Dear NEOMED faculty and staff:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have collaborated closely with the Portage County Health District and the Governor’s Office and have aligned our practices with CDC recommendations. As part of that alignment, I want to provide the following guidance as you plan for the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter breaks. In order to reduce exposures and remain consistent with COVID guidelines, I strongly encourage you take the following steps during your upcoming breaks:
- All members of the NEOMED community should minimize travel and exposure to large groups outside of your normal household as per the current Campus Safety Expectations in place.
- In addition, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is recommending against travel to and through those states with high positivity. Information regarding COVID-19 advisory states is available at the ODH travel advisory site.
- All employees should pay close attention to the ODH travel advisory site before, during and after travel. Quarantine requirements and recommendations may change, so it is important that you are aware of the most recent changes as you make travel plans.
- All employees must report travel outside the US and/or travel to or through any of the states that are listed on the ODH travel advisory site to COVIDReporting@NEOMED.edu.
- During the 14-day period following Thanksgiving break, Nov. 30 – Dec. 13, and the 14-day period following the winter break, Jan. 4 - 17, I am recommending that the colleges adjust their curricula to virtual delivery to the greatest extent possible. Faculty are expected to return from any travel regardless of whether curriculum is virtual or in-person since there may still be socially distanced curricular expectations such as labs. Look for specific instructions from your college regarding any changes to curriculum or testing plans. Individual colleges will make decisions for their respective student cohort.
- Staff are encouraged to work virtually during the two-week periods following both the Thanksgiving and the winter breaks unless it is determined by your supervisor that your work cannot be accomplished remotely. Employees are also expected to return from travel at the end of the breaks. Questions can be directed to Human Resources.
NEOMED will evaluate whether these recommendations should be replicated following spring break in 2021, and we will communicate accordingly.
John T. Langell