MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease

MAY 29: Update from President McPhee on COVID-19 Strategic Task Force Report

May 29, 2020

To the University community,

I am pleased to share with you the report of the COVID-19 Strategic Task Force chaired by Provost Byrnes.  As you know, I charged the Task Force to provide recommendations to me for our return to on-campus operations.  Please find for your review the full report: www.mtsu.edu/covidtaskforce.

In summary, some of the key recommendations include: 

  • Campus will be open this Fall, but with social distancing measures in effect;
  • A variety of class formats will be used: on-ground, online and hybrid;
  • Our goal will be to reduce the density of people in classrooms;
  • <...>

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MAY 29: MTSU task force recommends ‘modified’ reopening, hybrid courses for fall return

May 29, 2020

A Middle Tennessee State University COVID-19 task force recommends ending classes for the Fall 2020 semester at Thanksgiving, stringent social distancing protocols and reduced classroom capacity limits when students return to campus in August.

Formed by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and led by University Provost Mark Byrnes, the 34-member task force created a series of recommendations to allow students, faculty and staff to return to on-ground, in-person courses in some capacity and in accordance with the latest public health guidelines.

“The task force proposes a modified reopening, in which some courses occur on-ground with social distancing, some ...

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MAY 23: Phased return-to-work to begin June 16

May 23, 2020

To the University community,

The University’s COVID-19 Strategic Task Force, led by Provost Mark Byrnes, will be wrapping up its final report and submitting it to me early next week.  While still in draft form, I understand it contains a number of recommendations on important next steps in preparing our employees and students to return to campus.  I will be sharing the Task Force report with constituent groups at the university through a variety of communications. 

I previously announced that Monday, June 1 would begin the return of employees to campus, but given the fact that Governor Lee announced earlier this month that he had amended State Order 30 and allowed segments of the state’s economy...

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MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease Q&A

What is MTSU doing to prepare for COVID-19?

  • Consistent with Governor Lee’s Executive Order 30, and mindful of the health and welfare of our university community, we have decided to extend the current work from home plan through June 16.
  • MTSU’s administration will not seek tuition or fee increases for the 2020-21 academic year when the institution’s budget goes to its Board of Trustees for consideration in June.
  • 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.
  • Consistent with Governor Lee’s Executive Order 30, and mindful of the health and welfare of our university community, we have decided to extend the current work from home plan through June 16.
  • Anyone who must return to campus to retrieve personal or professional items to complete essential tasks, or who are critical to daily operations should continue to be proactive in following CDC guidelines, including proper personal hygiene and social distancing. Also, please continue to check with your supervisor prior to returning.
  • Our return to work will be phased. As we approach May 31, we will release an appropriate process, consistent with state and federal guidelines, for the return to the workplace.
  • 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?

  • Information is being finalized about changes to on-campus housing operations this fall in response to COVID-19 guidelines, and details will be released soon.
  • Spring 2020 residents have checked out and less than 50 residents remain on campus for summer school housing.
  • 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.