Dear APU community,
Many of you received a message from the State of Alaska on your phone outlining new statewide guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is a serious message, I want to underscore that these state efforts have been part of APU’s plan since the summer. Community spread of the virus is prevalent across Alaska, but we have yet to see community spread on our campus. That is a testament to your dedication and respect for our campus community.
As you know, APU began its fall semester under a Campus Reopening Plan developed with input from public health experts. The same operating plan has been extended to the spring term. Access to campus buildings will continue to require an APU ID, and most courses are being delivered via distance delivery. After Thanksgiving, as planned, all courses will be delivered remotely. Residence halls will remain open for students who need to live on campus, and the university will work with individual students as needed to ensure you are able to access your online classes. As a reminder to staff and faculty, previously approved telecommuting arrangements have been extended through January 3, 2021. We will continue to monitor the situation in Alaska diligently and respond accordingly.
Because you have been respectful of distancing, masking, cleaning, and hand-washing guidelines, our community is in a strong position to keep our existing protocols in place and continue without changes at this time.
As the pandemic escalates, the risk rises for smaller settings like study groups, small group gatherings, and dinner parties. You may be asymptomatic, carrying the virus even though you feel perfectly healthy. You can spread the virus both to the people you are with and to the spaces you are in. We can limit our risk by renewing our shared commitment to follow public health guidance: wear a mask, maintain distance, limit social interactions, and wash your hands.
I am so impressed by your efforts so far during a challenging year. I know that you will continue to be thoughtful, be careful, and look out for one another.
Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson
Alaska Pacific University