Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns adresses COVID-19 on campus, state of campus

In a campus wide letter sent out Aug. 14, Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns discussed COVID-19 on campus and context to the COVID-19 dashboard.

Mearns said that last week the number of students who tested positive for COVID-19, which is said is "encouraging," campus community members must "continue to be very vigilant."

As indicated on Ball State's COVID-19 dashboard, several of the students who tested positive were found during the re-entry protocol for residence halls, and other positive students are only taking online classes this semester, he said.

There have been "relatively" fewer faculty and staff that have tested positive since Ball State resumed on-campus classes, Mearns said.

"That data suggests that our on-campus protocols are presently mitigating the spread of the coronavirus in our classrooms, laboratories, meeting rooms, and other campus facilities," he said. "That data also reinforces the value of complying with those protocols – wearing masks, washing hands, physical distancing, and avoiding large gatherings – while off campus, as well.

The dashboard has been modified to "communicate" that the total number of positive tests of students and faculty since Aug. 17 does not distinguish between who still has the virus and who has recovered, Mearns said. Ball State will now "conservatively estimate" the amount of people that have recovered.

Mearns said Ball State's team of medical and public health experts have advised him that the other key indicators monitored are stable and improving.

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