COVID-19 Update: March 11, 2020
March 11, 2020
Dear members of the Saint Louis University community,
I write to follow-up with you on my message to the SLU community yesterday regarding a suspension of most classes until March 23.
Communicating with our students and families about the suspension of classes was a time-sensitive priority. Even today, several other local colleges and universities have taken steps similar to SLU. Again, we have made no decision at this time to move face-to-face courses and learning experiences online.
March 11 Updates
- At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Saint Louis University. Your health and safety continue to be our No. 1 priority. We are in daily contact with health officials and infectious disease experts as we determine our next steps.
- This is a time to remain calm.We will continue to focus on making measured decisions that are informed by science for our SLU Community. I ask that all department chairs and supervisors listen to concerns from their faculty, staff and students, sharing those concerns with the appropriate people.
- For staff: SLU maintains thoughtful and generous policies about absences from work for illnesses or the need to care for loved ones. Mickey Luna, SLU’s Vice President for Human Resources, will send a separate communication detailing those policies. We will evaluate these policies in the event that circumstances change. It is important to note that just because we did not explicitly address staff in our communications yesterday, that does not mean we are not thinking about this critical stakeholder group.
- For students who are impacted by the temporary suspension of in-person, on-campus learning: We know there are many questions you need answered, and we are working to develop communications specific to those needs. Many students have completed the form indicating a need to return to campus on March 15. We are working to identify the conditions that would merit a return to campus at this time. Additional information is forthcoming. Reminder: Those students whose circumstances require a return to campus on March 15 should complete this form. (The form is no longer collecting responses. Emails will provide the latest updates for students retrieving their belongings.)
This is an unprecedented, fast-moving situation that changes daily, and we recognize that we don’t yet have answers to all of the questions you may have. But we do have leaders across the University who are devoting almost all of their time to ensuring we continue the pursuit of our education and health care missions, while supporting our faculty and staff during this stressful situation.
Thank you for all you do for Saint Louis University. I will continue to communicate with you as we learn more and make decisions on behalf of SLU. Please continue to reference SLU’s COVID-19 website for more information as well.
Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.