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ETSU announces online classes for rest of semester to limit traffic on campus

Johnson City Press • Mar 20, 2020 at 9:30 PM

East Tennessee President Brian Noland announced changes in the institution’s course structure and policies Friday “to limit the number of individuals on campus” after the end of spring break on Monday.

Noland said ETSU will implement new steps to help “flatten the curve of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Those steps include limiting access to all buildings, canceling public events and keeping classes online through the end of the spring 2020 semester. 

“Early next week, we will significantly reduce the scope of public access to our campus. We do not take these actions lightly but do so in an effort to secure the health, safety, and welfare of our campus community. We strongly encourage faculty and staff in the coming days to retrieve materials from their offices that you will need to ensure our continuity of operations,” Noland said in his statement.

“By the middle of next week, it is anticipated that access to campus buildings and facilities may be subject to further limitations,” he added. “As we witness the emergence of COVID-19 cases at sister institutions across our region, we must recognize the extraordinary circumstances that define our near and distant horizons.”

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 virus at ETSU as of Friday, according to Noland. 

Plans for commencement ceremonies are still pending, according to Noland, who said the university will provide an update “as soon as possible.” All public events planned for the remainder of the semester have also been canceled. Employees shave been advised to work remotely until further notice.

“For those students wishing to check out of housing, the Division of Housing and Residence Life will provide details regarding checkout processes and protocols. For those students who must remain on campus, ETSU is here to support you, and the Division of Housing and Residence Life will provide you with information regarding adjustments to housing and food service that will be implemented for the remainder for the spring semester,” he said, adding that there will be “limitations on research activities physically underway across ETSU.” 

The Sherrod Library will be closed to visitors, but online access to services will continue. The library will provide information regarding how to access materials not available in its collection in the coming days.

In addition, extensive cleaning and sanitation started last week in ETSU buildings and will continue as restrictions are enacted. All buildings will be locked, and faculty and staff with keys may have limited access to their offices and classrooms. 

“Next week will be a time of significant transition for all of us, and I thank you in advance for your patience as we move through these unprecedented times,” Noland said. 

For more information on ETSU’s COVID-19-related policies, visit www.etsu.edu/coronavirus

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