Message from the President
June 15, 2020
Dear Shippensburg University Community,
I am pleased to announce that we will be reuniting on campus in August. I share with you today the process on how we plan to operate this fall. We continue to work as a community to develop and modify this process, which is guided by data and policies from national and state health experts.
The fall 2020 semester will begin on August 17, and will conclude in-person instruction on November 20. We’ll take a study break November 23 and 24 and have virtual exams the week of November 30 to December 4.
The classroom setting will provide in-person instruction while also meeting the needs of students and faculty who, according to State System guidelines, require accommodations for them to learn and teach remotely.
We are preparing to open our residence halls and dining halls to meet the needs of students. Plans for campus operations will adjust as local conditions change and are updated according to state (PA DOH, PDE, and PASSHE) and federal guidance (CDC). Additionally, we are making the investments needed to implement the appropriate health and mitigation protocols, technology, faculty and staff support, and student success and access.
In the coming weeks, we will communicate to employees and students the process for returning to campus.
The Navigating to Fall 2020 website will serve as an information hub on our plan to return. Check it often. While there are still many details to work out, we have begun to frame out how we will learn, work, and live on campus this fall, following the latest guidance. The plan is being designed for maximum flexibility in order to adapt with changes in conditions or policies. I know you will have questions, and we will continue to post information that reflects the latest changes and developments for fall.
Shippensburg University is deeply committed to the well-being and success of our campus family, Shippensburg community, South Central Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth. Read all Messages from the President>
Pennsylvania Resources and Updates
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
The novel coronavirus is officially named SARS-CoV-2.
The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is officially named COVID-19.
Social Distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.
Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.
An outbreak is the occurrence of more cases of a disease than would normally be expected in a specific place or group of people over a given period of time.
The term epidemic essentially means the same thing but tends to connote a more serious occurrence. While an outbreak might suggest something that is geographically limited or constrained, an epidemic infers a crisis situation that can spread. It’s a subtle difference but an important one.
By contrast, a pandemic is an epidemic that is widespread and often global, usually affecting a very large number of people. While the term is suggestive of something more serious than an epidemic, it is only so by scale and not by the severity of the disease.
World Health Organization: What is Coronavirus?
These simple measures can drastically reduce the risk of catching viruses such as the flu and COVID-19.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Another preventative is to get the flu shot, as having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time would be worse than the flu alone. The flu shot can be obtained at your doctor’s office or a pharmacy.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- 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.
In order to comply with the Governor’s Order, all employees working on campus (regardless of frequency) are required to wear a mask except while working alone in an office or driving alone in a vehicle. Employees are also expected to self-monitor their health, including taking their temperature daily before arriving on campus. This guidance applies to both represented and non-represented University employees and contractors and students. Employees should contact their supervisor with questions.