An Important Message from President David Wilson Regarding the Coronavirus and University Operations
March 10, 2020
Dear Morgan Community,
With the ever-evolving circumstances related to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the U.S., we are vigilantly and actively monitoring the situation. As almost daily reports of new cases of COVID-19 are being identified in a number of states, including Maryland, we are taking every precaution and preventive measure necessary to protect our campus and keep our students, faculty and staff from being placed at risk. At present, there are no confirmed cases at Morgan State University nor reported incidents of faculty, students, or staff coming into contact with someone infected by the virus. But our campus is not immune to exposure.
As a result of this reality, I met, again, with our administrative team at Morgan and we have made the proactive decision to cancel all classes for the remainder of this week, as well as to suspend all in-classroom instruction for a minimum of two weeks - following next week's Spring Break. After Spring Break, we will move to online/remote learning instruction for all undergraduate and advanced degree studies. At the end of the two-week period, we will reassess the situation to determine if further action is necessary. In addition, the University has elected to suspend all official business and student-related travel - both domestic and international. In keeping with recommendations from the CDC, we will also be canceling and/or rescheduling a number of planned large crowd events on our campus, including our upcoming Open House scheduled for April 3. More information will be shared as details become available. In the interim, I encourage everyone to visit the University website at morgan.edu/coronavirus for updates.
Regarding Spring Break
- While there are no classes scheduled next week during Spring Break (March 16-20), the University will remain open and operational with the exception of Friday, March 20, in which the University will be officially closed as part of a previously identified and unused holiday closure.
- Students electing to participate in Spring Break travel are strongly encouraged to avoid traveling to locations, domestic or international, where cases of COVID-19 have been identified. Should you elect to visit one of these locations against university advisement, self-quarantine protocols and testing will be recommended before you are able to return to campus.
- During the Spring Break period, the residential halls will remain open to accommodate any student who does not wish to travel or leave the campus. On-campus accommodations, including access to dining, will be made available.
- Students deciding to leave campus for Spring Break and/or the two-week period following, should be mindful to take all essential materials with them, including textbooks and devices that will be required for remote class instruction. Additionally, it is advised to take all valuables and personal effects, such as medications, that may be needed while away from campus during this two-week period post Spring Break.
Regarding University Travel
- At this time, until further notice, all official University business travel, and/or student-related travel, has been suspended. This includes both domestic and international travel.
- If you have already made travel plans and need to cancel these arrangements, please refer to the guidance provided by the Morgan Office of the Comptroller.
- For those faculty or staff planning personal, non-university related travel, it is highly recommended that you utilize extreme caution and judgment during your domestic/international travel, taking care to avoid travel to places identified by CDC as being high risk for COVID-19. Please understand that should you do so against the advice of the University, self-quarantine protocols and testing will be recommended before you are able to return to campus.
Please take into consideration the following tips to remain healthy:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If unavailable, hand sanitizer is recommended.
- If you are sick, please stay home and contact your medical provider.
- Increase your fluid intake.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and face.
- Keep home/personal spaces clean, disinfect common surfaces.
- Avoid contact with sick people and large crowds.
- Cover your cough with a tissue/paper towel or the crook of your elbow.
- If you have not received an influenza (flu) vaccine this year, do get one as soon as possible.
Please recognize that these decisions have been made with a high level of careful evaluation and consideration of the most current facts available. Moving forward, we will continue to leverage guidance provided by state and federal agencies, and health departments, in order to make informed decisions concerning residential instruction and on-campus activities in the days/weeks ahead.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this constantly changing and dynamic situation.
David Kwabena Wilson,
Morgan State University