Remaining vigilant to reduce spread of COVID

September 21, 2020

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

To Our University Community:

As you look around our campus, you will notice that this has been a remarkably different time for all of us. There simply are not as many people physically on our campus as in years past. This has been by design as we have faced the challenges of COVID-19. We are seeing a maximum of between 2.6 and 4 percent of our approximately 20,700 students on campus at any given time.

These figures are just one part of a multi-dimensional picture. We have developed a residential life plan that has been responsive in pinpointing illness in the residential communities. We have a sound educational plan that has incorporated social distancing, and flexibility in teaching modalities. The embrace by students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear facial coverings while on campus, to maintain safe social distance and to practice good hand hygiene, have all been important factors in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. To all of you: Thank you for realizing that your actions have a bearing on everyone.

Off-campus activity, however, continues to be a challenge. Although we have some positive cases in our residential communities, the vast majority of our cases continue to center on individuals who live off campus. The Washoe County Health District noted again that off-campus parties and social gatherings remain the Health District’s greatest concern related to the University’s number of positive cases.

We must do better on this front. Individuals who are affiliated with our campus need to be more discerning in their actions and avoid large gatherings where there are no facial coverings. This is an opportunity for all of you to look out for one another. A small sacrifice now will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and will save lives. It is very important at this juncture in our academic year that we all remain vigilant and practice habits that keep the health of everyone we know at the forefront of what we do.

There are a number of resources available regarding COVID-19. It is also important to note that COVID-19 is a reportable illness, and no matter where an individual is tested, the University is made aware of these cases. Students can help expedite contact tracing by reporting a COVID-19 case via the University’s online reporting form. The Student Health Center is offering daily testing for students, faculty and staff.

The people of our University ultimately determine our success. Individual actions spur our institution to achievement, and inspire others to do the same. By making sound decisions, which include avoiding large off-campus gatherings and realizing such gatherings can be an accelerant in the spread of COVID-19, we can all play a major, personal role in the success of our University

Always think of others. Be kind to others. Make the right decisions for others. Stay vigilant for others.


Marc A. Johnson