Staff Update on Fall Preparations

July 31, 2020

Over the summer we have been working diligently to plan and prepare for a safe and productive fall semester. Many of you have pitched in to help assemble Bears Care Kits, reconfigure spaces on our campuses, gear up for COVID-19 testing, and attend to myriad other critical details that are essential to keeping our students, faculty and staff as healthy as possible.

These next two weeks will be particularly challenging as more students and faculty return to campus. Mercer Medicine will conduct thousands of COVID-19 tests on the Macon and Atlanta campuses, aided by students, faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and College of Health Professions. This large-scale testing will help us establish a baseline as we begin the semester and better position the University to avoid local outbreaks.

We will also conduct a baccalaureate ceremony in Macon and commencements in Macon and Atlanta August 7-9. Many faculty and staff have being working all summer to ensure we undertake these events safely and in accordance with public health guidelines. More than 1,500 of our graduates have opted to participate in the five commencement ceremonies. They and their family members deserve the opportunity to publicly recognize this milestone.

Remember that in the midst of these many activities, we need to remain vigilant in following safety protocols such as masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home if you feel sick. We will demonstrate that Bears Care.

I want to thank the Mercer family for all you are doing to make our campus safe and welcoming to new and returning members of our community, many of whom are nervous as they embark on the adventure that is college. We continue to pull together as Mercerians and assist where we can to ease this important transition to fall classes. We all may be asked to do things that are not in our job descriptions, but I am confident that our Mercer family will respond as needed.

It is a privilege to work alongside you, and I look forward to seeing you soon.