Coronavirus (COVID-19) Comprehensive Update 3/20/2020 4:30PM EDT

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Comprehensive Update 3/20/2020 4:30PM EDT

Webber International University (and its branch campus St. Andrews University) has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 virus for weeks. We have stayed informed of, and acted according to, the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We – our students, our faculty, our staff, our administration – are resourceful, resilient people and we will get through this together. We’ve gotten through worse situations. Yet, we still need to alter our day-to-day routines. We hope the following FAQ will answer most of your questions, but we encourage you to contact us if there’s something we missed. Above all else, know that we are here to help and if you have an issue, don’t hesitate to contact us.

FAQ’s

FOR EVERYONE

Q: Are there any confirmed or suspected on the Webber campus?
A: No (as of 3/20/2020 11:00AM EDT)

Q: Are there any confirmed reported cases in Polk County, Florida.
A: Yes. 7 (as of 3/20/2020 11:00AM EDT).

Q: Is the University closing?
A: No. The University – including our dormitories and cafeterias – remains open.

In the interest of the health of our students and employees we have restricted the campus to residential students, working employees, off campus students studying in the library or conducting business in University offices during regular business hours, prospective students escorted by admissions personnel, and meetings which cannot be conducted via electronic alternatives.

Security has been ordered to check ID’s and to enforce social distancing guidelines.

Q: I heard the CDC had recommended closing?
A: You could have heard that, but the CDC didn’t say it. They haven’t recommended closing even for institutions with confirmed cases or substantial spread, neither of which is the case for Webber (as of 3/20/2020 4:30PM EDT)

Q: What are you doing about cleanliness and sanitation?
A: Following CDC guidelines.

Q: What should I do to avoid getting sick?
A: Follow CDC guidelines (biggies: maintain distance, wash hands, disinfect surfaces).

Q: How will updates be communicated?
A: We will contact students via their @webber.edu, post updates on our website (www.Webber.edu), and post updates at www.WebberEmergency.com.

Q: I want to tour the campus? Can I?
A: Yes, while we are also hosting virtual open houses for those who cannot or don’t wish to travel but want to secure their spot in the fall semester, as long as you are not displaying any symptoms of any illness, and have neither left the country nor gone on a cruise of any duration to any destination in the last 14 days you may tour the campus. Escorts are required. For the safety of our campus much of your tour will be conducted outside, some areas will be off-limits, and we will maintain six foot distance. Please discuss this with your admissions counselor.

FOR STUDENTS

Q: Will I be able to complete the spring semester?
A: Yes. On our campus. At home. From the beach. One way or the other we’ll get it done.

 Q: Are face to face classes being transitioned to on-line instruction?
A: Yes. All instruction in all courses is being offered on-line for the remainder of the spring semester.

Q: Why?
A: We understand that many people are worried (most of us are parents ourselves… we get it). And, we understand that many students and their families have made the decision to weather this crisis at home. We are absolutely committed to helping our students successfully finish this semester. Given the impossibility of our professors simultaneously conducting both in-seat and on-line instruction, we have implemented our plan to take all instruction on-line.

Q: How will I know what to do to succeed with on-line instruction?
A: Check your @webber.edu. If you don’t have instructions, contact our Academic Dean.

Q: I want to add classes / drop classes / register for summer. Not sure who to talk to.
A: Our Academic Dean can get you to the right person.

Q: Do I have to leave?
A: No. We are neither requiring nor suggesting that students leave. This is an individual decision students need to make with the consultation of their parents. The current CDC guidance does not include asking students to leave campus.

Q: Have sports been suspended?
A: Yes. On March 16, 2020 the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics cancelled the spring 2020 season. For information about how this impacts eligibility, contact our faculty athletic representative (FAR).

Q: What about bass fishing competitions?
A: All competitions and University organized practices have been cancelled for the rest of the semester. But fishing in the clean air and great outdoors – more than a few feet away from the closest other fisherperson of course – sounds like a great idea!

Q: Will my athletic scholarship be impacted?
A: No.

Q: Will there be activities, security, meals, etc. provided on campus for residential students who choose to stay?
A: Yes.

Q: What about the cafeteria?
A: Florida has banned eating in restaurants. The cafeteria is now take out only. Please avoid eating in your room and please dispose of trash properly… roaches carry some nasty diseases.

Q: If I do decide to leave, what should I do?
A: Get the checklist from Student Life (they can email it if you ask them to) and be sure you have followed it. And triple confirm with the airline that your flight is a go, because once you’ve been to an airport – where infection is far more likely – you cannot come back to campus for 14 days.

Q: What if I get sick on campus?
A: Self isolate and contact Student Life. We will follow health department recommended protocols from there. Here’s a link to the CDC’s recommendations.

Q: Are on-ground summer classes going on-line?
A: Not at this time, but as you know, things change rapidly.

Q: What if for any reason I have flown to any destination, left the country by any means, or gone on a cruise of any duration to any destination or if I do fly, leave the country, or go on a cruise?
A: You MUST self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return and will NOT be allowed on campus for any reason for 14 days after your return.

Q: I don’t know how to get in touch with my dean/coach/professor/academic advisor?
A: For the non-athletic staff directory click here. For the s athletic staff directory click here.

Q: If I don’t want to come from spring break, what should I do?
A: Contact Student Life. You don’t have to get your stuff until May 1, but understand we don’t have the ability to pack it up, store it, and/or watch it for you.

Q: Has the MBA trip to Spain been cancelled?
A: If the MBA trip was today, it would not be allowed because Spain is currently under a Level 3 Travel Warning. The MBA trip is currently scheduled for May 23-29, currently outside anyone’s window of guidance (like you, we hope the world is back to normal by then, but like you, we don’t have a crystal ball). We all want to return to normalcy as soon as possible and will advise as soon as we know whether or not we can do it, but we certainly wouldn’t be booking an expensive trip to anywhere without buying “cancel for any reason” travel insurance.

Q: What about the Business Advisor’s Luncheon?
A: Pursuant to CDC guidance that “for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States” this event is cancelled.

Q: What about the Academic Awards Dinner?
A: Pursuant to CDC guidance that “for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States” this event is cancelled.

Q: What about Graduation?
A: Pursuant to CDC guidance that “for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States” it has been postponed until December. If you will complete your degree in May PLEASE be sure we have your correct address so diplomas can be mailed. If you want a getting the diploma photo to tide you over until December the president has brought his regalia and is happy to loan you a robe… just call first to be sure he is in the office.

For Our Employees

Q: Should I come to work?
A: Yes, unless you are sick or immunocompromised, unless or until your supervisor tells you differently you should come to work.

Q: I’m sick.
Stay home. Seek medical care. Contact your supervisor. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.

Q: I’m immunocompromised or otherwise at risk.
A: Contact your supervisor. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.

Q: I have childcare issues.
A: Contact your supervisor.

Q: What about professional development?
A: All professional development involving face-to-face meetings is suspended. Exceptions require the personal approval of the University’s president.

Q: What if for any reason I have flown to any destination, left the country by any means, or gone on a cruise of any duration to any destination or if I do fly, leave the country, or go on a cruise?
A: You MUST self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return and will NOT be allowed on campus for any reason for 14 days after your return

For Our Faculty

Q: Do I have to have on-ground office hours?
A: Yes, unless excused for good cause by your campus’ Academic Dean.

Q: Can I change them from the traditional schedule?
A: Yes, but you must inform students and your campus’ Academic Dean.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  March 20, 2020 4:30pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Cafeteria Update March 17th, 2020

March 17th, 2020 1:00PM EST

This update reflects a limited change of operations. Please see the March 16th posting – Message ID 2020-4 – for a more comprehensive listing of changes and for more need to know information.

Today the Honorable Ron Desantis, Governor of the State of Florida, recommended that public universities go to online instruction for the remainder of the semester and ordered that restaurants reduce their capacity by 50%.

We announced on March 16 (Message ID 2020-4) that while the University will remain open we have transitioned all instruction to on line for the remainder of the semester.

While we have always practiced sanitation standards more stringent than those being recommended, we have today taken the following steps with respect to food service:

  • We have reduce capacity in the cafeteria by 75% (do NOT move chairs as this challenges our ability to follow the Governor’s guidelines);
  • Because it can be challenging to visualize exactly what 6 feet looks like, we have put a 6 foot tape line at the entrance of the cafeteria to illustrate the recommended minimum distance;
  • Because there really isn’t room to space diners 6 feet apart, we have closed the Student Union;
  • We have suspended our “no food outside of the cafeteria” rule and will provide takeout boxes. However, most of the reason that we don’t allow food outside of the cafeteria, especially in dormitories, is to prevent pests (roaches can carry diseases a whole lot worse than COVID-19!) While we spend a fortune on pest control, we still need you to help us help you by being careful where you eat, cleaning up any messes, and disposing of leftovers in outside garbage cans.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  March 17, 2020 1:30pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-5

 

Coronavirus Update 3/16/2020

Minor edit at 3/16/2020 8:15EDT:  The CDC has changed its guidance and now recommends avoiding groups of 10 or more people.  (edit by President of the University of his own authority at time and date captioned message ID: 2020-4) 

Webber International University (and its branch campus St. Andrews University) has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 virus for weeks. We have stayed informed of, and acted according to, the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We – our students, our faculty, our staff, our administration – are resourceful, resilient people and we will get through this together. Yet, we still need to alter our day-to-day routines. We hope the following FAQ will answer most of your questions, but we encourage you to contact us if there’s something we missed. Above all else, know that we are here to help and if you have an issue, don’t hesitate to contact us.

FAQ’s For Everyone

Q: Are there any confirmed or suspected cases at either campus?
A: No (as of 3/16/2020 4:00pm)

Q: Are there any confirmed or reported cases in Polk County, Florida or Scotland County, North Carolina?
A: No (as of 3/16/2020 4:00pm)

Q: Is the University closing?
A: No. The University – including our dormitories and cafeterias – remains open.

Q: What about graduation?
A: Currently the CDC is recommending that, for the next 8 weeks, all public events with more than 50 people be postponed or cancelled. We are working on options and will post the plan as soon as we have it.

Q: What are you doing about cleanliness and sanitation
A: Following CDC guidelines.

Q: What should I do to avoid getting sick?
A: Follow CDC guidelines (biggies: maintain distance, wash hands, disinfect surfaces)

Q: How will updates be communicated?
A: We will contact students via their @webber.edu or @sa.edu emails, post updates on our websites (www.Webber.edu and www.SA.edu), and post updates at www.WebberEmergency.com.

Q: I want to tour the campus? Can I?
A: Yes, as long as you are not displaying any symptoms of any illness, and have neither left the country nor gone on a cruise of any duration to any destination in the last 14 days. For the safety of our campus much of your tour will be conducted outside and some areas will be off-limits. Please discuss this with your admissions counselor.

FAQ’s For Students and Their Parents at ALL Campuses

Q: Will I be able to complete the spring semester?
A: Yes. On our campus. At home. From the beach. One way or the other we’ll get it done.

 Q: Are face to face classes being transitioned to on-line instruction?
A: Yes. We will, by Monday March 23rd, be transitioned to on-line classes with all instruction provided in on-line format.

Q: Why?
A: We understand that many people are worried (most of us are parents ourselves… we get it). And, we understand that many students and their families have made the decision to weather this crisis at home. We are absolutely committed to helping our students successfully finish this semester. Given the impossibility of our professors simultaneously conducting both in-seat and on-line instruction, we have implemented our plan to take all instruction on-line.

Q: How will I know what to do to succeed with on-line instruction?
A: Check your @webber.edu or @sa.edu email. If you don’t have instructions, contact your campus’ Academic Dean.

Q: I want to add classes / drop classes / register for summer. Not sure who to talk to.
A: Your campus’ Academic Dean can get you to the right person.

Q: Is the campus (including dorms, cafeteria, etc.) staying open?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to leave?
A: No. We are neither requiring nor suggesting that students leave. The current CDC guidance does not include asking students to leave campus.

Q: Have sports been suspended?
A: Yes. On March 16, 2020 the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics cancelled the spring 2020 season. For information about how this impacts eligibility, contact your campus’ faculty athletic representative (FAR).

Q: Will my athletic scholarship be impacted?
A: No.

Q: Will there be activities, security, meals, etc. provided on campus?
A: Yes.

Q: If I do decide to leave, what should I do?
A: Get the checklist from Student Life (they can email it if you ask them to) and be sure you have followed it. And triple confirm with the airline that your flight is a go, because once you’ve been to an airport – where infection is far more likely – you cannot come back to campus for 14 days.

Q: What if I get sick on campus?
A: Self isolate and contact Student Life. We will follow health department recommended protocols from there. Here’s a link to the CDC’s recommendations.

Q: Are on-ground summer classes going on-line?
A: Not at this time, but as you know, things change rapidly.

Q: What if for any reason I leave the country or go on a cruise of any duration to any destination?
A: You MUST self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return and will NOT be allowed on campus for any reason for 14 days after your return.

Q: I don’t know how to get in touch with my dean/coach/professor/academic advisor?
A: For the Florida campus non-athletic staff directory click here. For the Florida campus athletic staff directory click here. For the North Carolina campus non-athletic staff directory click here. For the North Carolina campus athletic staff directory click here.

For Our Employees at ALL Campuses

Q: Should I come to work?
A: Yes, unless or until your supervisor tells you differently.

Q: I’m sick.
Stay home. Seek medical care. Contact your supervisor. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.

Q: I’m immunocompromised or otherwise at risk.
A: Contact your supervisor. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.

Q: I have childcare issues.
A: Contact your supervisor.

Q: What about professional development?
A: All professional development involving air travel or groups of more than 50 people is suspended. Exceptions require the personal approval of the University’s president.

Q: What if for any reason I leave the country or go on a cruise of any duration to any destination?
A: You MUST self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return and will NOT be allowed on campus for any reason for 14 days after your return

For Our Faculty at All Campuses

Q: Do I have to have on-ground office hours?
A: Yes, unless excused for good cause by your campus’ Academic Dean.

Q: Can I change them from the traditional schedule?
A: Yes, but you must inform students and your campus’ Academic Dean.

For Our Students on the Florida Campus

Q: If I don’t want to come from spring break, what should I do?
A: Contact Student Life. You don’t have to get your stuff until May 1, but understand we don’t have the ability to pack it up, store it, and/or watch it for you.

Q: Has the MBA trip to Spain been cancelled?
A: Not at this time. Given how rapidly things are changing, if you do make arrangements we would strongly recommend travel insurance.

Q: What about bass fishing competitions?
A: All competitions and University organized practices have been cancelled for the rest of the semester. But fishing in the clean air and great outdoors – more than a few feet away from the closest other fisherperson of course – sounds like a great idea!

Q: What about the Business Advisor’s Luncheon?
A: Pursuant to CDC guidance that “for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States” this event is cancelled.

Q: What about the Academic Awards Dinner?
A: Pursuant to CDC guidance that “for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States” this event is cancelled.

For Our Students on the North Carolina Campus

Q: Has the Study in Brunnenburg program been impacted?
A: Not at this time. Given how rapidly things are changing, if you do make arrangements we would strongly recommend travel insurance.

Q: What about equestrian competitions?
A: All collegiate equestrian competitions (regular season and post season) have been cancelled by the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, the American National Riding Commission, and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association. St. Andrews had teams qualify for post-season competition in all three organizations.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  March 16, 2020 4:30pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-4

COVID-19 March 12, 2020

As you have no doubt noticed, there are LOTS of opinions out there, ranging from wonderful, to uninformed by the facts, to downright dangerous. Webber has followed, and will continue to follow, the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the acknowledged experts in infectious disease prevention and control. This guidance informs our actions and this FAQ.

Q: Does Webber have any suspected or confirmed cases of corona virus (COVID-19)?A: No.

Q: Has Webber suspended face to face classes?
A: No.

Q: Why hasn’t Webber suspended face to face classes?
A: We run on facts, not fear. The current guidance from the CDC for colleges and universities without identified cases of COVID-19 does NOT include suspending face to face classes.

Q: Is Webber prepared to go on-line if necessary?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Webber currently have any plans to go on-line?
A: No. But things change rapidly, so if you’re heading out on spring break, you might want to consider taking your books.

 Q: Why did the Florida public university system suspend face to face classes?
A: We don’t know. The current guidance from the CDC for colleges and universities without identified cases of COVID-19 does NOT include suspending face to face classes.

Q: Why didn’t the Florida public community college system suspend face to face classes?
A: We don’t know. The current guidance from the CDC for colleges and universities without identified cases of COVID-19 does NOT include suspending face to face classes.

Q: What’s your advice for spring break?
A: If you’re going somewhere consider taking your books “just in case” and please watch out for each other… scary as coronavirus is, it’s not your biggest danger. Please stick together, watch out for each other, and have each other’s back’s. Here are some more tips.

We strongly discourage traveling abroad. You will recall that on Wednesday night travel from most of Europe was banned effective on Friday (i.e., about 72 hours’ notice), stranding lots of people in airports abroad. Things can happen that quickly.

If you travel to or through a country with a level 3 health warning, you must self-quarantine upon your return to the US and will not be allowed on campus for 14 days after your return.

If you want to stay on campus, we are waiving our usual per-day spring break but you MUST register with Student Life.

Remember to check your @webber.edu email address and www.WebberEmergency.com for the most recent information.

Q: What should I do if I’m sick?
A: First and foremost stay home. Seek medical attention (if you need help, we can assist). If we have to find a way for you to finish up the semester without going to classes, we can do that (but note that you’ve got to work with us to get your work done… if you just stop going to classes without letting us know and without working out a plan, there’s not going to be much we can do for you).

Q: What is the status of athletics?
A: All events are currently canceled until March 27th. All practices are currently cancelled until March 23rd. Here is the official statement from The Sun Conference:

“TAMPA, Fla.—In conjunction with the conference’s Athletic Directors and Presidents, Sun Conference Commissioner Dustin Wilke announced that all Sun Conference competition will be suspended through Friday, March 27.

This suspension goes into effect immediately for all sports and includes both conference and non-conference competition. The situation will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the suspension. At that time, conference leaders will work to determine strategies and contingencies for the potential resumption of play and postseason schedules.

“The health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans, and media will always be the highest priority in The Sun Conference,” said Wilke. “This pause in competition gives us a chance to more thoroughly evaluate the crisis at hand and ensure we are minimizing the safety risk for all parties.”

The Sun Conference advises all athletes, fans, and officials to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control. More information can be found at www.CDC.gov.”

Q: What about Graduation?

A: Webber has followed, and will continue to follow, the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control.

At this time there has been no change in plans and it is our intention to make graduation as spectacular as ever. But, if the last few weeks taught us nothing else, we should have all learned that things can change rapidly. If I were currently planning an expensive trip anywhere, I’d consider trip insurance (there are a bunch of providers out there; this one has usually been the least expensive for me).

Q: What are the current best practices for infection prevention?
A: From the CDC website:

Steps to Prevent Illness

中文 | Español

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

alert icon

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  March 12, 2020 9:30pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-3

 

 

COVID-19 Wednesday, March 11, 2019

Dear Webber Community,

As you know, both the Webber Leadership Team and the Campus Crisis Response Team have been meeting for weeks regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).  We have tried, to the best of our ability, to keep you posted with the latest – and best vetted – information available.  This link (https://www.flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear/) takes you to the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s coronavirus page where they have linked to the best resources currently available.  While we have listed the answers to the most frequently asked questions below, if there are other questions, please ask.

Here’s our current FAQ

Q: Is Webber prepared to go entirely online? 

A: Yes.  We have had, for years, a plan to go online if we have to (while we would post notice on www.WebberEmergency.com, please be sure to check you Webber email account, because that’s the only way we can send student specific information).  If we have to get one sick student through the semester on-line, let one sick professor teach his or her classes on-line, or take the entire University on-line, we are prepared for that.

Q: Is Webber planning to go online?

A: No. While we understand there is widespread fear – some of it justified — for right now we are planning to limit disruption as much as possible while following the best available guidance for infection prevention and control.  But please remember, things can change rapidly.  So, since I don’t have a crystal ball and cannot predict the future, if I were going away to enjoy spring break, I’d take my books with me and be make sure I know my Webber email password just in case something does change.

Q: What if I get sick (with coronavirus or something else)?

A: Stay home.  Get medical treatment. If you need help getting medical treatment, call Student Life (863-638-2914)  or Athletic Training (863-638-2989).  Please don’t go to work, class, practice, or games if you are sick. Sure, so far most of the people who have contracted coronavirus have ended up okay, as long as they were healthy to begin with.  But note the “as long as they were healthy” part of that… we currently have at least 6 immunocompromised people on campus (and as I beat cancer last year with dangerously low white blood cell counts which meant an infection could be deadly, I didn’t really “look sick” to most of you).

Q: If I get sick, how will I finish the semester?

A: Contact Academic Affairs (863-638-2971).  Whether it’s a couple of days, a couple of weeks, or longer we’ll figure out a way. But note that you need to work with us from the beginning… if you call after you’ve missed two weeks, there isn’t much we can do.

Q: Spring Break?

A: Indeed.  We STRONGLY discourage international travel.  As previously noted, as a condition of continued enrollment or employment, if you travel to or through a country with a level 3 health warning (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html) you must self-quarantine and will not be allowed back on campus for 14 days after your return to the United States.  As also noted, we will follow current guidance, which could change.  Finally, understand that given the current panic, there’s always the possibility that if you do leave the country you might not be able to get back in, even if you’re not sick.

Q: Status of The Sun Conference?

A:  “As the situation regarding the COVID-19/coronavirus progresses, we are continuing to monitor the latest developments and advisements of local and national authorities regarding public health and safety. At this time, all Sun Conference events remain on as scheduled. As I’m sure you all understand, the situation remains very fluid as information and responses by impacted organizations continues to change daily.” (per Commissioner Wilke a 3:43pm EDT Wednesday March 11, 2020)

Q: Status of NAIA?

A: As of today, all NAIA championship events and the NAIA National Convention are expected to take place as planned. All championship host sites are implementing extra precautions in response to the threat of COVID-19.  NAIA staff members are meeting daily to assess the situation and considerations are being guided by information from local, regional, and national health authorities (March 11, 2020 https://www.naia.org/general/2019-20/releases/covid-19-update-convention)

Q: I heard other schools are closing early for the semester?

A: Yes, we read that too.  It’s important to note that most of the ones who have made that decision so far are in dense metropolitan areas which have confirmed cases. But, while I personally feel safer here than most places because we don’t have any 300 person classes or 10,000 person events, we are not immune from the virus.  We are continuing to monitor the situation and follow best practices, and right now those don’t include closing early for the semester.

Q:What are the current best practices to stay safe?

A: Per the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fprevention-treatment.html) here they are:

 

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Thank you for visiting http://www.WebberEmergency.com, the official notification site of Webber International University.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  March 11th,  2020 5:00pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-2

Coronavirus (COVID-19) March 3, 2020

While we have no reason to believe that any member of the Webber International Community is currently sick or has been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) we have been carefully monitoring and will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving and quickly changing worldwide situation.

With spring break approaching we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that employees and students not travel abroad. As the virus continues to spread, the risk that you will not be able to get back into the country – even if you are well – is becoming more and more real. If you insist on traveling abroad, we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE US citizens to register their trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (many other countries have similar programs; we encourage non-citizens to check your embassy’s website). Employees traveling abroad are REQUIRED to register their trip with WorldAware and STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to download the Worldcue Mobile app (I have never used it, but that big red SOS button is very comforting to have!)

Effective immediately, Webber International University is implementing the policy implemented by every Florida community college, state university, and state licensed college and university: as a condition of continued employment or enrollment, employees and students who return from travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea are to self-quarantine and not return to campus for fourteen days after their return.

Webber International University does not currently have any University sponsored or supported international travel planned. Until further notice, no international travel to or through any country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have assigned a Level 3 Travel Health Notice will be approved by the University. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE deferral of professional development activities and ANY professional development activity requiring air travel (domestic or international) must be approved in advance.

Students and employees are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to submit basic information about their travel plans, both international and domestic. This allows us to gather information so we can be as responsive as possible to anyone who might need assistance as the situation evolves, or in the event we or health officials need to investigate a local outbreak. Please register any travel plans, international or domestic, (name, phone number, email, date of departure, date of return, cities/countries visited) with dancygl@webber.edu.

We are adopting immediately, as standard operating procedures, the following CDC guidance for infection control:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html)

We recommend the following websites:
CDC Official COVID-19 website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

US Department of State Coronavirus website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province–china.html

We have suspended our normal per-day housing fee charged during breaks and residential students may stay with us over the spring break at no additional charge but MUST register their stay with the Student Life office.

Students needing assistance should contact the Vice President of Student Life and employees needing assistance should contact their immediate supervisor.

Finally we ask that you remember that there are those amongst us who cannot go home for spring break and are worried about friends or family in affected areas. They need our collective support, understanding, and empathy. Let’s do all we can to keep our community safe and well.

Thank you for visiting http://www.WebberEmergency.com, the official notification site of Webber International University.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  March 3rd, 2020 3:30pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-1

 

Potential Tropical Cyclone 9 (Humberto)

No Operational Changes Planned

The Campus Emergency Operations Committee is continuing to monitor Potential Tropical Cyclone 9 (likely to develop into Tropical Storm Humberto).

While it looks like our weekend will be wetter and windier than most, the current track of this storm keeps it well away from us.

There are currently no closures, postponements, cancellations, or other operational changes planned.

We simply cannot know the weather or road conditions everywhere… ultimately you are the final judge of your personal safety and should govern yourself accordingly.

Useful Links

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane

Next anticipated update

We are not anticipating another update on this storm. Should things change, they will be posted here first.

Thank you for visiting http://www.WebberEmergency.com, the official emergency notification system of Webber International University.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  September13th, 2019 2:30pm EDT by the President of the University by his own authority.

Message ID: 2019-6