UD: ‘We are investing millions of dollars in prudent safety measures to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading’

Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: University of Dayton professor Joel R. Pruce submitted a guest column critical of the university's decision to resume in-person classes. Among others things, he contends that doing so as the university plans could "unleash a deadly virus on an unsuspecting city." This is the university's response to Pruce piece. His piece is linked below.

Throughout its history, the University of Dayton has demonstrated we care deeply for the Dayton community. As more than 150 University of Dayton faculty, staff, and students created our plans for in-person learning this fall, they were mindful of our responsibilities to both the campus community and our deep care for friends and neighbors throughout Dayton.

Developed in consultation with an advisory panel of medical experts from the Dayton community and officials from Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, our plan includes extensive measures to help reduce the risk of the spread of the virus, including a regular, random testing program for students throughout the semester. Our initial entry testing program for all undergraduate and other residential students is working well by preventing cases from coming to campus or detecting those who have an infection as they arrive, and reducing the risk they will spread it to others. We have briefed City of Dayton leaders on our plans, were pleased to receive their support, and continue to work with them.

We have moved our community-engaged educational programs online and restricted travel. We are investing millions of dollars in prudent safety measures to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading. We have established strict enforcement standards for students, with sanctions that include finishing the semester at home.

Our students love UD and the people of Dayton. They want to learn and live on campus for the fall semester and understand the stakes. Students have been deeply involved in emphasizing to each other their shared responsibility to behave safely on- and off-campus.

No one can guarantee a COVID-free campus. But we have relied on science, made significant investments, and will continue to be nimble, responsible and thoughtful in our approach, mindful of the close relationship between the University and the community whose name we proudly bear.

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