COVID-19 Update March 12 (Evening)
Dear members of the Saint Louis University community,
As promised, I am writing to follow up on my message to you this morning.
I want to open with something to center us: A Twitter thread from Fr. Matthew Carnes, SJ, from Georgetown University. In his post, he reminds us that, “St. Ignatius and the first companions saw themselves as ‘communitas ad dispersionem’ – a community in dispersion.” He shared this concept in the context of the many Jesuit universities that, like us, are moving to remote learning. But the spirit of Fr. Carnes’ post is deeply rooted in our mission, which calls us to be united, even when we are apart.
The unfortunate, and in many cases devastating, issue of the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our norm. I hope you know that I – and the rest of us here at SLU – acknowledge how difficult this must be for many in our campus community. Our students are likely disappointed, and our employees might feel uncertain or overwhelmed. I hear you, I appreciate you and I am confident that we will do what Billikens always do: Prevail as a community.
Our shared love for and commitment to our community is exactly why we decided to move to remote learning. We have a role in the St. Louis community to react responsibly to a pandemic situation and do our part to reduce potential spread and the toll that takes on our health care system. Higher purpose. Greater good.
Now that I have shared what is on my heart, I want to share what we are doing. Our team started work today with a few guiding principles in their heads and hearts: In addition to health and safety, we sought to minimize further disruption to the academic process, have inclusive discussions, be transparent and timely, and make measured, science-based decisions.
March 12 Updates
- At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Saint Louis University.
- Reminder: Starting Monday, March 23, the University will move to remote instruction until at least April 30, 2020. There are exceptions to this, including: the School of Medicine, select programs in
the Doisy College of Health Sciences and the Center for Advanced Dental Education.
Students should continue to take guidance from their respective dean. Reminder: All online courses continue to operate online as previously scheduled.
- Student update: Several teams are working to address the key questions you have, such as the financial impact to students. Know that the University is working to respond to those needs, and our teams will continue to meet while we develop answers.
- Students who live on campus: Rest assured, you are a priority for us right now. Dozens of people are working to
create a plan so that you can secure your belongings, and to answer the questions
you have shared. We will not be able to answer all of your questions today, but you
will receive a detailed email shortly from Student Development with move-out procedures
that will take place over the course of the next week.
- The Student Health Center (SHC) will be open, and our 24-hour nurse advice line continues to be active. It is important
to note the SHC will see patients by appointment only, and students should call first
for a phone consult before arriving. Don’t forget to proactively monitor your health,
taking your temperature twice a day even if you feel well. Also, you should call your
primary care physician or SHC if you have symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness
of breath; if you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19; or if you have
traveled to a location with significant community spread of COVID-19.
- Faculty and staff update: Mickey Luna, SLU’s Vice President for Human Resources, shared a communication with you earlier tonight along with a link to the frequently asked questions his team and others have received related to the impact on our employees. Continue to send your questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update this webpage as necessary.
Thank you again for all you do for Saint Louis University. Please know that we will continue to communicate with you, and that you should keep referencing SLU’s COVID-19 website for more information. You can continue to send your COVID-19 questions to email@example.com.
Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.