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Important Coronavirus Update from President Morton

 

Dear Campus Community,

 

Our commitment to the health and safety of our community is our first priority. In light of the uncertainty about the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and in order to protect our community as well as those we come in contact with regularly, Warren Wilson College is putting in place a continuation of instruction and alternative scheduling plan from Friday, March 13 until Friday, April 10. 

 

Please note that no coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Buncombe County or at Warren Wilson College. We have one Person Under Investigation who is being tested per North Carolina Health and Human Services guidelines, but no diagnosis has been made. The person who is considered a PUI is in isolation in accordance with North Carolina Department and Health and Human Services protocol, and they are receiving care and medical attention. 

 

We are not closing the college. We are trying to minimize unnecessary contact for the health and safety of our community. Students have the option of returning home if they choose. If students decide to remain here, campus will remain open. We will continuously review conditions as well as state, county and CDC guidelines, and update plans and communicate as necessary. We will continue to update our website at www.warren-wilson.edu/coronavirus, and please see below for more details.

 

Information by area:

  • Academics

    • Classes will continue as usual through the end of today, Thursday, March 12. Classes are canceled for Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16, so that faculty may prepare to begin online instruction. From Tuesday, March 17 until Friday, April 10, all classes will take place online during that time period.

    • Instructors will communicate with students about how to access courses and materials. 

    • There will be flexibility for students regarding academic courses beyond that date for students who choose to return home during this continuation of instruction period.

  • Student Life

    • Residence halls will remain open.

    • The cafeteria will remain open.

    • DeVries Gym will be closed.

    • Bryson Gym will be closed.

    • Athletic events and rentals will be canceled.

    • Outdoor programs will be canceled. 

  • Work 

    • Regular work shifts will continue until 5:00 pm today, Thursday, March 12, and work will then be suspended through April 10.

    • Students will continue to be paid for their work contracts during this time period and will not owe money for unworked hours.

    • We will be working with crew supervisors to cover essential work functions on outdoor crews. 

    • If you have questions, please contact wpo@warren-wilson.edu

  • Community Engagement

    • In-person contact is canceled during the March 12 - April 10 time period. Remote projects can be arranged with community partners.

  • Support Staff

    • Tutoring, financial aid, counseling, and advising will be available online and by phone.

  • Staff

    • Everyone is expected to continue working as the College will remain open during this online instructional period.

    • Work from home where possible – connect directly with your Vice President for any specific instructions.

    • Utilize Google Hangouts Meet or RingCentral Meetings for conference calls.

  • Events

    • All events will be canceled or postponed if planned to occur between now and April 10.

    • Events scheduled after April 10 will continue to be evaluated.

  • Travel and Trips

    • All college-sponsored travel and trips are suspended through April 10, including in-state travel.

    • Travel already scheduled beyond April 10 will continue to be evaluated.

    • No new travel should be planned. 

 

Buncombe County is continuing to keep their webpage updated with information about the county’s response and updates on cases in our county. As of the writing of this message there are no confirmed cases in Buncombe County.

 

While we recognize the disruption that these measures will entail for our community as well as for our community partners, we are committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as well as to attending to our duty to the general public health during this challenging time. Please know that college leadership is in close communication with local, state, and federal health authorities and will continuously evaluate and communicate our plans as they evolve. 

 

In community,

President Lynn Morton 

 

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