vaccinations to qualified groups, and that the DBRC would be an ideal location to administer mass vaccinations once supplies become available to us.

If you know someone who is eligible for a vaccine but is struggling to find a location where it is available, Kroger has had numerous open time slots in areas outside of Marietta such as Athens and New Lexington. You can visit this link — https://www.kroger.com/rx/covid-eligibility — to see what is available.

As I mentioned last week, the Center for Health and Wellness is available for students in need of medical or counseling appointments. Our healthcare team has COVID-19, influenza and other testing capabilities on site, and students are not encouraged to “tough it out” if they do not feel well. We want you to seek medical and counseling care.

Regarding Dining Services, our partners at Parkhurst have been monitoring regulations surrounding self-service food stations and have decided to continue using the model currently being used, which is having the fully staffed stations.

This week, messaging was sent out to students regarding expanded SNAP Benefits (the largest federal nutrition assistance program) for qualified students during the public health emergency. Those details can be found in the announcement section of the MyMarietta portal and in the More Marietta email sent on Tuesday, February 16th. The College also has a committee working to secure funds and determine eligibility for student emergency grants through the second round of CARES Act money — details on that effort will be shared once they become available.

Lastly, we are planning to have at least one more virtual Town Hall meeting later in the semester to inform current students, families and employees about what to expect for the fall semester once those plans have been formed, as well as a Town Hall for prospective students and families. As always, we will share those dates when they are set.

Keep up the good work and be sure to take extra precautions as we brace for another round of wintry weather in the Mid-Ohio Valley over the next few days.

Bring Forth a Pioneer!

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management