About Manchester

Testing shows positive COVID-19 cases at North Manchester campus


From: Van Vlerah, Abagail L <ALVanVlerah@manchester.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 9:17 AM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>; NMStudents <NMStudents@manchester.edu>; FWStudents <FWStudents@manchester.edu>
Subject: Testing shows positive COVID-19 cases at North Manchester campus

Dear Students and Colleagues,

In keeping with our commitment to share important information during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am notifying you that two members of the Manchester University community have tested positive for the virus while at the North Manchester campus.

Nearly 200 students and some employees who interact with students took the test Monday. We have arranged with those who tested positive to isolate, either off campus or on campus, until cleared to return. MU reported pertinent information to the Wabash County Health Department.

The University will not release information that might identify any student or employee who tests positive, shows symptoms or might have been exposed. This is to protect their privacy, and you should not share any identifying information on social media or elsewhere for the same reason. They need your support and grace during what must be a stressful time. Information about their health is their story to share, if they so choose, not yours.

We are taking steps to help health officials trace any direct contact. Any individual who has had close contact with a person who tested positive will need to go into quarantine, on or off campus, until they are cleared to return to active campus life.

We have thoroughly cleaned areas involved. Although the most recent scientific evidence strongly suggests that surfaces are not a likely source of transmittal, we choose to err on the side of caution.

We do not intend to send out an email every time we get results, but these first positive tests remind us that students and employees should remain diligent about assessing their own health. If you are sick for any reason, stay home and self-quarantine. An easy way to check for COVID-19 symptoms is MU’s health-screening app. Go to https://mobile.manchester.edu and click on the COVID-19 icon.

  • Students who develop symptoms or test positive should call the Center for Health and Sports Medicine at 260-982-5306 or email health@manchester.edu. Please do not go to the office until you have talked to someone there, so that they can work with you to determine what the next steps should be.
  • Employees with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should contact their medical provider and health@manchester.edu, which ensures privacy to discuss next steps. Your supervisor needs to know you are taking PTO.

Anyone needing emergency care should call 911.

For the latest updates on MU’s response to COVID-19, see https://www.manchester.edu/student-life/health-and-sports-medicine/medical-alerts. This page also contains health and other resources for all members of the MU community.

We can all help reduce risks in the Spartan community by following guidelines for wearing masks, social distancing and health-safety hygiene. Please follow the perennial advice of Tim Ogden, dean of the Gilbert College of Business: Be safe and make good decisions.

Many of us are experiencing uncertainty and concern. I encourage anyone who feels the need to take advantage of services that are available.

  • Students can make an appointment with a counselor by emailing counselingservices@manchester.edu. Someone will respond as quickly as possible during business hours. Students may also contact Academicsupport@manchester.edu for assistance with issues such as study skills and managing your time. 
  • Colleagues can speak with a counselor by phone at the Bowen Center, which is collaborating with Manchester through our Employee Assistance Program. Colleagues who want to use this service may call 800-342-5653 to schedule an appointment.

As we face this ever-changing situation together, the COVID-19 response team has been meeting weekly for months, and the Reopen Work Group has been working full time, to formulate thoughtful decisions based on the latest and best information available to reduce risks for students and colleagues. We now are forming the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team, which President Dave McFadden will explain in his Thursday update email.

In its decisions, Manchester consults local health officials, Parkview Health and our own health care experts on staff, as well as following guidelines from the local, state and federal government.

Send your suggestions and concerns to health@manchester.edu. They will get thoughtful consideration.

Please join me in sending best wishes to all those who are affected.



Abby Van Vlerah, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Vice President of Student Life
604 E. College Ave.
North Manchester, IN 46962
E: alvanvlerah@manchester.edu