HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — On Tuesday, Marshall University stated officials are continuing to closely monitor the public health situation related to the coronavirus COVID-19 and though no cases have been confirmed in West Virginia, the university is actively preparing should the virus begin to affect the institution and community.
That information was posted via MU’s website which contains additional information about COVID-19 and the university’s response available at www.marshall.edu/coronavirus.
Though as of Tuesday, Marshall University’s academic calendar remained unchanged, university officials have started communicating with deans and faculty about how to prepare should it become necessary to adopt alternate learning options for any portion of the current semester, according to MU’s website.
The website also contained the following information: “For example, it may be prudent at some point in the semester to change to non-face-to-face learning options and then switch back to face-to-face toward the end of the semester. We hope these modifications to teaching methods will not be necessary, but we want to be prepared.
There have been no changes to residence hall or dining accommodations for students remaining on campus during Spring Break. All services will be available as planned.
Decisions regarding the cancellation of university events and programs are being made on a case-by-case basis. To date, the only event that has been affected is this weekend’s HerdCon, which was cancelled on the advice of the university’s chief medical officer.”
Also, in a press release issued on Monday, MU stated as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to climb, university officials extended the school’s ban on all university-sponsored international travel and established a mandatory travel registry.
According to the press release from Marshall regarding the travel ban and registry:
· Marshall has extended the prohibition on university-sponsored international travel through at least April 30. The situation will be reassessed at that time and a decision made regarding future travel.
· As Spring Break approaches, students, faculty and staff who have plans to travel either internationally OR to affected areas in the U.S. are strongly urged to reconsider their travel. Travelers are being asked to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning to Marshall University and the local community.
· For members of the Marshall community who do travel internationally, the university has created a mandatory international travel registry. Effective immediately and until further notice, all international travelers must register personal as well as professional travel. This mandate applies to travelers who are already in these jurisdictions. Local, state and federal travel regulations and health guidelines are changing rapidly, and the university wants to be as responsive and supportive as possible should more changes occur.
· Any student, faculty or staff member returning to the U.S. from any country determined by the Centers for Disease Control to be a Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) will be asked to undergo quarantine at their permanent home residence for a minimum of 14 days prior to returning to campus. If undergoing quarantine at their permanent residence is not possible due to extraordinary circumstances, the university will provide temporary housing during the mandatory quarantine period.
· The university is in close, regular communication with students currently abroad on exchange and other programs, regarding how to monitor and assess their current situations based on conditions in the country they are visiting.
“The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the Centers for Disease Control, the State of West Virginia and local health departments, and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students and communities,” the university said in an e-mail Monday afternoon to students, faculty and staff. “We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keeping you informed and up to date as this situation evolves.”
Also, as stated above, this weekend’s HerdCon was cancelled out of an abundance of caution as the number of international and national coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to climb.
“After consulting with the university administration and Marshall Health officials, the HerdCon Team has decided to cancel the 2020 event,” said Dr. Monica Brooks, associate vice president for libraries and online learning at Marshall. “This was a difficult decision. While we have heavy hearts, the health and safety of our participants is our number one priority. I want to extend a big thank you to the HerdCon team and our guests and volunteers who have participated in the planning of this event.”
HerdCon will return Saturday, March 6, 2021. Vendor registration will be available this summer.
Refunds are being arranged for participating artists, vendors and sponsors. Pre-ordered shirts and merchandise will be shipped to customers. Tickets purchased for the 2020 event will be applied to the March 6, 2021 event. If a refund is preferred, please contact HerdCon@marshall.edu.
For information about the university’s Infectious Disease Preparedness plan, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about COVID-19 and the university’s response is available at www.marshall.edu/coronavirus.
Information for this story provided by multiple press releases from Marshall University and information posted at www.marshall.edu/coronavirus.