Message from LSU President
August 28, 2020; 1 p.m.
Dear LSU Students,
The fall semester is always exciting, especially in a year as unprecedented as this one. The ongoing pandemic has changed campus life, and this week’s storms have disrupted our first week of classes, but they haven’t diminished our Tiger spirit. Thankfully, our campus was not significantly impacted by Hurricane Laura and we are excited to resume classes. Moving forward with our plans for fall, we need everyone to do their part.
Virus testing is critically important. The more we know about the health of our campus, the more we can improve our efforts to contain COVID-19. If you have not taken advantage of the testing opportunities on campus, please do so as soon as possible. LSU has the ability to conduct 5,000 tests per day for students, faculty and staff, seven days a week. You can get more information and schedule a test at https://www.lsu.edu/roadmap/health/testing.php.
I’m pleased to report that we’ve had a relatively low number of positive cases on campus among our nearly 40,000 students and employees. But we know those figures will rise as we conduct more tests. As positive cases increase, it’s important to remember that a single statistic does not reveal the complete picture. It’s also important to note that we have considerably less density on our campus this semester due to hybrid and remote classes, as well as faculty and staff who continue to work remotely for at least a portion of the week. That means someone who tests positive today is not as likely to spread COVID-19 on campus as they would be if we were operating normally.
To keep everyone informed, we are updating the number of positive cases reported on our campus on the Roadmap to Fall website. Please know that the numbers indicate when a positive case was reported to us, not when the virus was contracted. While we are not disclosing personal information about anyone who tests positive, due to privacy concerns, we will conduct contact tracing and notify those who have been in close contact with those individuals – including everyone who lives in the same residence hall or works in the same office as someone who tests positive.
We are prepared to accommodate students who test positive and provide any assistance needed to help ensure they’re able to safely isolate or quarantine, regain their health, and stay on track academically. We will encourage those students who are able to return home to do so, but we’ve also secured isolation and quarantine rooms in case they’re needed.
All of us have a crucial role to play in this fight. If we are not vigilant about these precautions, we jeopardize our ability to keep campus open throughout the fall and increase the risks of infecting others. So please wear face coverings correctly over your nose and mouth, do not remove them to speak, and even wear them outside if you are within 6 feet of others. Remember to use the TIGER Check COVID-19 Monitoring System daily, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and stay home if you don’t feel well.
If at some point it becomes unsafe for us to remain on campus, then we will have no choice but to reverse course and resume all-online instruction. None of us wants that to happen, so let’s all be mindful of the role we play and encourage others in our campus community to do the same. We hold our future in our hands -- each and every one of us.
Thank you for helping us ensure that we have a safe and successful fall semester!
Thomas C. Galligan, Jr.
LSU Interim President and Professor of Law