Messages from President Roellke – 8/6

Live recording courtesy of Stetson University may be found on the Safer Stetson website. 

On Aug. 6, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., President Rolleke hosted his fourth webinar. During this seminar, health officials from AdventHealth DeLand, President and CEO Lorenzo Brown, and Joseph Smith, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, provided information on how Advent Health hospitals in Florida are managing the COVID-19 response as well as information on how AdventHealth DeLand is supporting and providing resources for Stetson University. The webinar also provided informational updates on-campus preparation and testing programs.


President Roellke started the webinar by reading two quotes from a recent article that came out in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for reopening college and universities safely.


President Roellke reiterated the importance of complying with the four Ws to mitigate the spread of COVID-19: wearing a mask, washing hands for at least 20 seconds, watching distance, and watching crowd size. President Roellke has also strongly recommended enjoying Downtown DeLand in smaller groups. Also, on the president’s lawn, there will be large tents that can be utilized for gathering outdoors in smaller groups.


From the safety measurements provided by AdventHealth DeLand, President Roellke remains confident about the collaborative efforts for this upcoming semester.


Lua Hancock, Ed.D., Vice President for Campus Life and Student Success (CLaSS), presented more information on campus reopening, such as information regarding testing information, updates on mitigation strategies, updates on the DuPont-Ball Library, bathrooms, and potential additional free testing.

  • Students who have recently tested positive may choose to continue education virtually for the Fall 2020 semester or until they’re no longer contagious.
  • For students who have tested positive, there will be free testing, with results ready in about 15 minutes during check-in.
  • Following social distancing protocol, In DeLand, restaurants serving food are open, however, bars serving alcohol are restricted from having open seating.
    • SGA has collaborated and formed a community agreement with the Stetson administration and DeLand for following protocol set by DeLand.
  • There are multiple locations on campus for attending online classes. These locations include the CUB, the library, and outdoor seating.
    • There is more outdoor seating near the library. Also, The Nemec Courtyard and Sensory Garden will be available 24/7.
  • For restrooms, some restrooms have automatic faucets that automatically turn off all the hand air dryers.
  • From the moment you arrive on campus, there will be informational signs and resources on campus regarding the maintenance of social distancing, exits, and entrances.
  • Stetson administration is working on establishing additional free testing with Centra Care. More information on additional testing will be provided at a later time.


Lynn Schoenberg, Dean of Students, provided information on testing and contact tracing through the app Everbridge.

  • To keep the campus updated on the overall health and information of the Stetson community, students will be using Everbridge. Everbridge will be used to conduct daily wellness checks. After completing the wellness check, either a red screen or a green screen will be displayed with instruction. With Everbridge, Health Services will be provided with helpful information. Everbridge will be available on both the App Store and the Google Play Store. After the app is downloaded, search for Stetson and log in with Stetson credentials.
  • For incoming and returning on-campus students, here is a video with information on how to stay safe and protected for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • With the testing program, multiple different options help mitigate the spread on campus. 
    • There will be faster turnaround times for testing.
    • Right now, there is just a snapshot of results. After Aug. 13, results are expected to change because returning students will be back on campus.
  • Stetson is collaborating with AdeventHealth DeLand for rapid antigen testing.
    • Results will be available within 15 minutes.
  • From Everbridge and testing, 20 students have displayed asymptomatic positive results that are not returning to campus. This number is anticipated to rise.

Update as of 11 a.m:

Information from the COVID-19 Test Results webpage of the Safer Stetson website

Total tested from the Stetson community: 475

  • There are results back from 413 (87%) tests.

Total cases from the Stetson community: 2 (There is a 0.48% positivity rate on campus.)



Testing is strongly recommended even if you are asymptomatic. Family Health Source will be providing free rapid antigen testing on Aug. 8 and Aug. 11 at the Hollis Center from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Family Health Source will also be on campus from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 to provide diagnostic nasal swab PCR testing at the Hollis Center. To get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on either Aug. 12 or Aug. 13, register first and then sign up for an appointment.


Information from Lorenzo Brown

Information Regarding COVID-19 Treatments at AdventHealth

  • Among 16 AdventHealth hospitals in Central Florida, over 20,000 COVID-19 patients have been treated.
  • In AdventHealth DeLand, there are 164 hospital beds and 24 beds in the intensive care unit (ICU).
    • AdventHealth has developed contingency plans that allow us to expand beyond those beds as the needs arise.

Important info from Advent Health DeLand

  • AdventHealth DeLand deploys staff quickly and continually recruits hospital staff to ensure that there is not a shortage of hospital staff. Additionally, AdventHealth DeLand can deploy staff from other AdventHealth hospitals within the country.
  • AdventHealth DeLand has made significant investments into personal protective equipment (PPE) and has developed partnerships to ensure that there is always an adequate supply of PPE.
  • Among hospital staff, there are low infection rates.


Information from Dr. Smith 

  • Stetson Administration has shared reopening plans with AdventHealth DeLand.
    • Dr. Smith has reviewed everything from protocols regarding health to athletic programming and approved of the reopening plan.
  • There is no group of people that are not affected by this.
    • According to Dr. Smith, “the initial illness began in nursing facilities in nursing homes in Florida… and that’s contributed to this idea that you have to be over 75 years old to contract this disease and this is just not true.”
    • At AdventHealth DeLand, there have been symptomatic COVID-19 patients.
  • Dr. Smith said, “on a national level, AdventHealth has talked about flattening the curve, but there is uncertainty “if these plans have hit the target with the wider audience and populations… there is a very high likelihood that most of us will eventually contract COVID-19.”
  • The implemented safety measures are designed to prevent an overwhelming situation. 
  • When treating a COVID-19 patient’s respiratory system, the hospital staff wears N95 respirators because treating COVID-19 is a high-risk situation.

Reducing Mitigation on Campus

  • Washing hands, wearing masks, and staying six feet apart is important for risk mitigation.
  • Dr. Smith said “Face masks do not necessarily prevent you from inhaling the viral particles, but they reduce the spread by keeping viral particles on your face… If everybody were to wear them, all particles would stay on my face and are not going anywhere” and the transmission rate would be reduced.
  • AdventHealth DeLand currently is about 80% full.
  • Dr. Smith said, “You worry about some of the psychological tolls and the socio-economic tolls of not being at school, and I think that with your plan, you are doing the right thing. You are — it is lower risk, I believe, to go to Stetson than it is to take that semester off because you might not go back to school and that would be tragic.”

A few things to keep in mind:

  • There is an available supply of Remdesevier at AdventHealth DeLand. Remdesevier is an antiviral drug that is an effective treatment for COVID-19, at AdventHealth DeLand.
  • To treat COVID-19 patients, AdventHealth DeLand uses convalescent blood from recovered COVID-19 patients to boost their immune system.
  • Technology has impacted COVID-19 monitoring and recovery.
    • With remote monitoring, 80% of patients have been transferred from the ER to their homes.
  • Dr. Smith suggested that if campus safety is a concern, it is best to stay home, especially with technology, because there is the ability to work remotely and take classes virtually.


All messages, information, and live recordings of webinars from President Roellke can be found here.