Riggle appointed Coronavirus Response Coordinator

Elise Riggle, the new COVID Response Coordinator.

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Elise Riggle, the new COVID Response Coordinator.

Katie Harrigan

As the latest news and developments are announced regarding the coronavirus, Ashland University recognizes the importance of communication with state and national health organizations to maintain a safe campus. 

To help guide the school through this pandemic, AU has selected Elise Riggle as the new COVID response coordinator (CRC). 

As CRC, Riggle will make sure students are updated on new information, policies and protocols concerning the virus. 

“My job is to be the person who liaisons with external regulatory bodies like the Ashland County Health Department, Ohio Department of Health and the CDC if necessary,” Riggle said. “I want to make sure our practices match policies and that I keep data accurate to the best of my abilities.” 

Riggle said there are several new details about COVID coming in at fast rates and her position helps take some of the weight off of other staff members. 

Riggle also leads the university care team, a group of faculty who helps any student that may be assigned to isolation if showing symptoms. 

“It is our responsibility to be with the students on their journey and make sure their hospitality needs are met,” Riggle said. 

She added that this includes taking care of their meals, laundry and providing them with essential supplies. 

“We want to ensure that when we do have someone who has been exposed or tested positive, we are meeting their needs in a way that reflects the spirit of Ashland University,” Riggle said. 

Riggle said the mission of the COVID response team is to help those who identify as ill get the attention they need and keep those who are healthy from going down the same route. 

“Our students have been wonderful wearing masks… I think it shows the commitment people have to keeping our university safe,” Riggle said.

The Ashland faculty and staff will keep doing what they can and take the measures required for keeping cases low, Riggle added. 

AU has confirmed a total of 15 positive cases so far. 

Carlos Campo, AU president, said the CRC position is important because there is a rapidly changing dynamic with COVID, where it is vital that decisions be made quickly and with correct information be transmitted to the student body. 

“Elise Riggle, who was chosen for the position, is someone who has worked at the campus and is very closely tied to the re-opening task force,” Campo said. “We really felt we had two things: a qualified person to take this on and a clearly articulated need for it.” 

Together, the COVID response team is working to minimize the spread of the virus and maintain a healthy campus environment. 

“The task force is able to mitigate against the spread, give us the best information possible as it comes in and keep us abreast of the latest developments within the state and region,” Campo said. He added that they ensure a smooth flow of communication between all constituents including students, parents, faculty and staff. 

In this time of uncertainty, AU continues to persevere and uphold their motto, “accent on the individual.” 

Campo said everyone has been impacted by the virus in some way; the faculty, counseling services, and other departments are willing to go “the extra mile” to reach out and connect with students. 

“We appreciate how seriously students have taken this virus and are very impressed by how students are complying with the guidelines…our student affairs group is doing a great job looking for inventive ways to stay connected and we want to continue encouraging one another to use safe practices,” Campo said. 

For updates, information and further resources, visit the ‘Safer Together, Stronger Together’ website at https://www.ashland.edu/return-to-campus