Bellarmine University / Welcome Back, Bellarmine / Move-in appreciation and COVID-19 update

Move-in appreciation and COVID-19 update

Dear Bellarmine Community,

We want to thank everyone who played a role in welcoming nearly 600 residential and commuter first-year students to campus over the past few days. While it looked a little different this year because of COVID-19 safety measures, the excitement of our newest Knights and their families was a familiar – and very welcome – feeling. As is the case each year, families were full of praise and gratitude for the students, faculty and staff who welcomed and assisted them as they arrived on campus.

While our final tally won’t be available until early September, our first-year students come from 23 states and 3 other nations, and they will likely be the most diverse class in Bellarmine’s history.

As we prepare for the start of classes in just three days, we’re proud of how everyone has adapted to the circumstances we face because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must remain vigilant about wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing and following public health guidance about greatly limiting social gatherings. These steps are how we protect our fellow Knights and minimize the presence of COVID-19 on our campus.

As of this morning, our campus has experienced 9 recent positive COVID-19 tests, identified through our return-to-campus screening protocols. An additional 18 members of our community are in quarantine based on exposure to someone who tested positive. Nearly all of those who must quarantine because of exposure or a positive test result are doing so off campus. Two students are quarantining on campus under the care of our campus health team. Additionally, one employee who has not been on campus tested positive and is isolating at home.

These are mostly cases related to exposure prior to arriving on campus, and that’s not unexpected, given that students are arriving in Louisville from across the nation. In fact, these numbers may rise a little as additional students return over the next few days.

It’s up to all of us to take actions that prevent the spread of the virus. Again, we ask that you:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Practice physical distancing both indoors and outside
  • Limit social gatherings
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • If we do these things, we hope to have a fall semester that is as normal as possible during this pandemic.

Every member of our community has been asked to take a pledge to act in a manner that keeps their fellow Knights safe and healthy by taking responsibility for their own health and doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This commitment honors our University values, which include social responsibility, hospitality, integrity, and respecting the intrinsic value and dignity of every individual.

If you have any questions or concerns about our return-to-campus plans, please email questions@bellarmine.edu. We are actively monitoring that email address and will work to respond promptly.

Best wishes for a safe, healthy and productive fall semester.

Sincerely,
Nancy York, Dean of the School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences
Co-Chair Steering Committee for Contingency Planning

Sean Ryan, Senior Vice President for Administration, Strategic Initiatives and Trustee Affairs
Co-Chair Steering Committee for Contingency Planning