Current research and prior experience with respiratory viruses, has shown that masks do significantly reduce infection. I urge you to look at this video from the Bax and Anfinrud laboratories in Pennsylvania that show potentially infectious droplets from the mouth of a speaker without and with a mask. These droplets are be mitigated by appropriate mouth and nose covering. The requirement for masking all in public and common space will suppress airborne spread of the infectious agent and prevent community transmission.
The other mode of transmission is transfer from a contaminated surface. To suppress tactile transmission, frequent handwashing or sanitization will be an essential and necessary part of Xavier life. Xavierites will undertake care for other to another level. Xavierites will clean and sanitize surfaces before and after every use. Our facilities team will assure that wipes and appropriate cleansers will be available in classrooms, libraries and other common spaces. Xavierites will wash or sanitize their hands before entering a meeting space or classroom. Xavierites will not rely on others to clean before and after them. Each of us will seriously do our part.
An appropriate distance (6 feet or more) and avoidance of touching are well established as effective in preventing transmission. Thus, we will accommodate our behaviors to keep healthy distance, avoid handshakes, kisses, even fist or elbow bumps. Prescribed seating arrangement in classes and common spaces will support appropriate distancing. As Xavierites, we will each do our part. During the current period, we will accept these changes in our behaviors for the protection of fellow members of the Xavier community. We do so assured that better times will follow, when we shall embrace and hold each other hand in hand.
No one can be assured of complete safety in the midst of this pandemic, even with complete isolation. However, strict adherence to these practice has been proven over time to provide a significant measure of safety. This will be the case at Xavier, where we protect one another by blocking our capacity as human beings to infect one another.