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Dear Campus Community,

In light of the latest Coronavirus developments, NKU will shift to alternative instruction beginning March 23, moving from face-to-face classes to online delivery. We made this decision with health and safety of our campus in mind, as well as for our entire community.

To give faculty and staff time to prepare, we are extending spring break for students through Saturday, March 21. Residence halls still will be open to students who were planning to return to campus on March 15. When classes resume on Monday, March 23, they will proceed through our alternative platforms. Students should watch for emails with details about the transition to the online format and adjustments to clinicals, labs or other necessary requirements for course completion.

At this time, we still have zero confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region and at NKU. That notwithstanding, Coronavirus is a growing concern, and Kentucky is under a state of emergency. As a regional leader, we must do our part to ensure we are following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for social distancing to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

What does this mean for the campus?

  • NKU remains open and will continue normal university operations. All residence halls, dining halls and campus buildings will remain open.
  • All non-essential university sponsored events with more than 150 attendees will be canceled through the end of the semester. Other events will be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • Finals Week and Spring Commencement will remain as scheduled, but we will monitor the situation to determine if this should change.
  • All university-sponsored international travel is suspended through the end of the semester, and all travelers arriving from Level 3 countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival in the U.S. before being allowed back on campus. University sponsored domestic travel is being reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

We understand this announcement will generate questions. Please be assured we are here to support our students, faculty and staff. Many aspects of the Coronavirus are out of our hands, but we are committed to ensuring our students stay on track toward their planned graduation dates.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and NKU’s Coronavirus Preparedness Team, led by Provost Sue Ott Rowlands, is monitoring the latest developments around the international and national outbreak of the Coronavirus. Work groups are reviewing NKU’s policies and plans if other administrative and business functions are impacted. The preparedness team will also join the President’s Cabinet for Coronavirus tabletop exercise next week to walk through scenarios and understand the university’s response. Regular updates are being provided via email and posted on NKU’s Coronavirus preparedness website.

Being vigilant helps us protect our community as a whole, and we are still in the regular cold and flu season. With this in mind, please stay home if you feel sick or have a fever. The Northern Kentucky Health Department has these recommendations if you are sick:

  • Keep in mind this is a virus and treat the illness as you would with any other virus, like the flu. If you have runny nose, cough, fever or other common respiratory infection symptoms, take Tylenol- or Motrin-like products and stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours.
  • If you think you need medical care, call your healthcare provider for their instruction before leaving home.
  • NKU’s Health Services has set up a telephone triage for those who are sick and need a consultation. Please call 859-572-5650.
  • Visit an emergency department if you believe you have an emergency. The Kentucky Health Department recommends people only go to the emergency room for an illness that would have taken you to the hospital BEFORE COVID-19.
  • All other questions about COVID-19 can be directed to the Kentucky Department of Health hotline at 1-800-722-5725.

Finally, we will continue to emphasize proper habits for good health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:
         o Before, during and after you prepare food,
         o Before you eat and after you use the bathroom,
         o After handling cash,
         o More frequently when someone in your home is sick.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Frequently clean doorknobs, light switches, phones and other items commonly touched with disinfectant wipes.
  • Avoid contact with people who are obviously sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then discard it in the trash.
  • With spring-break travel this week, stay up-to-date with the latest travel information from the CDC.

As your President, I assure you that NKU is committed to the health and wellbeing of our campus constituents and the community beyond. Please know that there are resources available if you need to talk with someone. Faculty and staff can access NKU’s Employee Assistance Program resources, and ourHealth, Counseling & Student Wellness staff is on hand to help students. Send your questions to our covid19@nku.edu email that is monitored by key members of the preparedness team.

Thank you for being flexible and partnering with us to keep our campus and community healthy.

Sincerely yours,
Ashish K. Vaidya