TO: Fayette Campus students, faculty and staff
SUBJECT: President’s Communication – COVID-19 Communication
Dear Fayette Campus Community,
I am emailing you with an update on COVID-19 in Fayette County. As you may have already heard, COVID-19 cases are on the rise here and throughout the state. The positivity rate (the number of tests that come back positive) has more than doubled, and area hospitals are already at or near capacity from a surge in hospitalizations. Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) is asking area businesses and residents to take action now to slow the active spread of the coronavirus and protect our community (see their message at the bottom of this email).
Here is what we all can do to help:
- Wear masks and encourage others do so.
- Practice social distancing.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
- Stay home and away from others when you don’t feel well.
All of this should be familiar—we here at Fayette Campus are already doing the things FCPH is recommending to curb the spread of the virus. That should not stop us from doing even more to support our communities and show them how much we care. Our university is uniquely positioned to make a very real difference in this and every community we serve. I challenge each of us—students, faculty and staff—to lead by example by practicing these preventative measures on campus, when we are out in the community, and when we travel. Let’s all do our part. Together, we can make a critical difference in our united battle against COVID-19.
William R. Duffy II, Ed.D., Ed.S.
Upper Iowa University
W: (563) 425-5221
Fayette County Public Health asking for Community’s Help in Battling COVID-19
The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Fayette County are on the rise with over 175 new cases in the past two weeks; the number of hospitalizations is also climbing.
For the entire county, the positivity rate has increased from 6.99% on October 27 to 15.3% as of Friday, November 6. That is an 8.31% increase in positivity, which is more than double our previous rate.
We are seeing COVID-19 spread among all ages, many businesses and schools are affected, and the cases are not related to any single event or town. At this time, in Fayette County, the disease is being actively spread throughout all communities. This is happening in our surrounding counties as well.
The number of admissions for many hospitals in northeast Iowa are at, or near capacity. There is a desperate need to slow the spread, flatten the curve, and protect our community and population.
Fayette County Public Health, in conjunction with Fayette County Board of Health, is asking our towns to put into place an expectation of its citizens to step up and protect each other. Public Health is requesting that towns ask businesses to wear masks to ensure the health of employees and to protect customers.
For our Fayette County communities during this pandemic, we are at a crossroads. Having been lucky enough to avoid high positivity rates until now has been a blessing. But COVID-19 is here, and it is not stopping. As many local healthcare centers are urging our communities to step up and assist in mitigation efforts, please remember it is going to require more than just our medical professionals to fight this fight. It will take all residents of Fayette County and we are asking for your help!
Please know it is acceptable to hold each other accountable to slow down the spread so our health care system can handle the increased number of patients. Ask businesses to wear masks. Ask customers to wear masks. Ask each other to wear masks. Fayette County Public Health continues to ask individuals to wear masks and practice social distancing and good hand hygiene. And, most importantly, stay home when not feeling well. These things are vital to ensure the continued health of all communities.