Chancellor Gives COVID-19 Update, Asks Community to Remain Vigilant

Chancellor Joe Steinmetz wears a mask during an executive committee meeting.
Chieko Hara/University Relations

Chancellor Joe Steinmetz wears a mask during an executive committee meeting.

Editor's Note: University of Arkansas Chancellor Joe Steinmetz updated the campus community on Wednesday about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on campus. He mentioned how pleased he was with the downward trend of active cases, but asked our community to remain vigilant and embrace best practices. You can stay up-to-date with the latest health and safety guidance and information on returning to campus on the U of A's COVID-19 Response website.


Dear U of A Community:

It pleases me to report that the university's active COVID-19 case numbers have dropped significantly — from more than 900 last week to just 334 as of Monday. More than 1,100 people have now officially recovered. This is wonderful news. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet, but it does suggest our campus community has done a better job of heeding health and safety guidelines. 

As temperatures fall and we transition into the cold and flu season, we still need to ensure that we continue to be vigilant and embrace best practices. But I do want to thank everyone who has been doing their part to bring these numbers down. While we will continue to closely monitor the situation, we will resume on-campus events that had been suspended from September 4 through this Friday. On-campus events will be allowed to resume as of September 21 under the previously established guidelines.

I also want to let you know we have updated our Dashboard to include the percentage of space available for temporary quarantine and isolation. As you'll see, more than 50% of this space is currently available. So we continue to be in good shape on this front, too. 

Additionally, I want to remind you that testing is available on campus five days a week at the Pat Walker Health Center. If you believe you may have been exposed to the virus, or for your peace of mind, I urge you to make an appointment and get tested at the PWHC. Testing is available for anyone in the campus community who wants it. 

Again, thanks to everyone for doing their part to get our number of active cases down to a more manageable level. I very much hope to report further declines soon. 

So please keep staying the course.

Finally, congratulations to Dr. Charles Robinson on being named provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and students affairs. I'm thrilled with this appointment and he's going to do a tremendous job.

Sincerely,

Joe Steinmetz, Ph.D.
Chancellor

Contacts

John F. Thomas, Manager of University Communications
University Relations
479-575-7430, jfthomas@uark.edu

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