University continues COVID-19 preparations

Marshall University continues to make preparations in case of rapid changes to the COVID-19 situation in West Virginia, and the virus begins to affect the institution and the community.

Tracy Smith, director of environmental health and safety, is leading the university’s preparedness efforts and is working closely with administration officials to monitor the situation.

Here are today’s updates:

  • For now, the university’s academic calendar remains unchanged. University officials have started communicating with deans and faculty about how to prepare should it become necessary to adopt alternate learning options for any portion of the current semester. For example, it may be prudent at some point in the semester to change to non-face-to-face learning options and then switch back to face-to-face toward the end of the semester. We hope these modifications to teaching methods will not be necessary, but we want to be prepared.
  • There have been no changes to residence hall or dining accommodations for students remaining on campus during Spring Break. All services will be available as planned.
  • Decisions regarding the cancellation of university events and programs are being made on a case-by-case basis. To date, the only event that has been affected is this weekend’s HerdCon, which was cancelled on the advice of the university’s chief medical officer.

The following measures were announced yesterday:

  • All university-sponsored international travel has been prohibited through at least the end of April.
  • Marshall has asked students, faculty and staff who plan to travel internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. during Spring Break to reconsider, taking into account the rapidly changing nature of the situation and the possibility of travel delays, quarantines and prolonged self-isolation when returning.
  • Anyone traveling internationally—whether for business or personal reasons—is required to complete an online International Travel Registration Form.
  • Any member of the Marshall community who returns to the U.S. from any country determined by the Centers for Disease Control to be a Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) will be asked to undergo self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days before returning to campus.

The decisions being made rely heavily on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the State of West Virginia and local health officials, and are intended to protect the health and welfare of students, faculty, staff and communities.

Additional information about COVID-19 and the university’s response is available at