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Dean's Office Communication on COVID-19 - 2020-11-05

Dear COM Students,

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am grateful for the efforts, resilience and ingenuity of our students, faculty and staff in sustaining our osteopathic medical education program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am also quite concerned, looking at the statistics on cases, hospital capacity and ICU bed availability. These concerns are compounded by the data that small gatherings with family and friends are driving cases higher. So, as you prepare for the upcoming holidays or a break in the curriculum, it is vitally important for you to keep several strategies in mind.

  1. Continue diligent use of preventive measures, including masks, social distancing and hand washing. These measures are part of the MSU Community Compact and all students are responsible for adhering to these directives on campus. Following this guidance off-campus as well should reduce the risks to you and others. For a quick and complete list of COVID resources available to you, be sure to visit the COVID-19 Resource page on our website.
  2. Avoid large gatherings and consider strategies to more safely connect with family and friends. Getting together with people outside your household Is not recommended, and there is risk to the assumption that “bubble” is free of infection.
  3. MSU’s travel policies remain in effect.  This means that students traveling to a “red zone” state, as determined by the Covid Act Now website, must quarantine for 14 days upon return. This has implications for preclerkship students who will be expected to be ready to return to campus during the week of January 11, and for clerkship students who are traveling for personal reasons or rotations. As noted by President Stanley, students should practice enhanced physical distancing for 14 days before travel, and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at their destination.
  4. Clerkship students must also follow all policies for personal protective equipment and reporting of symptoms or exposures. Students must also be cautious about activities that may place them at increased risk away from the clinic or hospital. These important safety measures also represent a mutual obligation with our clinical education affiliates and the patients they care for. Monitor for updates from Dr. Enright and the clerkship team as we continue to navigate the evolving scenarios across the state.

We all recognize the importance of medical student well-being, and how your networks of family and friends help to sustain your efforts. We must also recognize the very real threat of the surge in COVID-19. As I have stated from the start, our first priority as an osteopathic medical community is everyone’s health and safety. Our second priority is your education. To protect both priorities, your cooperation and diligence are essential to keeping your medical education on track.  

I wish each of you, and your families and friends, a safe and happy holiday.

Sincerely,

Andrea Amalfitano D.O., Ph.D.
Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine