Important COVID-19 Update
Posted March 10, 2020
Dear NEOMED Community:
On March 9, 2020, Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced that three Ohioans tested positive for COVID-19. Gov. DeWine also declared a state of emergency for Ohio. Today, upon consultation with health care professionals, the Governor has recommended that all Ohio public colleges and universities move to online instruction as soon as possible until the major concerns have passed.
While the state of emergency enables the state to mobilize necessary resources, the Governor’s recommendations are designed to engage the public in actions that can increase our preparedness and slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The safety and wellness of our students, staff and faculty is our primary concern. As a public medical university, we are working closely with the CDC and ODH, as well as Ohio’s Inter-University Council (IUC) ― a consortium of the state’s 14 public universities, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).
All 14 public universities have aligned with the Governor’s recommendations and are taking action based upon their unique qualities.
While there are no campus-associated cases of COVID-19 at NEOMED, we are instituting the following practices, effective March 11 at 12 a.m., and continuing through April 3, or until further updates are provided.
All classroom instruction will be conducted online
- We will suspend face-to-face instruction in lectures, discussion sections, seminars and other classroom settings and move to virtual instruction with a few exceptions such as the fourth year small group capstone electives. Instruction may range from previously recorded lectures to Zoom. Resources can be found by visiting neomed.edu/continuity.
- Per the recommendation of the AAMC, all clinical rotations will continue, as our students are a critical part of the patient care team. All rules and policies around use of personal protective equipment and exposure control will be at the discretion of the hospital system.
- There may be a need to conduct student testing on campus. If this is the case, the individual colleges will reach out to the students to provide guidance.
- Classes will be completed virtually unless mandated otherwise by individual college deans for the purpose of conducting small group sessions. Appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures should be followed.
Travel, screening and self-reporting
- Effective immediately and until further notice, all university-related international travel is prohibited. University-related domestic travel of any kind is limited to mission-critical travel and must be approved by a University dean or vice president.
- Travelers returning from countries with widespread or ongoing community spread (according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s Level 3 Travel Notice) must be screened in accordance with CDC guidelines prior returning to campus.
- Members of the NEOMED community and all visitors returning from other international travel must report to COVIDReporting@neomed.edu under the following circumstances:
- If you have returned from or traveled from any country outside the U.S. in the last 14 days.
- If you have had contact with anyone who has been confirmed by laboratory testing to have COVID-19 or anyone who is currently being tested.
- If you are being actively monitored or observed by any local, county, state or federal public health agency due to risk of SARS-CoV2, which causes COVID-19.
All reports should include name and cell phone number.
- University events scheduled on campus through April 3 are cancelled to avoid creating large gatherings.
- No additional spring semester events will be scheduled.
- We will continue to evaluate events and will share plans if any changes occur prior to April 3.
- The University will remain open for business other than conducting face-to-face education. Faculty and staff will report to work as usual until further notice. We will have a reduction in food services in alignment with what occurs with summer schedule.
- If you are experiencing signs and symptoms (fever, shortness of breath and cough) or have come into contact with an infected individual, please call your health care provider or the emergency room before visiting to tell them about your recent travel and symptoms. You may also seek medical advice by calling your local health department. If you are sick, always avoid contact with others to stop the spread of the virus and do not travel.
- If you are ill and need to work from home, remember that most resources on campus are cloud-based – including but not limited to, SharePoint, Office 365 and Self-Service Banner – and can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. For those needing access to campus shared files (Staff, Project), Internet Native Banner, or other service not in the cloud, VPN access is available. If you need VPN access, please create a TeamDynamix request by clicking on the “Help Desk Ticket or Knowledge Base” located on the NEOMED Intranet page.
- To ensure we can keep learning, teaching and working, all resources that enable online access and instruction to take place will be made available at neomed.edu/continuity.
The safety and well-being of NEOMED’s students, faculty and staff is our top priority. We understand that these changes will cause disruptions that may affect very important components of the academic year including events and celebrations. We request your understanding and cooperation as we continue to work with state and national leaders on best ways to deal with the crisis.
As the situation evolves, NEOMED will keep you informed and make any necessary adjustments.
Please visit neomed.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates.
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19, please call the ODH hotline at 833-4ASKODH (833.427.5634).
Thank you for your understanding and your ongoing efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy.
John T. Langell