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COVID-19 Update (March 12, 2020)

Wittenberg Community,

As we continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC, other federal agencies, the Ohio Department of Health, and Governor’s Office, and monitor the ever-evolving situation with the global spread of COVID-19, we again ask for your patience and understanding. The senior team is meeting daily to discuss the situation, assess, and plan, all of which is subject to change at any time. I would also strongly encourage consulting the special COVID-19 Health Advisory website for the latest information, updates, and individual area FAQs, and to check your email often.

Following extensive conversations, and after learning of the White House’s decision to temporarily restrict all air travel from Europe to the United States and the World Health Organization's reclassification yesterday of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we have re-evaluated our initial thinking to ensure the health and safety of all in our community. While there are still no known cases of COVID-19 in our community, we believe the actions we are recommending are the best for our students, faculty, and staff at this time.

Let me be clear that we are not closing. All University employees are expected to work while following proper health protocols. If modifications are needed, please check with your supervisor and work together with HR to address them.

In terms of changes from earlier communications, they are as follows:

Classes

We are canceling all classes next week, March 16-20, to allow adequate time for our faculty to transition to delivering our personalized form of education using a remote mode of instruction. Provost Mattson will relay further information on all of this to the faculty.

All classes will be taught using an alternative remote delivery system from Monday, March 23 to April 3 with hopes of resuming in-person classes on April 6, health conditions permitting. We will be communicating more on technological needs and expectations as we proceed.

Housing

Students will not be allowed to live on campus until at least April 5. The Office of Residence Life will continue to evaluate requests for students to live on campus during this time. Any student requesting to live on campus during this time must complete this planning form. The Office of Residence Life is committed to ensuring that students have a place to live if they do not have another good place to stay. A housing and residence life FAQ page will be available on the COVID-19 Health Advisory website. If you have questions, you can continue to email housing@wittenberg.edu.

Events

The University will use next week to address all upcoming events. We also expect an announcement from the Governor’s office specific to large events to be coming soon. We are also re-evaluating all athletics contests, attendance for which has already been limited to immediate family and essential staff, and will align our operations with NCAA and NCAC expectations.

We recognize that this is a challenging time, but the health and safety of our community must continue to be top of mind. We are in communication with all our students abroad and will continue be in contact. We also will be making additional decisions about any shifts to our current planning and overall direction pending further guidance from the state and ODH on an ongoing basis. Again, please consult our COVID-19 Health Advisory website regularly.

Best regards,

Michael L. Frandsen, Ph.D.
President

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