April 6, 2020
I hope this finds you healthy and adjusting as well as possible to the difficult times affecting us.
Governor Hutchinson announced today that all Arkansas public schools would continue with alternative delivery of instruction through the end of the semester. This announcement was not unexpected, as the growth in the number of cases of COVID-19 is projected to continue to rise for the next few weeks. Throughout our country, students are now finding themselves sheltering at home, in some cases with their young children, in an effort to protect themselves and their families from the coronavirus.
Our continued concern about the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students leads me to announce that remote delivery of classes will continue through the end of the spring semester.
As we move into the month of May, we will closely monitor events related to the spread of COVID-19 and as soon as we feel it is safe to return to normal operations, we will begin to do that. While we hope to be able to do it sooner, our goal is to return to some semblance of normal operations by no later than May 26th, the beginning of the summer semester.
Meanwhile, I want you to know that supporting your success remains THE priority of all of us at ASU Mid-South as we work together through this difficult time. Our faculty and student services personnel will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks to answer questions about your classes, your schedule, or college in general. We look forward to working with you and helping you reach your goals.
I’m looking forward to the time when we can all return to campus again. I hope you are as well. Until we can safely see each other again, please stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy.
With kind regards,
Debra West, Ph.D.
While the United States is not experiencing large numbers of people with the novel coronavirus at this time, ASU Mid-South is reviewing and updating our emergency management plans so that we understand what actions we would take should there be an outbreak in our area.
Will there be school closures?
We do not know yet if the virus will cause closures of colleges, schools, childcare centers, or offices in our area. But we are preparing so that we will be ready to take fast action if needed. Everyone’s health and safety is our highest priority.
Unlike our local decision making with weather-related closures, our Chancellor will follow the advice and direction from local officials, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If we suspend operations, you will be notified through our institution’s website as well as through REGROUP, the alert system ASU Mid-South uses to send out calls, emails, and text messages to faculty, staff, and students. If you have previously opted out of this service or if your contact information has recently changed, please contact the Registrar’s Office to ensure your information is up-to-date.
On Wednesday, March 11, Governor Asa Hutchison declared a public health emergency in the State of Arkansas and issued an order restricting all out-of-state travel for state employees for 60 days. ASU Mid-South will follow the Governor’s directive.
The CDC is currently warning people to avoid all non-essential travel to any area listed as Warning Level 3. Also, anyareas classified by the U.S. State Department as Level 4, are similarly restricted. Any student, faculty or staff of ASU Mid-South who travels from or through a region listed on either travel advisory should be aware of potential for quarantine upon return to the United States. Currently there are no restrictions on travel in the U.S., other than those imposed by individual states.
While most of us will not travel to those Warning Level 3 and Level 4 areas, students, faculty, and staff should take into consideration potential impacts of any travel – official or personal – and take appropriate precautions to limit their exposure to the novel coronavirus. Known exposure would necessitate a 14-day quarantine before returning to campus, during which time employees would be required to use personal leave.