Coronavirus chart

UVI Community Invited to View April 3rd  Virtual Town Hall Meeting

UVI President David Hall convened the second UVI Virtual Town Hall meeting on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 10 a.m., for the internal UVI Community. Based on the recent news shared in regards to Dr. Jason Brewer, Director of the Center for Student Success, he believed it was important for the UVI Community to gather so that he can share additional information and answer questions.

Dr. Hall also provided updates on the University’s transition since issuing guidelines in the “Flattening the Curve but not Curbing our Enthusiasm and Creativity” document, which can also be found on the University’s website. Dr. Esther Ellis, the Virgin Islands territorial epidemiologist, joined the meeting.

If you were unable to attend, a recording was made of the Town Hall meeting. 

Please see this link: UVI Town Hall meeting  

For updates visit www.uvi.edu.

Recording of UVI Virtual Town Hall Meeting Now Available 

President David Hall held a virtual Town Hall meeting on Friday March 20, at 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The meeting was facilitated via Zoom.  The purpose of the meeting was to do discuss the UVI Transition document President Hall recently shared in regards to the University’s response and operation during this coronavirus pandemic. If  you were unable to attend, a recording was made of the Town Hall meeting. 

Please see this link: UVI Town Hall meeting 

“Flattening the Curve but not Curbing our Enthusiasm and Creativity”


During this very unusual and challenging time, it is vitally important that the attributes and values which have allowed this community to meet and overcome challenges in the past will guide us through this one.

These are very different times, unlike any we have experienced before. Therefore, the following topics and guidelines are provided to give directions about how to navigate these unchartered waters. They do not answer every question so good judgment and caution must be our anchors. These guidelines may change over time or as circumstances evolve. Our basic goal is to do our part in reducing the possibilities of the spread of the coronavirus and yet continuing to deliver on our mission and calling.

Employees should follow the below principles during this transitional period:

 

1) Fulfill work responsibilities and yet develop a thoughtful and cautionary plan for working on campus and from home. Those individuals who are in a vulnerable group, as defined by the CDC, should work from home or stay at home if their work can only be done on campus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specificgroups/high-risk-complications.html

2) Each area should develop a plan of staggered work hours which requires only a limited number of individuals in a particular office or assigned work area at one time. No one should work at the same time from a closed shared office or space.

3) If public access to services can be accomplished via telephone or the internet, then that should be the primary method for operating the University.

4) Faculty and staff who do come to campus should always practice safe social distancing (at least 6 feet) and proper hygiene (e.g. wash hands; wipe down and avoid touching common areas such as doorknobs, etc.). Wear gloves when responsible for carrying out cleaning responsibilities. Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging.

5) If an employee is having symptoms of the flu, stay at home and check with your healthcare provider, even if work cannot be conducted from home. If an employee has traveled, he/she should check in with the Nurse before returning to work. a. In accordance with the Employee Handbook, employees are expected to utilize their sick leave when sick. For those employees who may have insufficient or no leave time, the University will create a donated leave pool that these employees may be able to tap into as a resource during this transition period. Employees, at their own discretion, who are able to work remotely or who otherwise would like to donate sick leave time to the pool, are encouraged to do so.

6) We are sensitive that amid the disruption being caused by the pandemic, schools in the Territory are closed, which can present challenges for working parents/guardians. Accordingly, employees who are able to work from home should be allowed to do so to address their childcare needs. For those parents/guardians who are unable to work remotely, the University will create an administrative leave process to address this concern and the criteria will be forthcoming.

7) We are making the commitment that regular faculty and staff, including temporary and student workers, who are employed by UVI will be paid as usual for the current anticipated duration of the social distancing protocols, no matter their role within UVI and the altered learning/working environment. The process and details are still in development, but we are committed to continuation of pay during this time of uncertainty.

8) All meetings typically conducted in-person, until further notice, should be conducted electronically.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Take necessary steps to protect yourselves. Employees are also encouraged to manage their anxiety and stress during this challenging time and to take care of their health and those around them. Employees may contact CIGNA HealthCare and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-433-1230 for additional assistance and guidance regarding the COVID-19 virus. This number is also affixed to the back of the CIGNA Health Insurance ID card.


Academic Plan:

 

1) The University will transition from on-campus instruction to remote delivery beginning Monday, March 23 and continue through end of the Spring 2020 semester. All course offerings during the academic semester will continue to be offered.

2) The method of virtual interaction may vary depending on the professor.

3) All classes, lectures, seminars, labs, clinicals and precepts will move to virtual instruction beginning Monday, March 23 and remain virtual through the end of semester, including exams.

4) Students will hear directly from their professors on how their classes will be delivered remotely.

5) Faculty members will not alter scheduled class times. We are however sensitive to the disruption that this virus may have caused and encourage students who may require additional flexibility in their schedules to follow-up directly with their professors regarding accommodations.

6) Students should have already received a brief survey from the institution to assess their individual technology needs. UVI’s support and approach to students in this regard will be guided by the results of the survey.

7) The University is committed to providing ongoing student support during this transition to ensure that all are successful. In addition to the various resources available to students online through logging into myCampus, please also find additional resources at: https://liveuvi.sharepoint.com/sites/ProfessionalDevelopmentTraining/SitePages/Stu dents-Information.aspx

8) The 24-hour computer labs will remain available on campus, albeit on a limited basis taking into consideration social distancing considerations. Our Center for Student Success will be available virtually and a plan will be communicated to students under separate cover on how to access these resources. Remote Library Services will be available. A separate communication from the Library will be shared on how library staff can be contacted for research or other assistance.

9) Prospective graduating seniors who have not yet fulfilled their EPE and CLE requirements should contact their respective Deans for additional information and support.

10) Students will continue to be supported during this transition, including the use of enrollment withdrawal processes, as appropriate. Consulting with administrative offices, including the Office of Financial Aid, is highly suggested prior to any decision being made about course withdrawal(s). The Spring 2020 semester academic calendar has been updated to extend Withdraw Passing (WP) / Withdraw Failing (WF) dates. The Academic Deans have discretion to consider extenuating circumstances for allowing Administrative Withdrawals (AW) beyond the WP/WF dates. Students, in collaboration with their instructor, may opt to seek an Incomplete (I) course grade rather than a course withdrawal. Click below for the Updated Spring 2020 Semester Academic Calendar https://www.uvi.edu/files/documents/Access_and_Enrollment/Registrar/Academic% 20Calendar%202016-2017.pdf  


Student Engagement:

1) UVI is committed to our students’ health and well-being, and we are dedicated to supporting your educational journey with creativity and innovation. As a result, faculty and staff should think of and implement creative and thoughtful ways to keep students engaged and supported during this period.

2) Counseling services will still be available and can be accessible via online or via telephone at (340) 693-1136 (STT) and (340) 692-4187 (STX).

3) Planned student activities that can be conducted online, through Zoom or other mechanisms (e.g. Microsoft Teams), should continue. Contact the IT Helpdesk @ (340) 693-1466 or helpdesk@uvi.edu for assistance with installation of Teams, if needed.

4) There will be regular messages from the University President to students and the UVI Community. The President will also continue to meet with the Student Government Association (SGA) leaders virtually so that concerns from students can still be thoughtfully heard and addressed.

5) Students who require the use of Wi-Fi on campus can access the Bucs Wi-fi from their vehicles. Students are reminded to properly display their student vehicle parking permits in accordance with the Parking Policy.

6) Advisors and club organization leaders are encouraged to reach out to their advisees to ascertain additional ways that the University may be of assistance during this time and communicate with the Student Activities Director on both campuses.

7) The Commencement Committees on each campus, with input from prospective graduates, will be tasked with making a recommendation to the Administration in developing an alternate and/or virtual commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. We know that Commencement is a special time for our students and their families, and the University is continuing to pursue appropriate ways to celebrate this milestone. The University Administration will also review the commencement fee and make a determination regarding any changes this year.

Students while on campus should:



1) Keep social distance from each other, at least 6 feet; this includes the computer rooms, designated study spaces, etc.

2) Wash hands frequently and wipe down computers, tables and other spaces prior to and after use.

3) Adhere to one student per room in residence halls in those extenuating circumstances for students who may be granted permission to remain on campus.

4) Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging.

5) Call Campus Security if there is a medical emergency at (340) 693-1530 (STT) and (340) 692-4155 (STX).

6) There will be designated study spaces on each campus. Please be sensitive to adhering to assembling in only these assigned areas.

7) Cafeteria services will be limited and only available on a take-out basis.


Facility Sanitation Sensitivity:



1) Custodial Staff will be provided protective gear as they carry out their duties, (mask, gloves, etc.).

2) Custodian staff will provide extra cleaning of common areas.

3) While at work, all employees should regularly wipe down commonly used surfaces.

4) The Administration will strive to provide wipes and water as accessible.

5) All University sponsored public events are cancelled until further notice.

6) All rentals of UVI facilities is no longer possible until further notice except in extenuating circumstances (e.g. Governor’s Press conference).

Wellness Center and Other Activity Spaces:

The UVI Community is encouraged to stay healthy and take extra care of themselves through walking and other exercises which can be done outdoors or at home while maintaining safe distances. With respect to the University’s wellness spaces, the following applies:

1) The Wellness Centers will be closed until further notice.

2) The University’s outside spaces, which include the basketball courts, tennis courts, recreation center, soccer fields and golf course, will remain open to employees and the public, yet social distancing practices are encouraged.

Managers’ Responsibilities:
1) While the University continues to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, managers and employees should work together to assess and agree to the employee’s flexible and remote work arrangement.

2) Ensure that the guidelines above are followed.

3) Ensure that employees have the required tools and support to work from home, if needed.

4) Encourage employees to stay home if sick.

5) Be extra supportive of employees during this time.

** Please note that the Inclusive Childcare Laboratory & Diagnostic Center housed in our School of Education will be suspending services. Any questions, please contact Dean Karen Brown at (340) 693-1321.   

Historic Milestone: Message from the President 

March 27, 2020

President Hall

Dear UVI Community:

Today marks the end of the first week that all instructions, meetings and activities of the University of the Virgin Islands have been conducted online or through some digital format.

This has never been done before in the history of UVI, and it is a moment that we should not allow to slip pass us without some recognition.

I want to thank our students, faculty and staff for your flexibility, creativity and patience. This transition has been enormous and it would not have occurred without each of you contributing to our success.

I continue to be inspired and impressed by the resiliency and determination of this community. Each time a challenge arises, you rise to meet it, and transform perceived limitations.  

I’m sure this first week has not been perfect, but our commitment to the mission of UVI and to the people we serve will make up for our any technology or resource glitches we may have experienced.

I want to especially thank our online staff, led by Ameeta Jadav, and our ITS area led by VP Sharlene Harris, for creating the platforms upon which we now operate, and guiding us through the process.  

This journey is just beginning, and there is still so much for us to accomplish in the midst of this pandemic. Yet, I have no doubt that we will reach our goals, and exceed our own expectations.

Congratulations on this first week, and continue to take extremely good care of yourself, and your family, as we move forward.

Remain Safe and Remain Inspired!!!!

David Hall

President  

Message From UVI President David Hall

March 12, 2020

Dear UVI Community:

The University has been closely monitoring the developments of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The health, safety and well-being of our UVI Community, on and off campus, is our top priority. At this time, there is no indication that the UVI campuses are affected but contingency planning is well underway to mitigate the possibility of the spread of the virus.

In light of the evolving coronavirus pandemic in the US and globally, out of an abundance of caution and care for our UVI Community members, some of whom may be in high-risk groups, the University has developed the following immediate plans:

Effective immediately, UVI will extend Spring Break for students until Sunday, March 22, 2020, and transition to online learning for all graduate and undergraduate classes on Monday, March 23, 2020. During this time, our faculty and instructional designers will finalize preparations for the switch to a virtual course delivery model. Accordingly, all in-person and videoconference classes are suspended. The University will continue its Spring academic semester, albeit the instructional delivery will change and classes will resume via online instruction only beginning on Monday, March 23.

We did not make these decisions lightly but feel that this is the most prudent course of action at this time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization have emphasized the importance of taking active measures to contain the spread of the virus in communities and mitigate the risk to vulnerable populations. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading health officials on how to limit the spread of the virus and are also consistent with similar decisions made by a number of our peer institutions and other universities across the nation.

ACADEMIC AND RESIDENTIAL LIFE

  1. Given the new online only format, we are making significant changes to our residential experiences to encourage “social distancing.” As a result, students should remain at home and off-campus following the end of Spring Break.
  2. All students residing in UVI residential facilities must collect their belongings and move out of their spaces between Friday, March 13 and by Saturday, March 21 by 4:30p.m. All residential facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the academic semester. The University will develop a thoughtful plan to prorate housing and meal allowances.
  3. Residential students who are already off-island and not planning to travel back to retrieve their personal belongings in the residence halls should follow-up with the Director of Residence Life and Student Housing on the best way to address this matter.
  4. Our Residence Life and Student Affairs teams are readying plans to assist students and families with their departures. Residence Life and Housing Operations will be following-up with residential students with specific instructions. Students who may have exceptional and compelling housing related extenuating circumstances may contact the Director of Residence Life on their respective campus for additional guidance. The University will review requests from students to remain on campus due to communicated extenuating circumstances that may, for example, relate to their inability to return home due to restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic; such exemptions however will be very limited.
  5. Students can expect to hear from their faculty about plans for the continuation of their classes.
  6. Faculty should expect to hear from the Academic Deans’ offices about their school or college plans for transitioning to online learning and other alternative learning options.
  7. The University is developing contingency plans for students and faculty who might need technical assistance and support during and through the transition to remote learning.
  8. Students, please know that our academic leaders are working tirelessly to make any accommodation necessary to ensure that your academic progress is not slowed by this decision. If you are on track to graduate this semester, you will stay on track to graduate.

EMPLOYEES

UVI will remain open during this temporary interruption of in-person classes. Staff members will continue to follow regular work schedules, and faculty members will continue to present coursework to their students — albeit in a different format. Employees who have health vulnerabilities or who are sick are advised to notify their supervisor, and follow guidelines and procedures outlined in the Employee Handbook. Individuals who are sick are reminded to stay home and/or seek medical attention, as necessary, so as not to affect others.

The University is reviewing its cleaning and hygiene protocols and will endeavor to exercise reasonable care to ensure a safe and sanitary work environment.

PUBLIC EVENTS

In this new world of social distancing, we will minimize large and other gatherings on campus. Accordingly, a number of events have already been cancelled including our upcoming Charter Day Ceremony (March 16) and Afternoon on the Green (March 22). Please look out for additional updates. We also understand that Commencement and end-of-semester activities are a special time for our graduates and their families. As of now, no decisions have been made to cancel Commencement which is on May 14 (STT) and May 15 (STX).

INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE TRAVELLED

If you traveled during the past 14 days:

You are encouraged to contact the UVI Health Services Department on your campus and register the location(s) and dates of travel, including cruises.

Travelers who are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.

Students studying away should check with the host University Health Services Department immediately for guidelines and protocols regarding COVID-19.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

  • Health Services: (340) 693-1124 (STT) or (340) 692-4214 (STX)
  • Campus Operations: (340) 692-4170
  • Public Relations: (340) 693-1057
  • Human Resources: (340) 693-1410 or 692-4280
  • UVI Hotlines: (340) 693-1016 (STT) or (340) 692-4168
  • Residence Life/Student Housing: (340) 693-1112 (STT) or (340) 692-4181 (STX)

Please continue to look out for more updates and additional information will eventually be posted on the University’s website.

We recognize that this transition will be disruptive and ask for your continued patience and understanding as we address this unprecedented challenge and as developments occur. We recognize the tremendous anxiety our community is feeling right now but our UVI Community is a resilient one. We have weathered many storms before with fortitude, grace and compassion, albeit of a different nature. UVI is a special place and we will together overcome this challenge.

Please remain vigilant with your health and those around you. Please continue to monitor the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/, World Health Organization https://www.who.int/, US Department of State https://www.state.gov/coronavirus/ and other credible sources available.

Sincerely,

David Hall
President
University of the Virgin Islands

What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

Stay home except to get medical care

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in
your home

People: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

Animals: Do not handle pets or other animals while sick. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

For more information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19


Share Facts About COVID-19

Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.

Fact 1: Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.

People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Help stop fear by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Fact 2: The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low.

Some people who live in or have recently traveled to places where many people have gotten sick with COVID-19 may be monitored by health officials to protect their health and the health of other people in the community.

Fact 3: Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.

For up-to-date information, visit CDC’s coronavirus disease 2019 web page.

Fact 4: You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Seek medical advice if you:

  • Develop symptoms
  • And have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Fact 5: There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

For more information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19


Stop the Spread of Germs

Help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick,except to get medical care.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Reduce your risk of coronavirus infection:

  • Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • No unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals

For more information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19