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What does Pierce County’s Phase 2 rollback mean for PLU?

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Students wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart.
April 14, 2021

As Pierce County moves back to Phase 2, what does that mean for the PLU campus? 

As of April 16, Pierce County will roll back to Phase 2 of the governor’s Healthy Washington Roadmap plan. After receiving this notice from the county, we carefully examined our data and made the decision to remain in Stage 4 of the PLU Campus Status Dial. However, we too are approaching a possible regression in our dial status. Today marks the highest number of cases that we’ve had on campus during the entire pandemic. And as the weather grows warmer and our pandemic fatigue increases, we know it may grow more difficult for many of us to resist the urge to gather socially in groups.

As we all make choices this spring, let’s honor the progress we’ve made by working together and following our community safety guidelines. Students are now dining together at the University Commons. More classes are now meeting on campus. Student-athletes have had the opportunity to compete. Many of our performing-arts students are now able to create together. The unfortunate reality is that if campus case numbers continue to rise, all of these activities will be at risk of once again being far more restricted.

We’ve got less than seven weeks left in the semester, Lutes. Let’s all continue to work together to make small strides forward in our gradual return to in-person learning, living, and socializing. Please continue to wear your masks, practice social distancing, and avoid close contact with others.

What we’re seeing on campus

We’re tracking a rise in positive cases on campus, too. Again, as we head into a week of beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to note that today marks the highest number of cases that we’ve had on campus in the entire pandemic.

The fact that the positive cases have not resulted in community spread is a testament to the effectiveness of wearing masks, socially distancing, and other mitigation efforts. However, those efforts are now being challenged by the concerning trend we’re seeing develop this week. Contact tracing for positive cases has shown increasing numbers of close contacts being identified.

We call on all community members to continue to adhere to mitigation efforts to reduce the risk of additional close contacts and potential community spread. These factors play a significant role in PLU’s capacity to quarantine and isolate, and could result in rolling back stages on the PLU Campus Status Dial.

Keep it fundamental

Self-care is community care, and community care is self-care. We can take personal responsibility for both by:

  • Wearing a face mask
  • Staying at least six feet apart from others (even when outside)
  • Washing our hands frequently
  • Socializing in groups of no more than five
  • Refraining from holding or attending parties
  • Completing the daily Wellness Check-In
  • Being kind-hearted to one another, and holding each other accountable
  • Getting vaccinated as you are able

Even with the sunshine, we just can’t gather in large groups right now—not without putting members of our extended community in danger. So if you’re thinking of hosting or attending a large gathering, we strongly urge you to reconsider and safely gather in a small group instead.

In community,

Allan Belton

Joanna Gregson
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Joanna Royce-Davis
Vice President for Student Life

Teri Phillips
Chief Operating Officer and COVID-19 Site Supervisor

Elizabeth Hopper
Director of the Health Center