Delta State University's response to Coronavirus

Coronavirus Update #3 – March 15, 2020:

TO: Delta State University
FROM: DSU President William N. LaForge
UPDATE #3: Coronavirus Update from President LaForge – March 15, 2020

[NOTE: This is the third update on the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.]

I have a few updates to share with you regarding changes in Delta State’s operations and services as a result of updated information at the local, state, regional, and national levels related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As a reminder, changing conditions, government orders, and IHL mandates and guidance can alter plans and services in a short time span. Please continue to consult your campus email, Delta State’s website, and Delta State’s social media sources for updates regarding this very fluid and fast-changing issue.

Closures

  • As a precaution against further spread of COVID-19 in Mississippi, many K-12 schools and child care centers have announced closures for this upcoming week.  As a result, Delta State’s Hamilton-White Child Development Center will be closed this week, with tentative plans to re-open on Monday, March 23.
  • Due to the need for all medical personnel to be on site at the hospital and its main clinic, Bolivar Medical Center and Delta State have made the decision to close the O.W. Reily Health Center until further notice.  Any residence hall student who needs medical assistance, but does not have a way to travel off campus, should contact the Campus Police Department at 662-846-4155.

Domestic Travel

  • Before returning to campus, all faculty and staff who traveled outside of Mississippi during spring break are to notify, by phone or email, their supervisor and vice president of the fact that they traveled out-of-state. Based on travel locations, employees may be required to work from home for 3-5 days to see if symptoms arise.  These employees must receive clearance from their supervisor before returning to campus.
  • Before returning to campus, all students who traveled outside of Mississippi during spring break, and who need to continue residing on campus while classes are being held online, are to notify, by phone (662-846-4151) or email (housing@deltastate.edu), the Housing Department of the fact that they traveled out-of-state. Based on travel locations, the students may be placed in a quarantine location in the residence halls for 3-5 days to see if symptoms arise.  These students must receive clearance from the Housing Director before being transferred back to their regular room.
  • I have attached a resource from the Center for Disease Control regarding advice on helping to stop the spread of the virus.

International Travel – REMINDER

  • Before returning to campus, all faculty and staff who traveled internationally during spring break are to notify, by phone or email, their supervisor and vice president of the fact that they traveled internationally. They will be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days before returning to campus.
  • Before returning to campus, all students who traveled internationally during spring break, and who need to continue residing on campus while classes are being held online, are to notify, by phone or email, the Housing Department of the fact that they traveled internationally. The Housing staff will re-locate the affected student(s) to the designated quarantine area in the residence halls for 14 days.

Employees Caring For Children

  • Local schools have announced that they will be closed this coming week and many other schools/daycare facilities will be closed as well.  In light of that, we recognize that some employees may face challenges related to childcare.  If an employee is unable to make arrangements for proper care of their children while at work, and is unable to take personal leave (due to insufficient amount of leave time available for use), the employee should contact his/her supervisor to report their circumstances and to request emergency approval for the opportunity to work from home. For the safety of the children and our colleagues, as well as to minimize the increased opportunity of spreading germs, children should not be brought to the workplace.

Faculty

Please see today’s email from Provost McAdams regarding changes specific to the academy.

We continue to receive updates from a variety of sources on a regular basis, so I emphasize again that it is imperative that all students, faculty, and staff closely monitor the university’s website (www.deltastate.edu/coronavirus), official social media accounts, and their email for updates.

For campus-related additional questions, contact the campus Police Department at 662-846-4155.