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Dear UVM Community Members,
As you may have heard, this weekend, the state of Vermont reported its first case in Bennington of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus. At this stage, the case is presumptive and still needs to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC). Given the worldwide spread of the disease, this development was not unanticipated. The University of Vermont is working closely with the state to monitor the situation with the clear understanding that our primary concern is—and always will be—the health and well-being of our community.
I realize there is a significant amount of COVID-19 information currently in circulation. While most of it is well-meaning, some of it can be inaccurate. Therefore, I urge you to access the university’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. It will provide official messaging, including our past communications to campus on this fast-changing subject, as well as links to important resources, such as the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health websites. It will also provide information regarding latest directives and protocols, particularly those related to travel and self-quarantine.
As a university, we are committed to safeguarding the health of our community while maintaining the continuity of our operations and delivering on our educational mission. We have a cross-functional team, including UVM senior leadership, focused on how best to do that in light of the unfolding situation related to COVID-19. This includes measures for faculty to deliver instruction remotely, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning’s guide on teaching continuity, as well as a review of policies related to self-quarantine and time-reporting.
We will continue to provide you with updates via email, our dedicated COVID-19 webpage, and other channels. Meanwhile, I want to express my personal commitment to the wellbeing of each of you. Take good care of yourselves, your families, and your colleagues by monitoring and following recommended health practices. Times such as these can be unsettling, but we can rely on the strength, kindness and pragmatism so central to our community.
Thank you for your support and partnership.
Suresh V. Garimella