Dear Longwood community,
I want to continue to stay in regular communication with you regarding our response to COVID-19. We remain in regular consultation with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and are closely following their guidance.
In recent days, you have no doubt seen that a number of institutions have begun moving away from in-person class meetings and shifting to continuing courses online, at least for now. Each institution’s campus and regional circumstances are unique, and the expert guidance from the VDH we are following does not indicate that is necessary at this time here at Longwood.
However, we continue to evaluate our circumstances daily, closely following the guidance of the VDH and the Centers for Disease Control. It remains the case we have no positive COVID-19 cases in our community, but we will update you if that changes (as we communicated yesterday, we are aware of one student who has been tested, and are still awaiting results). If our circumstances and the applicable guidance change, we will follow it. Like virtually every institution, we are preparing in case it becomes necessary to take additional steps, such as canceling in-person classes at least temporarily, to ensure academic continuity for our students. For now, we are staying the course.
I know many of you are wondering about upcoming events on campus. We do not at this time under the guidance see a need to mandate internal meetings or events be cancelled. However, if you are involved with hosting an external event, you should work with organizers to evaluate whether events should be cancelled or postponed. Among the questions experts recommend considering:
- Do events involve close personal interaction?
- Are people traveling from areas with confirmed cases?
- Will there be attendees from high-risk categories (such as people over 60)?
Our current university guidance is that if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then please cancel, postpone or work to move your external meeting/event online.
Finally, please know that in our decisions today about how to proceed, and all future decisions, community health is our paramount consideration. The VDH assures us we are a place of low general risk and students, faculty and staff should feel safe here. But we recognize that some of you in our community have underlying health concerns or other considerations. Your concerns will be respected. If you are a student with such concerns, please be in touch with your professors so they can work with you. Employees should do the same with managers. And of course, as always, if you have flu-like symptoms, please stay at your residence and if needed contact the University Health Center at 434-395-2102. You can also continue to read all of our campus communications at: http://alerts.longwood.edu
I know it is an uncertain and anxious time, but I am proud of how the Longwood community has acted responsibly, compassionately and alertly, like the good citizens we aspire to be.
My assurance to you is the following: Our community’s well-being will remain paramount in all our decisions. We will adjust if necessary as circumstances and professional recommendations change. And we will continue to be in regular communication with you.