Dear CBU Community,
Let me begin by assuring you that, as always, our University remains committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health, well-being, and safety of our campus community.
As part of our on-going monitoring of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 situation, my leadership team and I remain in regular communication with the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD), other colleges and universities, and our civic authorities for advice and dialogue about precautionary measures.
At this time, the SCHD has advised that there is no immediate risk to the general public in Shelby County. However, as a community, we are prudently preparing for the possibility of future disruptions to the academic operations of the University. This memo outlines what as a campus community we should expect in the coming days and weeks as we continue to diligently monitor this serious and evolving situation.
Where can I get the latest information?
You are encouraged to visit www.cbu.edu/coronavirus for the latest announcements and information. You should also regularly check your CBU email, follow the University’s official social media channels (Twitter/Instagram: @FromCBU; Facebook: ChristianBrothersUniversity), and be sure you have downloaded the LiveSafe mobile app.
I understand that these are stressful times but I urge you to follow the best scientifically-informed guidance we have available.
At any time, you can find links to sites such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), TN Department of Health, and the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) at www.cbu.edu/coronavirus.
We also urge you to share that CBU website address and this memo with your families so they too can stay informed.
What is the current situation?
In the spirit of prevention, we have requested that faculty members institute lenient absenteeism policies for students in order to further encourage people to stay home if they are sick (regardless of the illness). We have also advised any members of the campus community who have recently traveled to high-risk countries — or who either know or suspect that they have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 — to stay home for two weeks, per CDC recommendations.
At this time, let me repeat that the SCHD has advised that there is no immediate riskto the general public in Shelby County and we are not being advised to cancel courses, limit public gatherings, or cease operations.
Out of an abundance of caution, however, I do want to inform you that we have two members of our CBU community who are currently under self-quarantine. We have one faculty member who, as a matter of caution upon return from a trip to a high-risk nation, has self-quarantined before returning to campus. This faculty member will remain off-campus teaching online during the CDC’s recommended quarantine period. We also have one student who has been quarantined in an off-campus residence following a brief interaction with the Shelby County patient who has tested positive for COVID-19. Neither of these individuals has tested positive for the coronavirus nor do they have any symptoms associated with it.
In the event that we become aware of any other person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been advised to self-quarantine as a result of international travel or personal contact with a person with a confirmed case, we will immediately consult with local health authorities as to the appropriate responsive actions and then notify the CBU community regarding the situation.
What if I’m sick?
If you are sick, we ask you to contact our campus Health Resources office (email@example.com, (901) 321-3260) or your personal doctor for additional information. Again, please follow the recommended health practices and stay home if you are sick.
Students, if you are advised not to attend class, still be sure to stay in touch with your professors. Faculty members have modified their absenteeism policies, but it’s important to maintain communication with your professors. Depending on the class, you may be encouraged by your professor to login to Canvas or similar CBU-sponsored online solutions to obtain course materials or to complete an assignment; however, at this time we are not yet offering all courses online.
Faculty and staff, if you need to stay home, please also contact your supervisors and seek medical care as advised by health authorities.
What if I’ve traveled recently?
If you have completed recent travel to high-risk nations such as China, South Korea, Iran, or Italy, please contact either Student Life at (901) 321-3532 or x3548 or your work supervisor immediately and self-quarantine yourself for the CDC-recommended period. Additional information about post-travel recommendations can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
What might happen next?
As we continue to monitor and process information concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19, we are also advancing in our preparations for a potential future elevated risk to the CBU campus community. If the situation should increase in severity and we are advised to do so by the SCHD, the most likely next action we would take would be to move courses online and possibly cease normal operations on campus. In such an event, you will receive an announcement from the University with further detailed instructions. This future action might be a short-term suspension of face-to-face events, athletic contests, and classes, or it might be something longer.
What should I do to prepare?
Make sure to continue to take the basic precautionary measures to keep your hands clean and to avoid spreading germs when you’re sick. Beyond that, in the event that we have to cease normal operations at some future point, we will do everything we can to ensure continuity in instruction and campus. Our Center for Digital Instruction and our faculty are preparing to utilize our online educational technologies to allow students to complete courses remotely. Faculty and staff are also urged to talk with their supervisors about covering essential functions should we need to limit future access to the campus.
What if I live on campus?
At this time, we are asking all campus residents to prepare to return to their primary residences (i.e., home) should we have to make the decision to cease normal operations. The request we’re making today is to be ready for this potential eventuality. Have a plan to get home quickly. Make arrangements with family members or others to help you with your things and for transportation home.
What if I can’t get home easily?
For CBU residents whose home residences are abroad, we will be prepared to assist you until you can make arrangements to return home safely. If you expect to have difficulty returning home, please contact Residence Life at (901) 321-4102 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so that we have your information on file.
In closing, I would ask that we please be ever mindful of our Lasallian commitment to treat all members of our community with dignity and respect as we care for each other. This situation is impacting people around the world, reminding us of how connected we all are and how much responsibility we have for each other. I have been continually impressed by the deep level of concern the Christian Brothers University community shows for each other and for our greater world, and I am confident that you will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
As you go about your day, please continue to focus on your classes, enjoy each other’s company, and make the most of your time on campus. As information becomes available or if our campus situation should change, rest assured, you will be fully informed as we continue to keep your well-being and our community at the center of all decisions.
In the Spirit of Lasallian Community,
President of the University