Today is Thursday (I needed that reminder!)

Thank you for your patience with the glitch in the sending out of yesterday’s Daily Deac. Not sure why it did not send as scheduled last night, but it did go out this morning.

The coronavirus news for today is there is a stay at home order issued by the mayor of Winston-Salem, effective 5 pm tomorrow (Friday, 3/27):

“All individuals currently living within the city of Winston-Salem area are restricted to stay at their places of residence,” the order states. “All persons may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, to operate essential business or as otherwise defined.”

For our students on campus or in WFU housing (who are not in isolation, of course), in real life terms this means they are permitted to leave their residence only for the following reasons:

Seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (please reschedule all routine, non-essential appointments)

Picking up to-go meals (see on-campus dining hours)

Going to local stores for supplies and services, including groceries and food, household consumer products and supplies to do work from home

Performing work that provides essential services (as defined by the mayor’s order)

Outdoor activity, keeping six feet away from others

For all students – no matter where you are housed now – we recommend the following ways to attend to your wellbeing:

Take a walk and exercise in the fresh air (while practicing responsible social distancing).

Connect regularly with your fellow Wake Foresters, friends and loved ones, near and far, via remote methods.

Continue to engage remotely with faculty members and classmates during this period of remote learning.

Make use of the virtual resources of various on-campus offices, centers and departments.

For immediate mental health crisis assistance, call 336-758-5273 any time, including evenings and weekends, to speak with someone.

Contact the Office of Student Engagement for help in setting up virtual meet-ups with student group members.

I have been thinking a lot this week about the wise words of Penny Rue, our Vice President for Campus Life. She often talks about how at midterms or finals (i.e., times of stress), students often forgo sleep, exercise, and good nutrition. But in midterms or finals – or the stressful time we are living in right now – we need to double down on getting enough sleep, getting a little exercise, and eating right. I had been so busy with crisis management stuff the past two weeks that I’d been eating fast-but-not-healthy things and not exercising at all (I had been sleeping well). I made the conscious choice to eat more fruits and veggies and I have to say I feel 100% better. So as needed, gently remind your Deac that sleep, a little (social distance appropriate) exercise, and good food are great ways to nurture their wellbeing.

We have had a couple of questions in the call center about students asking if they can come get things out of residence halls before the stay at home order goes into effect. They unfortunately cannot. Residence halls are restricted to students who were approved to stay on campus; this is for health reasons, to help prevent the spread of the virus.  We followed the advice of public health experts in making this decision. We know there are questions about students’ cars and belongings and I promise you our various crisis teams are working on those questions (and many other critical ones) and would beg your patience, as these are hugely complex issues.

Also wanted to add a bit more color to my 3/25 post regarding what we are doing here; this is information coming from our experts in infectious diseases and public health. The Student Health Service will continue to follow the most up to date recommendations from the NC Department of Health and Human Services regarding testing for COVID-19. Current recommendations from our State Dept. of Health are based on the public health measures aimed to address the COVID-19 situation specific to our location, availability of testing, and availability of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) required for healthcare providers to safely assess and test patients with symptoms that do not require hospitalization. Current recommendations for testing are grounded in efforts to reduce the exposure of others to illness and to conserve PPE, which is in short supply for hospital based healthcare workers caring for the sickest of patients. Of course, if this guidance changes or testing and PPE supplies change, SHS and local area healthcare facilities will follow the recommendations of their public health experts. 

Research about COVID-19 helps us to learn more about the virus transmission each day. Some studies indicate the virus can survive on surfaces for various lengths of time dependant upon the material of the surface and weather (temperature and humidity). While it is possible to contract illness from surfaces, CDC does not report this is the primary way in which the virus is transmitted. To protect yourself from the virus, CDC recommends frequent hand washing after handling items and cleaning commonly touched surfaces regularly to disinfect your home or work space. For most up to date information,we recommend visiting the CDC website frequently for the most up to date information.

In terms of risk of transmission and the 6’ away for less than 10 minutes rule, that does of course presume that you are not being actively sneezed or coughed on by someone infected. That of course would change the dynamics.

Please know that SHS and Wake Forest are monitoring these updates daily and continue to communicate daily with experts in infectious disease. Factors and recommendations for testing and treatment may be different in your home state based on the information and approach specific to public health measures in your communities.

That’s a lot to read. To balance out, here are some pictures from our archives that I have always loved. Some of these go back a while. Enjoy.

Enzo the service dog

The English department seminar room in Tribble Hall on the campus of Wake Forest UniversityDr. Barry Maine teaches classno admissiondance class dance classpresidents ballcommencementpuppies on the quadNew Wake Forest freshmen enjoy the Taste of Winston-Salem event, in which local restaurants bring samples of their food, outside the soccer stadium on Saturday, August 27, 2011. The Demon Deacon mascot works the crowd.misty morning poteat

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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