Doing great — But Staying Vigilant
Lake Area Tech Students,
I am very proud of how you have been doing – 90% of you did not miss any on-campus classes due to COVID quarantine/isolation during this entire first half of the fall semester. That only happens because each of you did your part to not expose others, both on and off campus. So keep social distancing, masking when appropriate/required, washing your hands and sanitizing.
The first thing I want to ask you is to take care of each other. College by itself is a stressful time. When you add COVID on top of the upcoming winter season it only makes it more stressful. Make sure you and your classmates are taking breaks, having some fun, and seeking professional help if you feel depressed or stressed out. We have a great team of mental health professionals if you want to talk to someone.
As we see the number of cases in the community grow and the number of people hospitalized increase, I want to remind you that we need to remain vigilant in combatting COVID-19. We have done well so far, but I have noticed some students not following the guidance. One outbreak could affect a lot of people. Remember, “Your Bubble, Your Job.” It is your responsibility to socially distance, to wear your mask when required, and to follow all the safety guidance.
Social distancing (maintaining 6 feet) whenever you can is the most important step. Wearing masks is required in common areas, whenever you may be closer than 6 feet to others, and as directed by your instructors. Masks are for the safety of others, not just you. We need to protect our at-risk population. We have several students and staff who are either at-risk, live with someone who is at-risk, or are caregivers for at-risk people. Unfortunately, for some COVID is life-threatening. Besides putting at-risk people needlessly in harm’s way, not following guidance may jeopardize your ability to finish the semester because we do not have sufficient staff available to cover if multiple faculty and key positions get COVID.
As winter sets in, so does cold and flu season. The same guideline for protecting at-risk people from COVID help to protect them from influenza. Let’s all do our part to keep everyone safe, to keep everyone in the shops and labs, and to all go home at Christmas with a full semester completed.
You are doing great – keep it up!