Note from Tom Galligan
March 31, 2020; 9:00 a.m.
Dear LSU Community,
I wanted to congratulate you all on a successful first day of online classes. There were no major issues reported, thanks in large part to our commitment to online learning over the last several years and the infrastructure we’ve already put in place.
I know our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard to get classes and services ready to go for an online format, and for that I thank you. Students, I know you’re already rising to the occasion and adapting to this new way of learning via "physical distancing." I couldn't be more proud of the coordinated effort all the way around.
In spite of the growing coronavirus threat, there is much for us to be hopeful about right now. Members of the LSU community are innovating solutions in truly incredible ways – making masks and ventilators for use in hospitals, establishing the Emerging Viral Threats lab to provide the same testing capabilities as the CDC, and donating personal protective equipment for use by healthcare workers on the front lines. LSU Health Shreveport is leading efforts to facilitate a 60% increase in ICU beds, and will fast track licensing of graduating medical students to increase manpower at a time when it's desperately needed. LSU Health New Orleans is undertaking similar efforts to increase ICU and testing capacity, and rising to meet the demand in a geographic area that has become one of the hotspots in the U.S. for the virus.
As part of our commitment to keeping you informed, we have added a new page to our COVID-19 website that will be updated regularly with any confirmed cases from members of the LSU community. You can also find more information there about how to detect and prevent the virus, including guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
I’m so proud of the way the entire LSU community has stepped up and responded to the challenge, and I know that we’ll continue to set ourselves apart – whether in the virtual classroom, our research labs or our medical facilities – in ways that truly make a difference. None of us signed up for this, but we are all standing up to it, together.
Thanks again for the way you've all adapted to the events that have so quickly changed what we knew as normal. I'm proud of your collective efforts, and I know that by continuing to work together there will be brighter days ahead.
In the meantime, let's continue to follow the guidance of health officials and do our part to stay safe and healthy.
Interim LSU President