By: Maria Monteros
All on-campus classes will be held online for the rest of the semester in response to the growing coronavirus cases in Tennessee. Classes will begin March 23– not March 18 as initially announced.
Matt Toy, associate vice president of marketing and communications, announced the changes on campus schedule on Tuesday after initially extending spring break and moving classes online for March to practice “social distancing,” according to the campus-wide email.
The email does not indicate whether a student has been tested positive for the coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19.
“We realize this is an unprecedented decision in the middle of a moment unlike any other in our nation’s—and our institution’s—history,” Toy said in a statement.
The announcement came in response to the growing number of cases in Tennessee particularly in Davidson county, where Trevecca is located. There are currently 42 cases in Davidson county and a total of 73 across the state, Metro Public Health Department officials announced Tuesday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the global coronavirus a pandemic Wednesday last week. COVID-19, which originated from Wuhan, China, has about 184,900 cases and a death toll of about 7,500 worldwide, according to WHO.
“In recent days, as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have grown, it’s become clear that the best way to love our neighbors and protect our students, faculty and staff is to practice social distancing and other guidelines as outlined by public health officials as well as state and federal leaders,” according to the statement.
The email indicated that residential students currently on spring break were to take their belongings and move out by April 5. Students who stayed on campus during spring break were told to go home or notify their resident director or Ronda Lilienthal, associate dean of students for residential life, it said.
Graduating seniors will receive a refund for room and board by the end of the semester, according to the email. Trevecca will also give “account credits” based on how much students have paid towards their tuition, it wrote.
All events and academic activities were cancelled this week, according to the same email.
The university is located only about a mile away from downtown Nashville where the city’s mayor, John Cooper, recently ordered to close all bars and restaurants after partygoers were shown cramped together in a viral video over the weekend.
“Our decision regarding face-to-face classes and campus operations has not been quick or easy,” Trevecca President Dan Boone said in a statement released through email last week. “The effort underway nationally is to flatten the curve of contagion that has spiked rapidly in other countries. Educational institutions are prime players in the spread of a virus. As members of a global family, we want to love our neighbors by minimizing the spread of the virus.”
This is a continuing story.