Mount St. Joseph University “Keep Learning” Remote Classes Extended for the Remainder of the Semester, Seton Residence Hall Closing March 21, 2020, and Updated COVID-19 Safety Guidelines.

Mount St. Joseph News
 Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Mount St. Joseph University remains committed to sharing COVID-19 updates as new information emerges.  The University’s goal is to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community while maintaining our commitment to student success and academic progress.
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Greater Cincinnati region and a National State of Emergency declared as of March 13, 2020, the University has responded and is providing students, faculty, and staff with the following updated University COVID-19 safety guidelines and notices.  The University’s comprehensive COVID-19 safety guidelines and all community-wide COVID-19 notices can be accessed through the website homepage.  You will continue to receive updates from me and other campus leaders as this situation continues to evolve.   
Keep Learning” Remote Classes Will Extend Through The End of the semester
The University’s Keep Learning remote classes, which start on Monday, March 16, 2020, will now extend through the end of the spring 2020 semester.  More information about Keep Learning remote classes, summer and fall class registration, faculty advising, and other student support services will be sent soon.  The ISS Helpdesk, that can be contacted at 513-244-4357 and through Mount Roar!, will be equipped to direct student’s remote learning and technology questions to the appropriate personnel.    
All students should continue to check your MSJ email account daily. Faculty and staff will reach out to students through official MSJ email accounts.
The Seton Residence Hall is closing for the remainder of the semester. Students are not permitted to live on campus after Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.  Students must make plans to retrieve all of their personal items from Seton Residence Hall and return to their permanent residence no later than Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5:00 p.m., at which time the University will close the facility.  Please adhere to all of the University’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, including “social distancing” recommendations, while moving out of the Seton Residence Hall. Residential students will receive additional information from the Coordinator of Residence Life, Jeff Hurley, as soon as possible. 
Exceptions for students to remain in the Seton Residence Hall may be considered for truly unique circumstances only.  Students in such a situation can send a written request for consideration to Janet Cox, Dean of Students, at no later than Monday, March 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  
The University is taking into consideration refunds for campus housing and meal plans. A decision regarding refunds will be communicated to students through their MSJ email accounts no later than Friday, March 27, 2020.
Mandatory Illness Reporting, Self-Isolation, COVID-19 Exposure, COVID-19 Testing, and Self- Quarantine
Health agencies have identified the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as follows:
·       a fever greater than 100.4; and
·       “acute respiratory illness” defined as
§  cough, and
§  difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
Given these symptoms and our individual responsibility to reduce the spread of illness, all are expected to follow these safety guidelines:
·       Any Illness or Fever--Stay home and do not come to campus if you feel sick or have a fever, even if you do not believe you are exhibiting the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  
·       Exposure to COVID-19If you have been exposed to anyone who has or may have COVID-19 (health agencies are defining exposure to COVID-19 as living in the same household with a person who is sick, caring for a sick person, being within 6 feet of a sick person for 10 minutes, or being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person) but are not sick, you should monitor your health for fever, cough, and shortness of breath since the last day you were exposed.  students, faculty and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 must self-quarantine for 14 days from the last day of exposure and not come to campus, report to work, go to school, or go in public places.  Students should report their exposure to the University’s Health Services Manager, Amy Demko, by phone at 244-4769.  Faculty and staff should report their exposure the University’s Director of Human Resources, Lisa Kobman, by phone at 513-244-4979.  
·       Students who exhibit COVID-19 Signs or SymptomsDo not come to campus and immediately (i) isolate from others, (ii) call your healthcare provider or the Tri-Health Emergency Room at 513-246-9800 for instructions, and (iii) report your diagnosis to the University’s Health Services Manager, Amy Demko, by phone at 244-4769.
·       Faculty or staff who exhibit COVID-19 signs or symptoms—DO not to report to work and YOU must immediately (i) isolate from others, (ii) call your healthcare provider for instructions, and (iii) report your diagnosis to the University’s Director of Human Resources, Lisa Kobman, by phone at 513-244-4979. 
Testing for COVID-19 is being routed through Health Departments, and there is a process to follow if you need to get tested that differs in each state.  The Ohio Department of Health has a hotline established for COVID-19, at 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).  The Kentucky Department of Health can be contacted, at (800) 722-5725.  Indiana COVID-19 testing questions should be directed to the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center, at 317-233-7125.
Mandatory Personal Travel Reporting and Self-Quarantine
Travel Outside of the United States
The latest Global Health Advisory has moved all countries to a Level 3 warning (which means no nonessential travel to all countries).  STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF returning from any travel outside of the United States are required to self-quarantine for 14 days (not come to campus, report to work, go to school, or go in public places) and TO monitor THEIR health. They also must report their self-quarantine to the University as follows:
  • Students:  by calling or emailing the Health Service Manager, Amy Demko, at 513-244-4769 or at
  • Faculty and staff:  by calling or emailing the Director of the Office of Human Resources, Lisa Kobman, at 513-244-4979 or at

Domestic Travel
With COVID-19 outbreaks now reported across the United States, domestic travel reporting is not required.  Instead, all students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Mandatory Illness Reporting, Self-Isolation, COVID-19 Exposure, COVID-19 Testing, and Self- Quarantine safety guidelines provided above.
Throughout our one-hundred year history, the University has faced many difficult challenges and has always persevered.  I am confident that the University community will once again pull together during this time and become stronger as a result.  I am praying that each of you, your families, and our entire community remain healthy.
H. James Williams

Mount St. Joseph University