Please monitor this webpage, because Centre’s response to the spread of this disease continues to develop as new information is released.
CORONAVIRUS [COVID-19] INFORMATION CENTER
UPDATED: April 8, 2020
After careful attention to the health and safety of our campus community in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Centre College made the decision on Sunday, March 15, to switch to online, remote teaching for the remainder of the spring semester, beginning Monday, March 30.
As part of this decision, the College extended the regularly scheduled Spring Break from the week of March 23-27 to include the week of March 16-20, in large part to allow faculty time to prepare for teaching in an online environment. Students were encouraged to begin moving out as quickly as possible, leaving their residence halls no later than Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m. Provisions have also been made for approximately 100 students with special or unique circumstances to remain on campus in a safe and healthy manner.
Since then, Centre has been working to adjust to this new normal in all its manifestations, with the President’s senior staff and additional key personnel making up a COVID-19 Crisis Management Team, which meets daily via Zoom videoconference to address related issues.
At the same time, the staff of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Informational Technology Services have been working with faculty and students to meet the technology needs for transitioning to a remote teaching and learning environment. Many faculty members practiced online strategies with students in the week prior to their departure, and the collaborative and collegial ethos of Centre College has been on full display across every sector.
Our faculty program directors in Strasbourg, France; London, England; and Merida, Mexico, our third-party partners in other locations, and the members of our Center for Global Citizenship (CGC) team worked calmly and diligently to ensure that our Centre students returned safely home from abroad. The parents of each of the nearly 100 students were kept informed every step of the way, and several grateful moms and dads have even promised to host a “study abroad” tailgate party this football season to express their gratitude for such exceptional care.
Following guidelines from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who declared a health state of emergency on Friday, March 6, Centre has significantly reduced employees on campus to essential staff, with the majority of faculty and staff now working from home. For those unable to keep working, provisions are being made to avoid adverse financial circumstances. Free carry-out lunches from the dining hall are offered to the small number of people who find themselves on campus.
Sensitive to the challenges and stress students may face in transitioning to online instruction, the faculty voted on Friday, March 20, to adopt more flexible grading options, allowing students to decide up until the last day of classes to opt for pass (P), D, or unsatisfactory (U) grading for any of their 2020 spring term courses.
Also on Friday, March 20, Centre informed students and parents that the College intends to offer a prorated credit of housing and meal plan costs based on our comprehensive fee and the number of days a student will now be away, taking into account particular room assignments and meal plans, as well as the student’s specific financial aid award.
Although formal Commencement exercises have not been cancelled at this time, President John Roush is investigating ways to provide a meaningful experience for graduating seniors based on whatever the circumstances allow in May.
Additional decisions about the summer are still pending as well, and updates will be provided as decisions are made.
Finally, though we are spread out for the remainder of the spring term, we’re not apart in spirit, because the Centre community has a bond that transcends our campus in Danville and keeps us connected regardless of circumstance or distance.
As we rally together during this time, a new social media campaign has been launched to keep us connected virtually from all corners of the globe, and students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni are all encouraged to use the #StayCentred hashtag across social media. We’ll share your posts, photos, and stories about the many positive, creative, and innovative things being done as part of our new-found remote academic experience.
Campus Responses and Messages
To learn more detail about Centre’s responses, click on the dates below.
Mar 26, 2020: Campus Update and Status Report (PDF)
Mar 24, 2020: Important Faculty Update (PDF)
Mar 15, 2020: Transition to Online Instruction Moved Forward (PDF)
Mar 13, 2020: Classes Moving to Online Instruction (PDF)
Mar 12, 2020: Responsive Plans Update (PDF)
Mar 10, 2020: Centre’s Ongoing Efforts (PDF)
Mar 9, 2020: Parents and Families Update (PDF)
Mar 6, 2020: Coronavirus Reaches Kentucky (PDF)
Mar 3, 2020: Coronavirus Task Force Holds First Meeting (PDF)
Prevention Information from the CDC
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- 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
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask
- the CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- 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. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.