Dear campus community,
The arrival of a new academic year is always a thrilling time with the promise of new discoveries, experiences and opportunities. With the 2022-23 academic year set to begin in mere days, we are all excited by those prospects. As we focus on delving into new pursuits, it’s also wise to take a moment to reflect on recent lessons learned.
To that end, let’s all resolve to make 2022-23 a safe and healthy experience by practicing habits proven during the past two years to protect both ourselves and others amid the ongoing realities of COVID-19. Let us also be proactive about maintaining our well-being in other ways as well.
Here are a few reminders for a healthy start to fall term and the full school year ahead:
At this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, population-level practices such as broad asymptomatic testing and daily health screening are no longer recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, but each one of us should continue to vigilantly follow protocols that are proven to help curb the spread or impact of the virus:
Get vaccinated and boosted when eligible.
Get tested when experiencing symptoms (Follow CDC isolation protocols).
Stay home and avoid close contact with others when ill—except to get medical care.
Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days when exposed to a positive case (Follow the CDC’s recently updated exposure protocol, which no longer calls for quarantining).
Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Wearing a mask is an individual decision and always acceptable, but using a well-fitting face covering in public is particularly recommended by the CDC when an area’s COVID-19 community level reaches “high” status. You can read more about community levels and WMU's associated protocols on the University's COVID-19 Public Health Guidance webpage. Stay abreast of Kalamazoo’s community level on the county’s health data webpage.
Much more information is available on the University’s COVID-19 website.
While continuing to monitor COVID-19 guidance, we’re also following the course of the emerging national health concern posed by the monkeypox virus (MPV). According to the CDC, MPV is spread through close and intimate contact with someone who is infected. Take time to read Sindecuse Health Center’s webpage about MPV facts.
The chief symptom of monkeypox is a rash that will present in several stages, including scabbing before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters, according to the CDC, and it may appear in private parts of the body or on such areas as the chest, face, feet, hands or mouth. If you are experiencing symptoms and suspect monkeypox, make an appointment at Sindecuse using the secure patient portal or call the health center at (269) 387-3287.
At WMU, we know well-being is multidimensional. Stay physically active, practice self-care that you find uplifting and manage any mental health concerns by taking advantage of the available tools and resources as needed to maintain overall wellness.
The University has myriad resources available to help you thrive in this regard, including:
For mental health support:
YOU at Western online tool
WellTrack self-help app for students and employees
Sindecuse Counseling Services for students
For activities that benefit body and mind:
I hope you are excited about the upcoming 2022-23 academic year and embrace its promise and potential to be the best academic year yet. We can all play a role in making that aspiration a reality. See you soon, Broncos!