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COVID-19 Update: This Next Chapter of Our Journey Together

Jan. 28, 2021

Dear Saint Louis University students,

More than 10 months ago we hit pause on our in-person coursework and undertook what felt like an impossible task of moving to remote learning for all courses. We came a long way from that moment as we began the fall with roughly 75 percent of all courses meeting in-person full- or part-time.

But back in March of 2020, I committed a series of things to you, including the utmost transparency when decisions were made. As we start this new semester –– and a new journey –– together, I want to recommit to transparency by sharing a few reflections on the fall and some hopes for the spring.

Reflections on the Fall Semester

We have been hard at work analyzing data, identifying patterns and learning important lessons from the fall semester. We begin this new term under pandemic conditions, smarter and better prepared, but realizing that it is going to be challenging and things we never anticipated are bound to occur.

But before I dive in, I want to reemphasize that the vast majority of our students were diligent with public health safeguards, and worked with us to ensure that we successfully completed the semester together. That said, it is important to note the surge of COVID-19 cases we saw after Halloween. Particularly since there are so many typically-social holidays ahead of us in the next few months.

Here’s what we learned:

Four Important Lessons from the Fall

A Quick Note About the COVID-19 Vaccine

You are as eager as we are about the COVID-19 vaccine. We love the enthusiasm.

We still do not know when SLU will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. What I can tell you is that we are working hard to develop policies and procedures around what we will do when that day comes. Your continued patience is appreciated.

In the meantime, if you fit one of the already activated tiers, you may register for vaccination with your local health department and through a local hospital system, if one is available to you.

Those who have already received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine should let us know by uploading that information into this Google Form. Reporting on your COVID-19 vaccination status is optional but appreciated. We are trying to gauge what percentage of our community is vaccinated. 

Wrapping Up

The reality of OneSLU has been on display in a big way since COVID-19 came into our lives. You have dedicated your time, resources, and energy to do much for the greater good.

This virus might make it difficult for us to be together as much, and as directly, as we would like, but it can never really keep us apart.

Thank you for your contributions to our shared mission and vision.

Higher purpose. Greater Good.

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.