University of Southern Indiana

March 12 COVID-19 update

Important update from Dr. Rochon concerning the University's response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

March 12 COVID-19 update

Important update from Dr. Rochon concerning the University's response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
3/12/2020 | University Communications
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While there are no cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 on the USI campus, we know there are multiple confirmed cases in the state of Indiana, and we expect that there will be more in the near future. We continue to align our recommendations with, and follow guidelines from, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other city, state and federal agencies.

Nothing is more important to me than the well-being of all members of our campus community. Given the recent escalation of this virus in the state and around the country and world, and with the health and safety of our students and campus community always top of mind, the following policies are effective immediately (or by specific dates as noted):

Spring break for students has been extended one week through Sunday, March 22. While campus will remain open, all in-person courses will be moved to online or alternative delivery by Monday, March 23. Upon resuming coursework March 23, students should log into Blackboard to find their courses and instructional information. Previously scheduled online courses, including those with a start date of March 16, will continue as scheduled unless otherwise communicated by the instructor. At this time, our plan is for classes to resume in person Monday, April 6.

During the extended spring break and online instruction period, campus will remain open and normal campus operations will continue. All employees are to report to work as usual. Faculty should use this time to move courses online and prepare for online instruction. Resources are available on the Online Learning website to aid faculty through this transition. Faculty should direct questions to their deans.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or develop a fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact:

  • the University Health Center at 812-465-1250 to report;
  • your primary healthcare provider;
  • for students - the Dean of Students Office and for employees - your supervisor.

Call your healthcare provider before visiting in person. Do not return to campus until evaluated. The CDC has direct guidance for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19. If determined necessary by medical personnel, residential students needing to quarantine will have access to do so through campus housing.

Student Services

Students who have access to a permanent residence off-campus are strongly encouraged to remain there. However, University Housing is currently open, and students wishing to return to their on-campus residence may do so. Residence hall front desks and the Community Center front desk will maintain spring break hours and staffing throughout the extended recess and online offerings.

USI Dining will offer meals for students, faculty and staff, and meal plans will be honored during the extended spring break and through the period of online instruction. Dining options and hours of operation will be shared as they become available on the USI Dining (Sodexo) website

All University offices will remain open unless otherwise stated. USI student services, including the Dean of Students Office; David L. Rice Library; Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center; Counseling Center; Disability Resources and University Health Center will remain open with adjusted hours and services. Check the USI website for updated hours of operation.

Travel

All University-sponsored or University-led domestic and international air travel is suspended until further notice. A faculty or staff member who believes they have an essential business reason to travel by air can request a waiver through their vice president, but the expectation is such waivers will be rare. 

The University strongly discourages personal international travel at this time. Anyone who travels to a Level 3 or above country will be subject to CDC-recommended self-quarantine guidelines for 14 days.

Events

To minimize contact among groups of people, all University-sponsored events, including those hosted by registered student organizations, are suspended effective immediately through Sunday, April 5. In addition, events organized by outside parties which are scheduled to take place on USI's campus or in University-owned or -operated venues (i.e. New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art) are also suspended through Sunday, April 5. Event organizers are responsible for determining if events will be rescheduled. Small group meetings for faculty and staff may continue as necessary. The University plans to host Commencement exercises, but a final decision will be made at a later date. At this time, events planned beyond Sunday, April 5 remain unaffected.

Athletics

USI Athletics championship season competitions will continue as scheduled, with close monitoring by the USI Athletics Department and University leadership. In line with a decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), attendance at games/events held on the USI campus and other home venues will be limited to student-athletes and their immediate family members, coaches and essential staff.

USI Athletic teams will continue to participate in championship season away games/events, but these events will be closely monitored by the USI Athletics Department. Any changes will be communicated to student-athletes and coaches. All air travel to competitions is suspended through Sunday, April 5, subject to change.

Prevention

I ask that each of you continue to follow the CDC recommendations for prevention: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Contact your health care provider BEFORE visiting in person.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

We know you have questions, and this is a fast-evolving situation. Please consult www.usi.edu/covid-19 to learn more and follow updates.

While these new measures will cause disruption, the risk of inaction outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures. The safety of our campus community is always our top priority. We require your cooperation, patience and collaboration to ensure an appropriate response across our institution to this rapidly changing situation.

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