Required campus notification regarding COVID-19

This information is being released in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
Dear Marshall University community,

The health, safety and well-being of everyone at Marshall University is our top priority.

With that concern at the foundation of every decision we make, I am writing to inform you of recent events relative to the new coronavirus, COVID-19, and to remind you of the necessity of social distancing.

For the last several weeks, we’ve provided you with updates and support in the form of e-mails, text messages, videos, and social media and website posts about our university’s response to—and preparedness for—COVID-19. The latest information about Marshall and the virus can be found at www.marshall.edu/coronavirus>. The site is updated on a regular basis.

Further, concerns and questions can be forwarded to coronavirus@marshall.edu. University administrators are continually monitoring that inbox to respond as quickly and comprehensively as possible to our community’s questions, concerns and suggestions.

This one-time communication is part of a federally required safety notification related to COVID-19.

Through reports to our emergency management structure and the health care protocols we have established, we have had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our students or employees. Please review our Infectious Disease Preparedness Plan for information regarding established protocols to be used in the event a case is identified on campus.

Given that we operate an academic medical center, which is also one of the state’s largest health care providers, our physicians and other health care providers are leading efforts to screen, test and treat potential COVID-19 patients. To date, one case has been reported in Cabell County out of 124 statewide as of yesterday.

Last week, we asked all students who were able to move out of the residence halls to return to their permanent residences or to make alternative housing arrangements to continue their studies remotely. Students who remain—because they cannot travel home—are being housed in individual rooms in residence halls on the east end of campus, where they can be supported.

Social distancing is the most important health measure we can take as a community to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Social distancing saves lives.

Here are some tips to ensure appropriate social distancing measures:

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is the practice of avoiding large crowds or, if you have to be around others, keeping a distance of at least six feet.

What does social distancing do?

It helps to slow the spread of an outbreak and is currently recommended for people of all ages.

How does it slow the spread of the virus?

COVID-19 is spread through person-to-person contact and the respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. If you put space between yourself and others, you are less likely to become infected or spread it yourself.

What should I be doing?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is constantly updating its guidance on social distancing. To be certain you are getting up-to-date information, you should continuously check their website at cdc.gov. It is also important to stay in tune with the precautions your federal, state and local governments are taking to keep you safe. Visit coronavirus.wv.gov for more information.

Recognize that COVID-19 is spread mainly through respiratory droplets that can suspend in air for a period of time, and to contain all respiratory secretions with tissue and then immediately discard and sanitize hands.

Frequent HANDWASHING with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to prevent spread of disease, infection and viruses.

If handwashing is not readily available, utilize hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol based.

How is social distancing different from self-quarantine or self-isolation?

Social distancing is maintaining a safe distance from others. Self-quarantining keeps someone who doesn’t have symptoms but was exposed to the virus away from others, so they don’t unknowingly infect anyone else. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine last 14 days. This provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people.

Self-isolation keeps people who are confirmed to have COVID-19 away from those who are not infected. Self-isolation takes place in one’s home, but can also take place at a hospital or other care facility.

Thank you for your attention to these issues and for your commitment to the health and safety of everyone in our Marshall family.

Please continue to monitor your university e-mail account for updates.

Sincerely,

James E. Terry
Chief, Marshall University Police Department
Director of Public Safety