On Thursday afternoon, University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue OSA, PhD. notified students that the Slow the Spread directive has been extended until Monday, February 22. 

“I have extended the deadline past Friday as I think it’s important that we have another low-key and quiet weekend before the guidelines are lifted,” Donohue wrote in an email to the University community this afternoon. “Although restrictions will ease on Monday—assuming our numbers remain low—we cannot let down our guard or fall into bad habits as we move forward with this semester.”

Donohue explained that he was happy that the directive appeared to be working, as the number of new cases has dropped significantly from a few weeks ago. He thanked the students that have been following the directives, “It’s clearly having an impact, and I am extremely grateful for your efforts.”

In addition to extending the directive, Donohue also told students that the guest limit in residence halls, occupancy plus one, will remain in effect for the “foreseeable future.”

Donohue reminded students about the rules in the dining halls and study spaces, restating that masks can only be removed when actively eating or drinking and that seating is only allowed in designated areas with the specified number of individuals. Donohue explained that he has received several reports of students not following these rules and warned that he may have to implement new standards if these restrictions are not followed.

“If these behaviors continue, I will have no choice but to remove the tables and chairs and/or possibly close some of the dining locations and classroom study spaces” Donohue wrote.

Finally, Donohue explained that he understands this situation has been difficult for everyone, but that they must remain resilient.

“Please know we are doing everything within our power to allow you to stay on campus, which I know means so much to so many of you,” Donohue wrote. “I continue to pray that better and more normal days are ahead—we just have to get there.”