Responding to the new coronavirus - Evangel University be_ixf;ym_202004 d_04; ct_50

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Responding to the new coronavirus

LATEST UPDATE: 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Evangel University continues to follow the guidance and best practices offered by public health officials. Steps include:

    • Springfield and Greene County issued 30-day stay-at-home orders that goes into effect Thursday, March 26. The orders limit in-person gatherings.
      • Evangel faculty and staff who are working from home should continue to do so until notified by their supervisors of a change. If currently working on campus, continue to do so following all CDC guidelines for safety and for social distancing. Additional details will be provided by the end of the week by email for all faculty and staff.
    • Campus remains closed to the public and visitors until further notice.
    • All campus events for the spring semester have either been canceled or postponed.
    • Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to shelter in place at their homes.
    • Students who live in dorms should discuss move outs with their residence director. There is no rush to move out. Dorms are secure. They are only open to students with permission.

A message from President Carol A. Taylor, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Responding to COVID-19

Evangel University’s administration has set up a special task force to continue to closely monitor issues related to COVID-19 and is also working with public health officials to properly respond to the situation. Evangel’s response will change as the situation changes. The safety and health of our guests, students, faculty, and staff is our priority.

FOR OUR STUDENTS

Update at 10 a.m., March 24, 2020

Keeping our students safe is an utmost priority for Evangel University, and the administration is acting in accordance with public health officials and best hygienic practices to try to keep everyone safe and to best care for all students. The university regrets to have to take these steps but does so in the best interest of all. 

  • ATHLETICS: The NAIA has canceled all spring sports.
  • CHAPELS: Spiritual devotionals will replace chapels for the rest of the semester. They start the week of March 23 at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. They can be found here. Chapel attendance requirements are waived for the rest of the semester but the devotionals are a great way to keep in touch with Pastor Greg and Pastor Starla.
  •  CLASSES:
    • Undergraduate classes will resume online on Monday, March 30.
    • Seminary, graduate, and adult online students will resume Monday, March 23.
    • Graduate clinical and school counseling will be on break until March 30 and transition online then.
  • COMMENCEMENT: The in-person commencement for May 1 has been canceled. The university is surveying graduates to determine whether to hold a virtual commencement in May or postpone an in-person commencement until later in the summer. The university is intent on celebrating graduates.
  • DORMS: Dorm residents who are at home are being asked to stay at home and only return to move out. To move out of their dorm, they can email their residence directors with three times and dates they would like to arrange a moveout. To keep a limited number of people on campus, in accordance with health guidelines, residence directors are scheduling moveouts. There is no immediate rush to move out. Students who have no other place to go should seek permission here to stay on campus. Food service will be available to those who are still on campus but will be served to go.
  • HOUSING: The situation for married students in Perkins Hall and students in university-owned off-campus housing does not change.
  • INTERNSHIPS: Students with internships and practicums should speak with their advisers to discuss.
  • LABS/PRACTICUMS: Professors will communicate with students about how labs, practicums, and other hands-on learning experiences will be handled during the rest of the semester. Please continue to check on Course Commons.
  • REFUNDS: Given that students are still enrolled and classes will finish online –  and students will earn academic credit upon successful completion of their classes – there will be no refunds for tuition. Regarding room-and-board and block meal plans, the university’s priority has been to protect students. This will be answered within the near future.
  • STUDENT WORKERS: Issues related to work-study jobs and campus employment are still being figured out. Students should contact their supervisors.
  • QUESTIONS: This is a complex and fluid situation, and there are still many unanswered questions and details. Please be patient as we work through this together. The university wants to care well for all involved. We will provide updates as available.You can also email here.

Previous updates

7 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020

  • Effective Thursday, March 19, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is advising a 14-day quarantine for people who have recently traveled out of the region, including those who were traveling for spring break or other purposes.
  • Public health officials have recommended NO gatherings of more than 10 people and recommended social distancing (keeping six feet away from others), as well as proper hygiene.
  • As such, at Evangel University:
    • All campus events are canceled.
    • Campus is closed to the public and visitors.
    • Travel is NOT advised. Members of campus who do travel may be asked to self-quarantine.
    • Dorms are only open to students with permission.
    • Students who need essential items from their dorms should contact their residence directors.
    • Dorm move-out times are still being planned.

The university regrets to have to take these steps but is doing so to protect students, faculty, staff, and the community. Given how fluid and complex the situation is, please check back regularly for updates.

Update at 8 p.m., March 18, 2020

In keeping with best practices and public health guidelines, including the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention and Springfield-Greene County Health Department guidance against gatherings of 10 people or more, Evangel University has announced:

    • CLASSES: All in-person undergraduate classes will move online on Monday, March 30.
      • Adult undergraduate, graduate, and seminary classes will resume instruction the week of March 23.
      • Graduate clinical and school counseling will be on break until March 30 and transition online then.
  • EVENTS: All campus events will be canceled or postponed, including scheduled commencement activities.
  • COMMENCEMENT: Graduating students will be surveyed for input on a commencement celebration. Details will follow.
  • HOUSING: Dorms will be limited for the rest of the semester, and access is by permission only.  The dorms and possessions are secure. Given the national two-week mandate to limit the spread of the virus, move-out times will be scheduled later in the semester.  Apartments and off-campus housing remain unchanged.
  • ATHLETICS: The NAIA has canceled all spring sports.
  • CAMPUS: Campus is closed to the public until March 30.
  • TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: The campus has canceled all university-sponsored travel, and faculty or staff who have recently traveled outside the region should check with their supervisor before returning to work.
  • PRAYER: President Taylor has asked the community to join in praying Psalm 91, which promises God’s protection, presence, and peace.
  • MORE DETAILS: See below for more details and consult the FAQ, which will continue to be updated.
  • OTHER QUESTIONS: This is a complex and fluid situation, and there are still many unanswered questions and details. Please be patient as we work through this together. The university wants to care well for all involved. We will provide updates as available.You can also email here.

Update 4 p.m. March 18, 2020

In an effort to protect the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests on campus, Evangel University is moving to do its part to “flatten the curve” of disease progression by following best practices according to public health officials and following the federal 14-day mandate to slow the spread of the virus. The hope is that by doing so, the campus will be back to normal classes and business by the fall semester.

This is a complex and fluid situation. As such, we ask for patience as we work through this together. We want to care well for students, faculty, and staff, and the university will take every step possible to assure that happens.

Evangel University on March 18 announced the following:

  • Classes: All in-person classes will transition to being facilitated online starting March 30. Students should expect faculty to communicate about the transition before the resumption of classes via email and Course Commons. Students should regularly monitor their Course Commons dashboard for updates in their courses. Faculty will work with students to make sure they have every opportunity to complete the requirements. Students should look for more information in the coming days. Fall course registration remains open for undergraduates. Adult online, graduate, and seminary registration will follow normal schedules.
  • Events: Following federal recommendations on limiting public gatherings over the next eight weeks, all campus events through the end of the semester have been canceled or postponed, including commencement.
  • Commencement: The university deeply regrets having to postpone commencement but is doing so due to the federal guidelines to limit large gatherings for the next eight weeks. The university is studying how to honor graduates and will announce plans to do so in the coming weeks.
  • Housing: Due to health guidelines and best practices, Evangel is limiting the number of students in the dorms to those who have received written permission. To request permission, follow this link.  Food service will be available to those who are still on campus but will be served to go. Students at home are being asked to stay at home. Given public health recommendations on limiting groups of people and the two-week mandate to slow the spread of disease, the logistics of moving students out is being planned for later in the semester. Move-out times will be scheduled. There’s no rush at this point. Dorms are safe and secure. Please do not come to campus until plans are released.
  • Campus offices: Campus is closed to the public until March 30. Campus business offices will be open by appointment as necessary. Check with the office you plan to visit before coming to campus to make sure you have access.
  • Visits: The university has limited visits to campus, including for prospective students and canceled the March Preview Event. There’s a virtual visit on the website and plans for future visits and expanded virtual visits will be coming in the next few weeks.

Previous updates

(Updated 5:40 p.m., Friday, March 13, 2020)

Evangel administrators announced several policies and procedures for the extended spring break, including:

  • Students who leave the dorms for spring break should plan to be off campus for the remainder of the break. They can return to dorms on Saturday, March 28.
  • Dorm access will be limited during the break only to those students who have permission to remain during break.
  • The campus’ business operations and several campus facilities will continue to operate as scheduled.

An FAQ with more information and specifics can be found here.

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson this evening declared a state of emergency as well. Parson said there have been four presumptive COVID-19 cases in Missouri. He did not announce where all the cases were. One case, announced yesterday, is known to be in Greene County, Missouri, but is not connected to Evangel. 

(Updated 11:30 a.m., Friday, March 13, 2020)

Greene County, Missouri, announced a presumptive case of COVID-19 on Thursday, March, 12. See the state’s news release here for more

(Updated 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2020)

As Evangel continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation with priority for the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, the university has announced:

  • ON CAMPUS: Students, faculty, and staff are on regular schedules through Friday, March 13. Students and faculty going on spring break should take essential items, including electronics, computers, books, notes, and medicines.
  • SPRING BREAK: Spring break starts on the evening of Friday, March 13, and has been extended for a week for residential campuses. Spring break trips – both international and domestic – have been canceled.
  • CLASSES AFTER SPRING BREAK:
    • Adult online,  graduate, and seminary classes will resume on Monday, March 23, unless otherwise noted.
    • Campus undergraduate classes and James River College classes will resume Monday, March 30.
    • Classes with other church partners that are online will resume on Monday, March 23.
    • Details regarding seated church partner classes will be announced next week.
  • CAMPUS DURING SPRING BREAK:
    • Campus business offices will be open through the extended spring break. Staff assigned to campus should expect to work. Those with health risks, should see their supervisors to discuss working remotely.
    • Campus activities scheduled during spring break will be canceled.
    • Dorms will continue to be open. Food service will resume, as scheduled, on March 23.
  • ATHLETICS: Evangel sports teams will suspend practice and play through the extended spring break.
  • FACULTY & STAFF: Faculty and staff will follow regular schedules. Faculty will return to campus on Monday, March 23. Faculty will receive details about their return.
  • FUTURE TRIPS: The situation is being monitored and will continue to be evaluated as the situation evolves.
  • CAMPUS: Extra cleaning measures have been put in place, and students, faculty, and staff have been encouraged to follow best hygienic practices.

About COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu – fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  This infection spreads easily because it is a new virus and no one has developed immunity to it yet. You can learn more about this using the following links:

Taking action

The university encourages students, faculty, and staff to take appropriate caution and follow good hygienic practices. There are simple steps to take that can limit the spread of the virus, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • 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 with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • 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.

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever (over 100.3), cough, and shortness of breath. Although people with COVID-19 often report mild symptoms, people over 60 and those with pre-existing health issues – including heart and lung issues – are especially at risk and should take precautions to avoid exposure by avoiding groups and maintaining good hygienic practices.

Travel

Evangel University has canceled international and domestic trips for the semester as well as domestic trips for spring break. The university is monitoring future university-sponsored travel plans over the summer. The university does not recommend international travel and notes that the State Department has warned U.S. citizens against traveling on cruise ships and has an updated website on countries that are experiencing issues with COVID-19. As well, on March 11, President Trump ordered travel restrictions  between the U.S. and much of Europe. Please consult this page regularly if you are or are considering traveling out of the country.

Students who travel overseas, go to areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks, or who have been exposed to people who have the virus must self-report to the Health Services department at 417-865-2815, x7280 BryanS@evangel.edu.

If you’re ill

As there are more and more cases around the country, it is possible that people may come into contact with COVID-19.  If anyone has become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact their healthcare professional immediately for guidance.  Once they have information from their physician, students should contact the university, and university staff will work with them individually regarding directions for coursework, employment, when to return to campus, etc.  DO NOT RETURN to campus if you are ill. If you are on campus, check in with the Health Services Department.

CoxHealth is offering free virtual visits to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. The website for a virtual visit can be found here.

Students may contact:

Prayer

As a community of faith, the university asks students, faculty, staff, and alumni to keep this situation in prayer and ask for God’s intervention to stop the spread of COVID-19 and for God’s healing on those who have been infected. Many members of the Evangel administration are praying Psalm 91 and invite you to join. You can see Psalm 91 here.