Update: March 13
National media continue to refer to these preventative measures as “flattening the curve” of the Coronavirus. What does that mean?
This from the Forbes Magazine website: “Basically, if you assume a certain number of cases are inevitably going to occur—which epidemiologists can somewhat predict based on how the disease is behaving—continuing business-as-usual allows cases to escalate rapidly in just a few weeks, spiking so high at once that they completely overwhelm hospitals. In such a scenario—such as Italy is facing now—more deaths are likely because there simply aren’t enough hospital beds, enough face masks, enough IV bags, even enough healthy doctors and nurses to care for everyone at once. But if that same number of cases can be stretched out over months, never quite exceeding the healthcare system’s capacity, then people will get the care they need, more healthcare providers can avoid illness and burnout, and fewer people are likely to die—as South Korea has impressively shown.” Quote from Tara Haelle, Senior Contributor
Why are we keeping residence halls open?
We are caring for our students while following the advice from the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, Governor of Ohio, the NCAA, Department of Education, and state health officials.
The measures prescribed to us at present have been focused on reducing large gatherings of people in a single area. Instruction is continuing online, facilities are available to students, and precautionary actions like social distancing will continue to be emphasized. We will continue to monitor the situation and posture ourselves for responding to instructions of the experts. We want our students to confidently live and study in our campus community.
Are there any enhanced cleaning and preventive hygiene plans?
The university is conducting more frequent cleaning in common spaces and on commonly touched surfaces. Academic, housing, wellness center, and dining space are among those with prioritized cleaning requirements. Members of our community can maximize effectiveness by adhering to preventative hygiene guidance, including washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, and cleaning and disinfecting shared surfaces and objects that are touched frequently.
How can residents help to protect themselves from Coronavirus?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (within six feet).
- Stay away from others when sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Get adequate rest.
- Eat well.
- Get a flu shot.
Is there information available on travel restrictions due to Coronavirus?
The University has suspended all air travel for teams, clubs, faculty and staff, and other organizations. Please visit the Center for Disease Control’s Travel Information web page for in-depth information on travel and COVID19.
Will students be allowed back on campus if they visit cautioned countries over spring break?
Upon entry to the United States, everyone who has been in an at-risk region will be screened at the Port of Entry. The federal government tracks this and alerts state and local public health officials, who notify the university. Students will return to their homes until cleared to return to campus.
Will the residence halls re-open after spring break?
All residence halls will reopen at noon on Sunday, March 15th.
Will dining services be the same?
At present, the Dining Commons will operate according to their standard hours. However, services will look different. Safety precautions are being implemented so many stations will be moved to the dining staff serving students at stations rather than self-serve stations. We are working on a plan to limit large groups of students being in the cafeteria at one time. More information will be forthcoming.
Will Residence Life Staff be expected to report back to campus on March 15th?
All Student Development staff (RDs, RAs, counselors, etc.) will return to campus to resume responsibilities.
What about my work study job?
The Department of Education has offered guidelines for campuses that temporarily stop offering ground-based classes in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The institution may continue paying the student Federal work-study wages. With this in mind, Malone will continue to pay Federal Work Study students. Federal Work Study students who choose to stay on campus can continue to work their regular schedule. Federal Work Study students who choose to not stay on campus will get paid based on the average number of hours they worked prior to the transition to online classes. Non-Federal Work Study students must work to continue getting paid. Please see your supervisor for further instructions.
If the international travel restrictions continue after the end of the semester, I may not be able to return home. Will I be able to stay in University housing this summer?
We do not have detailed information at this time. We will communicate this information to the campus community later in the semester if the COVID-19 situation warrants.
I am coming back from study abroad and I'm interested in staying in University housing. What do I do?
Please contact the office of Student Development at 330-471-8273 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
What do I do if I develop flu-like symptoms after I’m back on campus?
You must immediately contact the Resident Director and Student Health center by phone. You will receive specific directions at that time. Students experiencing any symptoms are urged to stay at home.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Many individuals who have contracted COVID-19 have had minor symptoms similar to the flu, but a small percentage have had more serious complications.
What about programs and events?
We are aiming to balance multiple imperatives: we are seeking to continue our work of education and keeping our community safe as well as protecting the health of communities beyond our campus. Given the recent appearance of COVID-19 in Ohio, we believe it is our responsibility to take further prudent steps that inhibit rather than accelerate the spread of the virus. One such step is to reconsider and reduce university events that bring us together, in close proximity, with large numbers of attendees.
Therefore, large events are cancelled between March 15-April 14. Annual events, such as Room Selection Night and Airband, are anticipated to be re-scheduled at a later date; further information will be forthcoming.
In some cases, there may be circumstances that suggest a smaller or adjusted event may be appropriate. We will announce and post those events in upcoming days. We will continue to assess how to help prevent the spread of infection with respect to events and travel.
What about SFOs?
Large and medium size SFOs will be cancelled. Smaller size (10 or less) SFOs will be available. However, required attendance is suspended for the rest of the semester. Spiritual Formation Staff will be available and they have some creative ways to provide opportunities for spiritual growth. Watch for their podcast soon!
What about the Counseling Center and Health Center?
Counselors will still be available for face-to-face appointments. Where applicable and necessary, they will also implement tele-health counseling solutions for those clients choosing to remain home in the state of Ohio. Our Health Center staff will still operate with normal services and hours. Our nurse, nurse practitioner and doctor are available. They have engaged in weekly meetings with local and state officials. They are employees of Aultman Hospital, so they have information readily available from multiple sources.
Is the use of technology encouraged for meetings?
Yes. An effective strategy for minimizing the spread of the virus is greater social distancing, so this can include more effective use of technology. Where possible, Malone encourages conference calls and videoconferences in place of face-to-face gatherings. This practice is already being selectively employed by university leadership.
Thank you for your partnership and assistance as Malone works to confront these important issues.
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