While Delaware State University is now in spring break, university officials are telling students not to return to campus until April 5 because of concerns about the coronavirus. Online courses will begin March 18.

Delaware State University officials are telling students not to return to campus until April 5 due to concerns about the coronavirus. No cases have been announced at DSU which is now in spring break.

Courses will be online only starting March 18.

Here is the message DSU President Tony Allen sent to the university community today, March 12:

I am writing to keep you updated on the latest developments in Delaware State University’s response to the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). There are obviously heightened levels of uncertainty and anxiety as this virus spreads around our nation and across the world, but it is clear that we, along with all other institutions of higher education, share a responsibility to take reasonable and cautious measures to help slow and stem that spread.

Working in close communication with State health officials, the University has already limited travel and imposed restrictions on both employees and students returning from extended travel.

Today we are announcing prudent measures to safeguard our students, our employees, and our community, balanced against the need to ensure educational continuity for all—especially those on track to graduate this May.

While the University will remain open, we are telling our students, who are currently on Spring Break, not to return to campus until Sunday, April 5.

Students who can go home should go home.

All students who are currently in residence during Spring Break are being asked to leave campus and go home, if at all possible, by Sunday, March 15.

The Office of Student Affairs is developing protocols to deal with all situations involving critical questions of housing in special cases; more details will be forthcoming in the next two days on the University website.

All courses will continue via online platforms.

Faculty are converting their courses to be delivered electronically. Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, and continuing until at least Friday, April 3, all courses will be offered through our Blackboard course management system.

The Office of Academic Affairs will be working with the Academic Colleges and Departments to ensure high quality continuity of instruction. When specifically approved by the Interim Provost, special arrangements will be made for graduate students in research programs and other special cases.

Early College High School

Early College High School will also be moving to online instruction via the Blackboard and Schoology learning management platforms; students will not return to campus until April 5, or otherwise notified.

Athletics

Winter sports -- Winter programs are currently in or awaiting Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) postseason competition. These programs will continue to train and compete in alignment with MEAC and/or NCAA directives.

Spring sports -- Spring sports will continue to practice and compete consistent within their regular-season schedules. However, home competitions will be restricted to essential personnel only, and spectators will not be allowed.

Fall sport nontraditional seasons -- Nontraditional practice and competitions are suspended until further notice. Student-athletes involved in these programs will remain off-campus until Sunday, April 5.

Laboratory School (child care)

Unless otherwise notified, the Lab School will remain open.

Employees

University employees are expected to report to work unless otherwise advised by their respective supervisors. In the event of illness, accrued sick leave must be utilized; however, other leave benefits will also be considered for use if necessary. We are currently exploring telecommuting possibilities when practical.

We are aware that there are many special circumstances that will have to be considered and are organizing to resolve them.

We are continuing the prohibition on University-related travel, both domestic and international, at least until April 5, unless expressly approved by the Executive Leadership Team.

We also strongly discourage all members of the Delaware State University community from personal travel that might result in quarantine upon their return. For the procedures required to return to campus if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 or visited an area identified as a Level 1, 2, or 3 location by the Centers for Disease Control, please see the policy letter dated March 10, 2020, on the Coronavirus landing page on the University website.

We are curtailing all large events at the University until April 5.

Meetings or events are to be canceled, postponed, or conducted via teleconferencing, group chats, or live streaming as alternatives to in-person gatherings.

Strategic Enrollment Management has canceled all on-campus new student programs scheduled through April 5 and will be conducting innovative virtual programs to welcome admitted students or respond to questions. There will be more details about these revised plans in time for the announcement of all admissions decisions.

We are establishing a continuous communications strategy that will allow us to provide information and respond to inquiries.

Our current Coronavirus landing page on the University website will be updated daily, to include the latest and most accurate information possible about Delaware State University operations during this period. There will be contact portals on the website for questions regarding Academics, Residence Life, Enrollment Management, and Athletics. Be sure to bookmark this page and visit it often.

We are relying on the professionalism of our faculty and staff, combined with the unstoppable Hornet spirit of our students to navigate this challenge together.

Our University community meets challenges head-on. These next several weeks will be no different. During this time, keeping the quality and continuity of our instruction going as we transit to online delivery, while also keeping our employees and students as safe as possible, is non-negotiable.

We’ll get it done like we always do – TOGETHER.

It all matters.