About Manchester

Weekly Update - October 1


From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:01 AM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: Weekly update - Oct. 1


Dear Colleagues,

There was some angst about whether we could stay in person until October, but here we are, turning the page on a new month.

We have all done remarkably well wearing masks and following other COVID-19 safety protocols. Students and colleagues alike have acted responsibly to help keep others healthy, and I thank you.

Flu vaccine

Cold and flu season has arrived and will disrupt our new routines. Cold weather will increasingly keep us inside and increase the contact we have with each other. I encourage you to get a flu vaccine to help reduce our risk. They are widely available including on our campuses. Remember that if you aren’t feeling well, let your supervisor know and stay home. And let us know if you need to stay home to care for a sick child or family member. All of these things will help us stay healthy and whole.

Changes in Indiana’s Reopening Plan

Last week, Gov. Eric Holcomb moved the state into Stage 5 of his reopening plan. While allowing normal business in most venues, face coverings and social distancing are still required.

We are not going to change our protocols on campus. They are built primarily around masks and social distancing and will help us get through October and to our Nov. 20 last day of in-person classes. Our protocols have and will continue to serve us well.

Posted Test Results

We get questions from time to time about the testing data posted on our website. Why don’t we post how many positive tests we have each week? Why do we report self-disclosed test results differently?

We report three sets of numbers on our website: the number of tests we’ve administered (weekly and total), the percentage of those tested who were positive or negative (weekly and total), and the number of people who self-reported as positive. You can use those data to calculate how many individuals have tested positive in our testing (the percent positive x total tests = individuals who tested positive). We only report a count of those who self-report a positive test because we don’t have a “total tested” figure to calculate a positivity rate.

The testing indicator we monitor most closely is the positivity rate. This is also a key indicator for public health officials. It is the number of positives divided by the total tested. The positivity rate is one of several trigger indicators we will consider in making decisions about whether to go back to fully remote learning.

What’s Next?

Moving forward, our Reopen Work Group is planning for spring semester, evaluating what has gone well this semester and where we can improve. One of our goals is to build in more time late in the day for music and athletic groups.

We will continue our current work arrangements even after students move to remote learning at Thanksgiving. We want to de-densify our campuses, so we will continue the adjusted schedules we have and colleagues working from home will continue to do so. If your work plan needs to change after Thanksgiving, talk with your supervisor.

Please keep wearing masks, washing your hands and distancing. Our continued success depends on it.

Be well and stay safe.


Dave McFadden
Manchester University