- Published Date:
February 3, 2022
Dear Howard University Community,
I want to again take this opportunity to thank you for your resilience, thoughtfulness and support of one another as we continue to navigate various challenges that have confronted our community. As a result of the recent bomb threats to the University and at least 19 other historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), we conducted a Howard University community town hall Tuesday evening on very short notice. Nearly 1,000 faculty, staff, students and parents joined to hear updates regarding the events that unfolded on campus (and around the nation), receive a status report from University officials, and understand what additional measures are being implemented to protect our community. An active investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), supported by various local, regional and federal organizations. If you were unable to join, click here to watch the recorded town hall Zoom meeting.
We will continue to work diligently with city and federal agencies to sweep buildings, inspect University grounds, trash receptacles, suspicious packages, work areas and more to ensure that everyone on campus remains in the safest environment possible. We must continue to remain alert on campus – including asking students, faculty and staff to report anything suspicious – and we are working in close partnership with law enforcement to swiftly assess and surveil reports of any suspicious activity. I want to extend our sincerest gratitude to our public safety officials and law enforcement partners for their ongoing support and leadership. These cowardly acts of domestic terror have not deterred them from their duties of protecting the safety and security of the Howard community, while putting themselves in harm’s way.
COVID-19 Mitigation Update
We continue to take additional steps to protect the health of our community. This week, we implemented an update to the Bison SAFE application to also reflect COVID-19 testing status.
Based on the weekly testing alphabetical schedule, if an individual misses a scheduled test, the Bison SAFE pass will automatically convert to YELLOW to indicate a caution and notify others as to the pending COVID-19 status.
Individuals will have to be tested within five days of this notification. After five days from the missed test, if the individual has not taken a COVID-19 test and received a negative result, the Bison SAFE pass will automatically convert to RED, indicating that the person is not allowed access to campus buildings and various University services.
Disciplinary action will be taken for repeated noncompliance. Our COVID-19 mitigation measures have resulted in a significant decrease in COVID-19 positivity over the first several weeks of the semester as shown here and on our pandemic response dashboard.
For the week ending January 28, 2022, the most recent positivity data was 4.09 percent. We have seen a decrease in positivity from 22 percent to 10 percent to 5 percent to 4 percent in the four most recent reporting periods. This compares to a COVID-19 positivity rate of 9 percent in Washington, D.C. We attribute this significant decrease both to the decline in the omicron surge in Washington, D.C., New York City and other early impacted cities as well as stronger COVID-19 mitigation at the University and other schools than in the general community.
During the vaccination event conducted last weekend, over 300 faculty, students and staff took advantage of the free vaccinations provided by the University. Especial thanks to our clinicians, students and faculty in our health professional programs and Howard University Hospital for your support and commitment. We will continue to remain vigilant and are monitoring compliance with the Bison SAFE app self-attestation as well as mask requirements in indoor group outdoor settings. Please continue to remain safe, report any unusual activity and support each other. Thank you.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer