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COVID-19 Mar. 12 Update

SAU’s highest priority is to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of every member of our community. We are working collaboratively with government authorities at the federal, state, and local levels as we seek guidance and contribute to the general welfare of our communities. Although we have no cases of COVID-19 in our county or on our campus, ensuring health and safety now means taking actions that aim to limit exposure of the Spring Arbor University community members to the virus, encourage social distancing, and elevate preventive hygiene practices across the campus.

To that end, we are implementing a variety of actions intended to slow the spread of the virus and protect the health of the broader Spring Arbor community. We recognize that these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many of you, but the health and safety of our community is our focus at this extraordinary time.

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS: Effective Monday, March 16, face-to-face classroom instruction will be moved online. Classes will be held as usual on Thursday, March 12. However, all face-to-face classroom instruction in all programs will be canceled for Friday, March 13, so that faculty and staff may finalize preparations to move classes online. Note: Current Zoom and online instruction will not be affected by this Friday, March 13 cancellation. Clinical activities at off-site clinical locations may have different instructions.

FUTURE CLASSES AND INSTRUCTION: All classroom instruction will be offered remotely beginning Monday, March 16. At this point in time, our intent is to resume face-to-face classroom instruction starting Tuesday, April 14. Students can expect to receive additional details regarding instruction from their academic departments and/or specific faculty members. We are working diligently to deliver the highest quality educational experience possible in these challenging times.

HOUSING: The campus will remain open, and we will continue to support students in our residence halls and dining facilities. To be clear, students in the residence halls have the option of choosing whether to stay in on-campus housing or to return home during this timeframe. Whatever the decision, we are asking all residential students to complete THIS FORM by Monday, March 16 to inform us of their general plans to remain in campus housing during this time or not. Regardless of where our students are, we encourage them to practice appropriate social distancing, avoid congregating in groups, and practice preventive public health measures.  

DINING: Spring Arbor University Dining Services will operate under regular hours tomorrow. Additional information regarding adjusted hours or delivery of food may be shared at a future time. During this March 13 – April 14 window, our dining facilities will serve current faculty, staff, and students exclusively.

TECHNOLOGY: Students who do not have access to a personal computer or are having trouble accessing online classes are encouraged to contact the IT help desk at helpdesk@arbor.edu or 517-750-1234. 

STAFF: Campus operations will continue at this time, and campus will remain open. However, there may be some modifications to campus services (e.g., open times for library, fitness center, dining). We will continue to monitor this situation and communicate as necessary.

EVENTS: At the advice of state officials, effective Monday, March 16 through Monday, April 13, we are suspending all on-campus events of more than 100 attendees (including Chapel). More information about remote spiritual formation opportunities will be coming. Where possible, organizers can explore ways of conducting events through livestreaming or other technologies. At this point, we hope to be able to host the full slate of Commencement Week events, but a final decision regarding these events will be made no later than April 14. 

UNIVERSITY-SPONSORED TRAVEL: All May Cross-Cultural trips have been canceled. More information will be provided to impacted students soon. Faculty and staff members will communicate with students about upcoming service-learning trips, athletic trips, music ensemble trips, etc. that may be affected by the travel restrictions.

PERSONAL TRAVEL: We urge all travelers to carefully consider their intended destinations for personal trips and check on restrictions or quarantine measures that may be recommended or required by the CDC upon return. Personal international travel is strongly discouraged at this time.

ATHLETICS: We will provide more guidance on athletic travel and events after consulting with the NAIA. 

BEST PRACTICES: We continue to ask everyone in our community to follow the CDC recommendations regarding preventive actions: 

  • 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. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • 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. 

If you have health concerns or questions please e-mail holtonhealth@arbor.edu and contact your Primary Care Physician. The CDC recommends not going to any health center, but e-mailing, calling and/or scheduling a virtual appointment with your health care provider. 

For all updates regarding this situation, please review www.arbor.edu/coronavirus as this is the most up-to-date space for communication. If you have any general questions about SAU’s plans and responses to the Coronavirus outbreak, please email coronavirus@arbor.edu

Thank you for your continued prayers and understanding as we respond to this rapidly evolving situation.