COVID-19 Update March 27
Dear members of the Saint Louis University community,
This afternoon, I had the chance to speak – and more importantly, to listen – at a town hall meeting of our medical practice. During this discussion, I heard what is on the minds of our hard-working nurses, physicians and other critical SLUCare staff who shared the toll that COVID-19 is taking on our community — and on those at the front line. Some of it, such as the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), was hard to hear.
Together we are working to address the needs of our SLUCare practice and other health care providers. For example, Parks College of Engineering is hoping to begin manufacturing N-95 masks next week.
The University is also working to identify other ways to support critically-important health care providers. Our student housing consolidation plan, for example, has set aside rooms in Reinert Hall for healthcare practitioners to rest and recuperate after a long day’s work. We will continue to look for other ways to support them, and we welcome your ideas.
As I have said a few times in these daily messages, we owe enormous thanks to the dedicated healthcare workers throughout our region for all the sacrifices they are making to serve those they treat. These sacrifices include putting their own well-being on the line. I am in awe of their relentless spirit and tireless service. I know you are as well.
March 27 updates
- Grading policies: We recognize that as more universities around the country change their policies in favor of pass/fail grading, there is an increased interest in doing something similar at SLU. The Provost has convened a group of academic leaders and students to revisit this topic. We expect to have more information for you next week once the group provides a recommendation.
- New COVID-19 research website: Research is a critical part of our mission here at SLU. I am so proud to share a new webpage dedicated to COVID-19 research taking place at the University. The stories and opportunities continue to evolve, but I want to share where you can go to learn more about this important work from our public health and infectious disease experts.
- Commencement: As we have shared, no concrete decision has been made about commencement. We continue to actively engage students about this topic and hope to bring more information to you next week.
- A reminder about best practices: I want to remind you of our shared responsibility to follow all public health best practices. Continue to practice social distancing, and other critical health habits such as staying home if you’re sick and washing your hands regularly.
As we head into the weekend, I want to share that I don’t expect to have any messages for you until Monday. I have heard from you that my daily updates have been helpful these past few weeks. We will plan to keep communicating as new developments arise and decisions are made.
I remind you that we have substantial information posted on SLU’s COVID-19 webpage. This includes refunds, housing updates and employee information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
God bless you, your families, and Saint Louis University.
Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.