MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease

MARCH 26: From President McPhee: COVID-19 Update

March 26, 2020

To the University community,

As COVID-19 cases rise across our area, it will also have an impact upon the MTSU family. As you know, we have been planning and preparing to respond to any case that surfaces involving a student or staff member who has been actively present on campus so that we can take proactive and protective steps to contain any spread.

As such, we feel it is important to inform you we learned Wednesday evening that one of our on-campus students tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating. The University has reported the case to local and state public health officials and our MTSU Student Heal...

Read More


TUESDAY 3/24: Remote Learner Support Opportunities

March 24, 2020

This note from Associate Vice Provost Vincent Windrow of our Office of Student Success was originally posted Monday on our MTSU Parent and Family Association’s Facebook page. 

Dear Parents,

As classes re-start Monday, March 23 following the extended Spring Break, please assist your students by pointing them to the following remote learner support opportunities.  

  1. Remote tutoring starts on Wednesday, March 25. The updated schedule will be available at https://mtsu.edu/studentsuccess/tutoring.php.
  2. SmartThinking online tutor...

Read More


MONDAY 3/23: Note to Parents and Families from VP Sells

March 23, 2020

(This note by Dr. Debra Sells originally appeared on our Facebook page for the MTSU Parent and Family Association on Monday, March 23, 2020.)

I appreciate everyone's patience as we have assessed how we can best support students who are living in on-campus residence halls and apartments.​ The student population of every university is unique, and each administration is challenged with deciding how to best serve their own students.
 
MTSU students, as I've mentioned before, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Many are the first in their families to attend college and find support on the campus that

Read More


View Archives

MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease Q&A

What is MTSU doing to prepare for COVID-19?

  • The campus remains open; social distancing urged
    • Students in residence halls are asked to let us know if staying on-campus
    • Food service at McCallie’s with “Grab-and-Go” offerings
    • James E. Walker Library building is closed; remote and online services open
    • All returning from outside the U.S. must self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Effective March 23, the University implemented a plan for the majority of our classified and administrative employees to work remotely.
    • The provost, vice presidents, division heads and supervisors developed plans for their respective areas and are communicating with their employees.
    • Those plans will be implemented through Sunday, April 5, and may be extended if deemed necessary.
    • There are some functions or duties that require employees to remain on campus. Supervisors reached out to employees in those areas with expectations and further details.
    • We continue to provide essential services, such as public safety, public health and, for our students in the residence halls, on-going oversight and dining services.
  • MTSU will provide two options for partial refunds for those students who wish to vacate their residence hall or apartment early and move home.
    • The options represent a refund of about 60% of the weighted average weekly rate for a period of either five or three weeks.
    • Option A: Students who vacate at any time between March 17 and 8 p.m. Sunday, April 5, will be eligible for a refund of $550.
    • Option B: Students who vacate at any time after 8 p.m. April 5, and before 8 p.m. Sunday, April 19, will be eligible for a refund of $330.
    • If the student checks out after 8 p.m. Sunday, April 19, no refund will be issued.
  • All on-campus events have been until further notice
  • Spring sports and athletics championship tournaments have been canceled
  • Students graduating in May will not be required to take the General Education Exam or Major Field Test.
  • True Blue Preview for prospective students, which was scheduled for March 21, will be a virtual, livestreamed event on 6 p.m. Thursday, March 26.
  • We have not yet determined how Commencement Exercises in May will be affected (a decision will be made by April 1).
  • Classes resumed March 23, with remote delivery of instruction
    • Remote delivery will continue for remainder of semester
    • Online student success tools and tips found at www.mtsu.edu/coronavirus

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 our on-campus residence halls?

Residence halls and on-campus apartments will remain open and will be operating. However, each student will need to carefully consider whether your campus residence or your permanent home residence is the safest environment for you. The University is implementing social distancing protocols and expect students not to congregate in large groups. It is important for you to consider this before making the decision to remain in or return to your on-campus living situation. Read this note sent on March 13 to all students in our residence halls for more information.

What about events on campus?

All events on campus have been canceled until further notice.

Conference USA and the NCAA suspended the spring sports season and championship tournaments.

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.

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 are some precautions I can take?

Recommendations to protect from the coronavirus are very similar to those recommended to protect against the flu.  On the advice of our medical staff, MTSU suggests:

  • Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider doing so. Flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks.
  • Anyone who is ill, or thinks they may be ill, should stay home from class and from work and seek medical care, as necessary.
  • Everyone should practice preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs

Here are some examples of preventative actions you should take:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s handwashing guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing), or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Keep your immunizations up-to-date including an annual flu shot 

What about our Education Abroad program?

We have decided to cancel the university’s participation in Education Abroad programs through May 31. We have directed our staff to inform students currently abroad in University-sponsored programs of this cancellation and assist them with their expedient return to the U.S. Students who opt to remain abroad will do so at their own risk and will be apart from our oversight.

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.

Are the university offices remaining open?

University offices will remain open as usual and we urge employees to take the appropriate preventative measures as described on this webpage. On the advice of our medical staff, anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider doing so. Also anyone who is ill, or thinks they may be ill, should stay home from work and seek medical care, as necessary.

If there are further changes in the University's operating status based on COVID-19, our community would be notified through MTSU ALERT4U (also known as Rave Alerts) and other communication channels. Also, our coronavirus information website will be frequently updated and will be the best source for information on the University’s precautions.

What does MTSU currently know about COVID-19?

The global Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation is rapidly evolving and expanding. The World Health Organization on March 11 said it has met the three conditions of a pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have the most up-to-date public health and risk information. MTSU is closely monitoring the situation and has activated its Crisis Management Team to coordinate a timely and cohesive response with a focus on safety and well-being.

There have been no cases of COVID-19 on our campus. If an individual associated with the university is confirmed to have contracted the virus, the Tennessee Department of Health will issue a notice to the community, which would be communicated to students, faculty and staff.