College updates students on campus response to coronavirus
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, March 12, 2020
Saint Mary’s announced several updates to campus coronavirus response in an email to College students Thursday, including new restrictions to residence hall activity and campus amenities.
“This is a situation that is fluid and changing almost by the hour,” interim vice president for student affairs Linda Timm said in the email.
She said while the College will allow students to return to campus while classes are remote, they are strongly encouraged to stay at home if possible. Students who elect to reside on campus must fill out a form detailing recent travels. The form must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to students’ return, or as soon as possible for those still on campus.
Most activity in Saint Mary’s residence halls and Opus apartments will be restricted until at least April 13, Timm said in the email. All students in Opus and residence halls are not permitted to have guests. “General activities” are not allowed, and students are expected to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines for social distancing. Off-campus students are advised to follow the same recommendations.
“Your return to your residence hall room is not an open invitation for social gatherings on or off campus,” Timm said in the email. “As members of the South Bend community, we have a responsibility to do what we can to limit further exposure to this virus.”
Those who suspect they have flu or coronavirus must notify the Health and Counseling Center immediately, she said.
According to the email, the dining hall will be open for students under modified hours yet to be determined. No other dining options on campus will be open. All College services and administrative departments will stay open.
Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, the email said. Additional weekend hours may be added.
Timm said students who return to campus to retrieve items are to check-in at their residence hall front desk upon arrival. Students may also give hall staff permission to let a friend access to their rooms to pack belongings.
All who have traveled to countries classified by the CDC as Level 3 travel advisory zones must first self-quarantine for 14 days, she said in the email.
“We are all encountering many changes in our daily lives,” Timm said. “We need to accept the reality that things may change for a short time; however, if there is one thing I know, members of the Saint Mary’s community will rise to the occasion and navigate this with compassion and grit. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other by following the recommended actions provided by the CDC.”