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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Please reconsider opening campus during COVID-19 pandemic


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TO THE EDITOR:
I believe Central Michigan University is making a grave mistake in reopening its campus under current conditions.  

In terms of science and medicine, the only thing that has changed with COVID-19 since they closed the university is far more people in the country are now infected than back in early March. The ease of COVID-19 transmission remains the same. The severity of cases remains the same. The lack of a cure and lack of a vaccine remain the same.

I am a CMU alumnus and I also have a family member who currently works for CMU full-time.  

I fully understand that the majority of traditional college-aged students who attend CMU are less likely to have a fatal outcome to a COVID-19 infection than an older demographic would.  However, how is CMU going to protect the 2600 faculty and staff (who are not college-aged), many of whom will be in daily close contact with hundreds of different students?  

I don’t believe CMU can protect them adequately.  

Even under the current “down” enrollment, campus is too full for safe use during a pandemic.  

Most classrooms, labs, hallways, bathrooms, etc. are physically too small to enable “social distancing.”  It’s just not possible in most classrooms on campus. There is no way for each student to remain at least 6 feet away from every other student.  

So is the plan to ignore that fact and pretend it doesn’t matter? Is it a matter of CMU determining “acceptable losses” when it comes to their students, faculty, and staff – not to mention their families and communities to whom they can bring infections home?

I urge CMU to consider their faculty and staff (and their families) when making plans to reopen CMU.  

Also consider this: By reopening during a pandemic, I believe CMU is opening itself up to litigation the likes of which it has never before seen if anyone gets infected: students, faculty, staff, or their families.

– TODD KINSLEY
Mount Pleasant 

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