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Hope, Strength, Resilience

How the CSU Community Responded to the Global Pandemic

Difficulty is often the ground from which some of life’s greatest triumphs bloom. And there’s no mistaking that COVID-19 plagued 2020 with what seemed to be an never-ending barrage of challenges. But the CSU community swiftly responded with compassion and a laser-focused determination to emerge better for having weathered the storm. 

CSU’s Response to COVID-19

March 2: Initial reports of emerging pandemic in the U.S. 

March 3: First meeting of the Pandemic Response Team (PRT) with daily meetings thereafter, including weekends. President Harlan Sands began providing regular updates to Board of Trustees Chairman.

March 5: All CSU personnel recalled from CSU-sponsored travel. 

March 6: PRT begins initial planning. Daily updates provided to campus community. CSU launches coronavirus update website to serve as the single source for all information related to CSU and COVID response.   

March 6-19: Updates provided to Faculty Senate. President of Faculty Senate included in all COVID planning as PRT member since PRT began on March 3. 

March 19: Update to Board of Trustees. Updates at every BOT meeting thereafter. Executive leadership gets regular updates in-between meetings.

March 20: Weekly virtual town hall meetings with President Sands begin. 

March 23: Virtual classes begin.

March 20-August 17: Planning for fall semester begins, including the implementation of the 7 Layers of Protection. PRT meets 3 times per week. Inter-University Council of Ohio Campus Repopulation Work Group meets weekly.

April 1 (approximately): Inter University Council convenes Campus Repopulation Work Group. CSU leads coordination and best practices for safe campus reopening among all Ohio public universities and colleges.

June 1: Research labs restart.

August 8: Early faculty return.

August 17: Early student return.

August 24: Fall semester classes commence on time in hybrid model. Planning for spring semester begins. 

CSU’s 7 Layers of Protection

CSU’s Pandemic Response Team, comprising various university officials, including team lead Forrest Faison, MD, senior vice president for research and innovation, and chief healthcare strategy officer, led an effort to create a blanket of protective services and functions to help ensure the wellbeing of the CSU community called the 7 Layers of Protection. 

  1. Online health assessment
    Before arriving on campus, everyone must pass an online health assessment. 
  2. Personal Protection
    Masks are required and over 400 hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the campus. 
  3. Environmental controls
    The university nearly doubled housekeeping staff to frequently clean high-volume, high-touch areas and sanitize classrooms between each class. Furniture is spread out to create socially distanced sitting areas. CSU also invested in technology to improve airflow in buildings and remove contaminants from the air.
  4. Education and signage
    There’s a dedicated COVID-19 information page on the CSU website and signage on campus encourages proper distancing and sanitizing measures.
  5. Contact tracing
    The university hired a team of contact tracers to respond to positive cases on campus.
  6. COVID-19 testing
    Cleveland Clinic provides a number of daily rapid response tests for CSU students suspected of having contracted the virus and provides next-day results.
  7. Isolation and quarantine
    The top two floors of Fenn Tower were designated as a quarantine zone with CSU offering full support, supplies and food to any student required to isolate.

Also in this Issue...

COVID-19 Research at CSU

While the rest of the world moved to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19, teams of undergraduate and graduate students and four members of CSU’s Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD)  joined the effort. Read more >>

Leading with Honor

Meet the man helping shape CSU’s response to the pandemic. Read more >>

The CSU Community Quickly Moved Into Action

From delivering PPE to stitching face masks, students, faculty and staff quickly sprang into action in response to the pandemic. Read more >>

How COVID-19 Shifted the work of the CSU Alumni Association

As a result of the world’s shift to virtual connection as a primary source of interaction, the CSU Alumni Association developed a number of programs to engage with alumni both near and far. Read more >>>

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