Current University Actions Regarding COVID-19
March 10, 2020
Important COVID-19/Coronavirus Update – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff are our highest priorities. Accordingly, university officials have been coordinating with state and local healthcare officials. Appropriate actions have and are being taken to minimize the potential danger to individual health and risk of disruption to university operations as a result of the coronavirus.
The following actions are currently being taken:
Members of the Southeastern family are being reminded about basic steps, including regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing protocols and other measures that help prevent spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases (see previous campus email). Instructional placards and posters are being placed around campus as reminders regarding these extremely important preventative measures.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are being maintained in strategic locations around campus.
Custodial staff are employing additional cleaning/sanitizing measures.
Food Services and Housing staff are employing additional cleaning and infectious disease prevention measures in their respective areas.
University-related International travel by faculty and staff has been suspended.
Planned summer semester study abroad courses are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There are no study abroad courses currently scheduled during the spring semester, and the Italy Study Abroad course scheduled for May has been canceled. Decisions regarding other summer semester study abroad courses will be made based on all available information and far enough in advance of each program to allow students and faculty sufficient time to make alternate arrangements.
A Coronavirus web page has been launched to provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its potential impact on the university community. Dr. Robert Peltier, Chief Medical Officer for North Oaks Health System, made several presentations on campus to help educate faculty, staff and student leaders about COVID-19. Videos of Dr. Peltier’s presentation can be linked to from the webpage referenced above.
Faculty and academic administrators are working to ensure contingency plans are in place for educational continuity should an outbreak occur in our immediate area that impacts campus. As part of these efforts, the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Office of Online Learning are making additional resources available to assist faculty and students.
Plans are being developed for the possible modification or cancelation of large group gatherings, including concerts, athletic events, etc., in the event of an active COVID-19 outbreak.
Finally, the following are being implemented, effective immediately:
While all official travel has been subject to close monitoring, effective immediately, university-sponsored domestic out-of-state travel will be limited to essential business travel and will require approval on a case-by-case basis through the appropriate vice-president or division head. This applies to new travel as well as any currently booked trips until further notice.
Faculty, staff and students are asked to make the university aware of any personal international travel plans to countries where there are significant coronavirus outbreaks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains an online database of travel notices by country. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices At present, travel notices are in place for China, Italy, South Korea, Iran and Japan.
Faculty/staff should make their immediate supervisor or home department head aware of travel plans to affected areas so that the information can be shared up the administrative chain to the appropriate division head. Students should make the Head of the Department of their academic major aware of any such plans.
The university reserves the right to require individuals who choose to travel to these locations, upon their return, to self-quarantine for an appropriate period of time to help safeguard against potential spread of COVID-19.
Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to avoid personal travel to areas experiencing significant coronavirus outbreaks.
We will continue to keep the Southeastern family apprised.
John L. Crain