state of university SECONDARY

President Noelle Cockett delivers her State of the University address in this 2019 file photo.

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Editor's Note: Utah State University President Noelle Cockett issued the following announcement on Saturday related to coronavirus safeguards at the university.

COVID-19 Update from President Cockett

Yesterday, March 27, Governor Gary Herbert released a "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive for the state of Utah further emphasizing the urgency of social distancing and staying home. The health and safety of all our campus community members - students, faculty and staff - depend upon us making the right decisions and following the guidance of our public health experts.

I want to provide details for how our campus will continue to operate in response to these actions. As of today, USU is still operating in Level 2 of our Infectious Disease Response Plan. But we are preparing for the potential of county health officials taking actions in the future that would move us to Level 1 status, defined as "all functions performed remotely and off site except functions designated as on-site essential".

If a USU campus or center moves to Level 1:

- USU administrators will identify which employees will provide essential on-site functions (such as security, animal care, on-campus housing, etc.). Those employees designated as essential for on-site work will be contacted by their supervisors. Public health guidelines for social distancing and increased sanitation will continue to be implemented to protect all essential on-site employees.

- All other employees who are able to work remotely will do so (using email, phone, or other online platforms).

- All employees (wage-hourly and benefitted) who cannot perform their work remotely or do not have an assignment that is designated as on-site essential will be paid through "COVID-19 administrative leave." Supervisors will provide more details on this in the near future.

For students who live in on-campus housing:

- Residence halls will remain open to students living on campus, and essential services will continue even under Level 1 status.

- Public health guidelines for social distancing and improved sanitation will continue to be implemented to protect students and staff.

For updated information about how USU is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, continue to visit

I greatly appreciate our staff and faculty members' incredible efforts in these unprecedented times. I am continually impressed and amazed by how our campus members have pulled together to get things done and take care of each other. Times like these show that we are truly a statewide family of Aggies.

Most sincerely,

Noelle E. Cockett


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