MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease

JULY 10: Video updates on COVID-19 topics

July 10, 2020

To the University community,

We’ve recently posted several videos  video on MTSU’s responses to COVID-19, including:

  • Overview of instructional changes for the fall: Provost Mark Byrnes talks about the five categories of classroom instruction for the fall; our social distancing efforts for classrooms; and our requirement to wear masks on campus: https://youtu.be/0gZJDWP_rDQ
  • COVID-19 Task Force overview: Provost Mark Byrnes discusses the recommendations of a task force he chaired to advise President Sidney A. McPhee on resuming on-campus operations for the Fall 2020 semester:

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JUNE 12: Update from President McPhee RE: COVID-19

June 12, 2020

To our University community:

As we prepare to enter Phase 1 of our return to work plan, next Tuesday, June 16, I wanted to remind each of you about the important steps that must be taken before you come back to campus and provide a brief update on some recent decisions, including changes to our August commencement and convocation ceremonies.

Each of you should have received communications, both from my office, as well as your supervisor, on the policies and procedures developed by our COVID-19 Task Force regarding our return to work.  Information about our plans and our expectations for each individual can be found

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JUNE 10: Housing Update

June 10, 2020

I hope you all know how seriously we take our partnership with both students and their parents/families.  The reason we spend so much time reading and responding to Facebook posts and individual emails is because we value your input—and we know that the more information we have, the better our decisions are.  And no decisions are more important to us than those designed to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

With that in mind, let me share a couple of updates to our fall housing plans that will reflect the input we have heard.

First, let me be clear:  we are committed to following the current CDC and American College Health Association gu...

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MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease Q&A

What is MTSU doing to prepare for COVID-19?

  • On June 16, we entered Phase 1 of our return-to-work strategy for campus employees. Read our plan, Charting Our Course.
  • MTSU will not seek tuition or fee increases for the 2020-21 academic year. Read a story about the Board of Trustees’ decision.
  • Our goal is to resume on-campus and in-person classes and operations for the Fall 2020 semester. Our actions ultimately will be guided by the advice and recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state public health officials concerning the coronavirus.
  • A diverse team of faculty, staff and community leaders, led by Provost Mark Byrnes, has recommended options and on how we proceed when we reopen in the fall. We will act quickly, but carefully, keeping the safety of our community at the forefront of our planning. Read the task force’s recommendations.
  • All summer sessions classes will be offered remotely or online
    • No on-campus courses will be offered in Summer 2020.
    • Only online or remote options will be available.

Are the university offices remaining open?

  • Many employees are working remotely; some services are modified or limited.
  • On June 16, we entered Phase 1 of our return-to-work strategy for campus employees. Read our plan, Charting Our Course.
  • Employees who are in high-risk health categories are encouraged to speak in advance with supervisors to discuss possible work scenarios that may address unique situations.

What are some precautions I can take?

The CDC’s best advice: Stay home and avoid close contact, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness or if you may have issues getting assistance if you get sick.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths).
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
  • Steps You Can Take (Printer Friendly version)
  • How to Protect Yourself

Click here for more information and tips from the CDC on keeping yourself safe.

How can I access MTSU Student Health Services?

MTSU Student Health Services can be found in the Health, Wellness, and Recreation Center. They are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed during university holidays. When Health Services is closed, local hospital emergency rooms and some walk-in centers are available. 

Go to www.mtsu.edu/healthservices to schedule an appointment online. Or call them at 615-898-2988.  Due to the high volume of traffic and parking, please allow 30 minutes to ensure timely arrival for your appointment.

Need Us After MTSU Has Closed?

An after-hours telephone advice nurse is available by calling 615-898-2988 and following the prompts. Experienced advice nurses can help you figure out the best course of action: do you need immediate medical care, an appointment the next day, or will self-care help you? You may be asked for your student M number in order to use this service. 

Important Note: The after-hours service is for those who are sick. If you have a routine or minor health concern or question, you should continue to call us during the day or leave a message to be answered the next business day.

What about our on-campus residence halls?

  • We believe that, for the coming year, having students occupying private bedrooms will help us better manage the presence of the coronavirus on our campus—and managing the virus is essential to our ability to keep the campus open for classes in our classroom buildings and labs.
  • We remain committed to our belief that new students leaving home for the first time are the students who tend most to need the additional structure and staffing of on-campus living, so those students will be our first priority for the limited number of single/private rooms available.
  • We believe we can house all freshmen who had already received a housing assignment, and we will be moving forward with these freshmen as the first to receive new single/private room assignments, if they choose to select to live on campus in a single room for the fall.
  • reactivation request for incoming freshmen opened in the MT Housing Portal on Monday, June 15.  Students must submit a reactivation request and signed addendum if they wish to be placed in single/private accommodation for 2020-2021
  • We have clearly heard that the additional charges related to private rooms are more than many students and families can afford. To eliminate this barrier, students who submit a reactivation request through the MT Housing Portal to be reassigned to a single room will be charged the regular shared room rate.  There will be no additional charge added for the single room.
  • We are also clearly hearing the concern from upper-class students who initially DID select a private room in one of the residence halls (not including Womack Lane or Scarlett Commons apartments.) In response to your feedback, we will allow these upper-class students to be prioritized to maintain their current private room reservations.  More information about how these students will enter the portal and sign the reactivation agreement for fall will be provided in the coming days, but these students will be assured a space on campus if they notify us of that desire by the required date.
  • We are aware of 15 students currently assigned to the residence halls who have filed intent to graduate forms for a December 2020 graduation.  Given the difficulty in finding a short term off campus lease, we will prioritize these 15 graduating seniors for assignment if they indicate that they wish to continue to live on campus for fall 2020 in a single room. More information about the process for these students will be provided in the coming days, but these students will be assured a space on campus if they notify us of that desire by the required date.
  • The majority of on-campus spaces will remain empty through the summer so can thoroughly clean all rooms in anticipation of reopening in the fall.

How can I stay informed?

If the University's operating status changes based on COVID-19, the community will be notified through MTSU ALERT4U (also known as Rave Alerts) and other communications channels. This website will be frequently updated and will be the best source for information on the university’s precautions.

What about events on campus?

On-campus events have been suspended until further notice. Please check this site for updates.

Do I self-quarantine if returning from foreign travel?

Yes. All faculty, staff and students returning from outside the United States and its territories to self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to our campus.

 What is Self-Quarantine?

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice concerted social distancing:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  3. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  4. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  5. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).

What To Do If You Get Sick

If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others. 

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

What about Education Abroad and official travel?

  • All Education Abroad programs scheduled for Summer 2020 have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In addition, all non-essential official University-related travel, both outside of Tennessee and outside the country, is suspended indefinitely.
  • We encourage all in our community to curtail personal international travel and be mindful of domestic travel.