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COVID-19 Update: Moving to A Virtual Instruction Learning Environment

Beginning Monday, March 16, all face-to-face Bethel University classes will be taught in a virtual instruction learning environment. Information regarding remote work for our employees will also be announced on Monday.

By The Office of Marketing and Communications

March 13, 2020 | 2:30 p.m.

Bethel community:

The emergency management team met this morning to continue discussing Bethel’s response to the spread of COVID-19. We have several more decisions to announce in response to new developments related to the spread of COVID-19.

Beginning Monday, March 16, all face-to-face Bethel University classes will be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment. In accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the university will promote social distancing and reduce the number of people on campus for the safety and wellbeing of our community. Due to the unique schedules of each college, please note the specific dates for the college in which you are enrolled or teach:

  • College of Arts & Sciences: Students will have an extended spring break from March 14-March 29. Courses will be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment from March 30-April 13.
  • College of Adult & Professional Studies: All classes will be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment from March 16-April 19.
  • Bethel Seminary: Courses will be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment from March 16-April 12 for students studying in both St. Paul and San Diego. Seminary intensives scheduled for March 20-28 will also be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment. 
  • Graduate School: Courses will be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment from March 16-April 12. Nurse-midwifery intensives scheduled for April 1-3 will also be delivered in a virtual instruction learning environment.

Please note that these dates could be extended. We will continue to monitor the situation and notify you of any changes.

Students in clinical courses, practicums, and student teaching placements will receive communication from their professor or program director regarding how these adjustments apply to those experiences. 

While buildings and residence halls will remain open, we strongly encourage students who are able to reside elsewhere to do so during this period. Students who need to live on campus at any point during March 14-April 13 must register online so that the university can plan accordingly. Food service will be open for limited hours during the first week of spring break and resume serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the following week. Information regarding applicable refunds related to housing and meal plans will be communicated at a later date.

Students scheduled to work an on-campus job during this period will receive further communication from the Office of Human Resources early next week. 

Information regarding remote work for our employees will be announced on Monday. This afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health recommended remote working arrangements. We are finalizing plans in light of this recent recommendation. Until decisions are announced, operations will continue as usual.

All on-campus or Bethel-sponsored gatherings of 100 or more people are canceled through April 13. This is an extension of the March 31 deadline we communicated yesterday. We are also extending the cancellation of university-sponsored travel through April 13. To request an exception to this policy, contact the emergency management team at covid-19@bethel.edu

For those of you who choose to travel over spring break:

  1. If you travel to a country with a CDC Level 3 Health Notice, you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon your arrival in the U.S. and before returning to campus. If you live in student housing, this quarantine cannot take place in your residence hall. The university will not allow official travel to these countries while the health notice is in place.
  2. If you travel to a country with a CDC Level 2 Health Notice and are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. This also applies if the CDC increases the country’s health notice to Level 3 during your travel.
  3. If you travel on a cruise ship, follow the CDC’s recommendations and monitor your health. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 aboard, you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon your arrival in the U.S. and before returning to campus.
  4. If you are traveling domestically, please follow the CDC’s guidelines and recommendations for travel in the United States

If any student, faculty, or staff member has direct exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they should notify the emergency management team by sending an email to covid-19@bethel.edu and self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. 

Always, and especially during this time, we request employees who are sick to stay home. Supervisors will ask any employee who appears sick to rest and recover at home.

If you have questions regarding these decisions or Bethel’s response plan, please contact the emergency planning team at covid-19@bethel.edu.

Jay Barnes
President

Bethel University
3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, MN 55112

 

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