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Message from President Fenves: COVID-19 tracking and community update

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The following message was sent to the Emory community on Aug. 28, 2020, by President Gregory L. Fenves:


Dear Emory community,

Yesterday, I was joined by faculty, staff and student leaders for a webinar to talk about Emory’s strategies and progress in preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19. We had a wide-ranging conversation about the status on campus and I’m grateful to all who participated.

Another purpose of the webinar was to announce the university’s new COVID-19 Dashboard — an online resource to provide daily updates on COVID-19 cases within our community. The dashboard can be found on Emory Forward. In addition to the number of COVID-19 positive cases reported for Emory faculty, staff and students, the dashboard shows information on infection rates for the counties in which our campuses are located and Atlanta area hospital capacity.

We’ve also launched “For You. For Us. For Emory,” a public health campaign to unite all members of the Emory community around our shared responsibility to keep COVID-19 off campus so that we can stay on campus. You can read more about it here.

In recent weeks, Emory student groups have created their own initiatives to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Emory Student Government Association (SGA) has used social media takeovers, videos and a student logo design competition to reinforce health practices. The Oxford College SGA has been doing great work in spreading the word about safe protocols, and I saw them in action during my visit to Oxford yesterday. The Graduate Student Government Association has created a robust engagement strategy, in collaboration with all graduate and professional divisional councils, to build community via virtual events while encouraging students to stay safe. I’m proud of our students who have answered the call and instilled a sense of shared purpose among their classmates. 

I want to reiterate how important it is for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested and self-isolate, pending test results. We are pleased to announce that we’re adding additional testing on campus for students. Right now, we have capacity for more than 2,500 tests per week. Tests will also be available to off-campus students, faculty and staff who have been approved to be on campus. 

On Tuesday, I convened the first meeting of Emory’s new COVID-19 Presidential Advisory Committee — a panel of public health experts and student and university leaders. We had an excellent discussion and identified important considerations for shaping the university’s strategy for the weeks and months ahead. Their expertise and counsel will be invaluable as we meet throughout the academic year. 

I am inspired by how the Emory community has come together during this challenging time. Thank you for your ongoing commitment.



Gregory L. Fenves


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