Jan. 30: Instruction for educators on enhanced distancing period

Dear Educators:

I raise to your attention that our undergraduate residence halls will be moving to a quarantine setting for our students to slow the transmission of COVID positive individuals who are living with us on campus. This is based on an uptick in positive students that was anticipated by our MSU Biostatistics group. We have sufficient capacity for the isolation of positive students and quarantine of their immediate contacts. That said, we want to ensure that the spread is contained. The duration for the quarantine is set for 14 days. 

Online and remote instruction is not affected by this change, and neither are in-person classes – including instructional labs, music instruction, studio courses, computer labs, and clinical rotations. More detailed information was shared by Mark Largent with all in-person instructors earlier today. Our undergrad students in residences will be allowed to leave their rooms for a limited number of activities, including:

  • Attending an in-person class.
  • Picking up meals from a dining location.
  • Conducting research or going to work.
  • Providing a sample for the COVID-19 Early Detection Program.
  • Receiving medical care.
  • Participating in distanced outdoor physical exercise for two people or fewer.
  • Accessing secure internet.

Due to enhanced physical distancing, overall campus operations will be affected in the following ways: 

  • Dining halls will be open for takeout and mobile orders only.
  • Residence hall service centers will have shortened hours of operation.
  • Maintenance requests will be limited to emergency services only.
  • All public seating areas in the residence halls will be closed, including floor lounges.
  • Campus IM facilities will be closed.
  • Laundry rooms and computer labs will remain open with enforced capacity limits. 

The safety of our community and success of our students has been and will continue to be our guiding principles. We will use the best available evidence and practices to ensure each of these goals. Based on existing evidence, the classroom setting safety measures of physical distancing, requirement of masking, and negative COVID testing by students and encouragement for COVID testing by instructors, is appropriate to allow our limited but vital in person instruction to continue. If you have questions about the nature of your in-person classroom settings, or feel that some of the instruction is best moved to a remote option, please let your department chair or school director know and have them work with your dean and Mark Largent (undergrad) or Thomas Jeitschko (grad/professional) as you steer forward.

By taking this prudent step, we are maintaining a safe residential environment to allow our academic work to continue. I hope for your continued well-being and thank you for your diligence.

 

My best, 

Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

MSU Foundation Professor