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Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” executive order

Posted by:
March 24, 2020

To: The PLU Community
From: Office of the President

Dear PLU community,

I’d like to start by thanking all of you for being a part of PLU’s collective effort to keep each other safe and do our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in our community and in Washington state. We’ve heeded the recommendations of the CDC, local and state health-department experts, and Governor Jay Inslee every step of the way, and will continue to do so until this pandemic is behind us.

Washington issues statewide “stay at home” executive order

Last night, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide executive “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order requiring all Washington residents to stay home or at their place of residence for at least the next two weeks, to further limit gatherings, and to limit the number of people in any given space. The PLU community has already transitioned to remote learning and shifted to only essential functions on-campus while other services continue remotely. Governor Inslee’s order extends the more restrictive measures to businesses throughout the state. We are in compliance with the new order and exceptions for essential workers.

Confirmed case — PLU community member

We received notification that a PLU employee has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We are in contact with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD). This employee was last on the PLU campus on March 16. We are also in direct communication with three community members who were the only people identified as being in contact with the person; they are currently in self-quarantine at home under the guidance of medical and public-health officials. PLU’s Health Center is working under the direction and with the assistance of the TPCHD to notify any additional close contacts and provide them with the necessary quarantine instructions. Please note that if you have not been notified by the PLU Health Center, no action is needed from you at this time.

If you are healthy, without any respiratory illness symptoms, then you are at very low risk. Current CDC guidelines are clear that monitoring, quarantining and testing or any other special management is not required for asymptomatic contacts of people who had possible contact with individuals who were presumed or confirmed to have COVID-19.

We intend to honor the Washington State law that obligates us to protect this individual’s privacy, and as a result we will not release their name. We wish our Lute family member a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.

For residential students

Community care, health, and safety remain the highest priorities of the PLU response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Campus will continue to operate the essential functions needed to support remaining residential students. For many students, PLU still is the best and safest home address for participating in remote learning, and it is imperative that we continue to serve those students. To allow for allocation of resources for the Lutes who need it the most, we request that those remaining in on-campus housing who are able to return to their permanent home addresses to please do so for the rest of spring term or until public health directives indicate otherwise.

Residential students received an email earlier yesterday with a link to a final Residential Life Census Survey and a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) regarding community standards and expectations for all students continuing to reside on campus. If you have not yet completed the Census Survey, please do so immediately.

As a reminder, most people with the COVID-19 infection develop mild to moderate illness, without the need for medical care. However, healthy young people who carry the virus without any symptoms can spread it to others who may be at significant risk of severe COVID-19 illness due to age or underlying health conditions.

For staff and faculty

PLU will continue to practice the measures announced last week surrounding remote work wherever possible. Each division on campus has identified personnel that serve essential functions necessary for the continuity of care for students, education and business. These personnel should also be working remotely when possible.

All Lutes, everywhere

This isn’t easy. It’s a challenge for all of us. Your sacrifices are not going unnoticed, and we deeply believe they are making a difference to our shared community. In the coming weeks, all PLU students, faculty, and staff are advised to stay at home and practice the proven methods of prevention to help stop the spread of the virus and to flatten the curve so that people who require related healthcare are able to receive it. To each of you, thank you for your caring, your flexibility, your grace, and your patience. Together we will meet this challenge.

As a reminder, you can access updates and new FAQs, recommendations, and communications at www.plu.edu/coronavirus.

In community,

Allan Belton

Joanna Royce-Davis
Vice President for Student Life