University News
 

Campus Health Notice: Coronavirus

CDC Coronavirus illustration

Updated: March 27, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

With all that is going on in the world, we want you to know that we care about you and your health and safety. We are committed to doing what we can to help you be successful during these unusual and unprecedented times.

Please carefully look through the FAQ section of this page for the most updated details on campus operations, academics, events, and travel.

As announced on March 12, and at the direction of Governor Gary Herbert, SUU will join the seven other institutions of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and temporarily move from face-to-face courses to online instruction due to the worldwide impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This will be effective March 23 - April 23.

Some important campus updates:

  • All instruction for Spring 2020 (including final exams, science labs, etc.) will be delivered remotely. The only exception will be for one-on-one flight instruction.
  • Commencement has been postponed, as required by the Utah System of Higher Education. We express our deepest apologies to every one of you who is graduating this year and was planning to join us at commencement. Read President Wyatt's email to campus here.
  • The in-person Testing Center and Tutoring Center services will not be offered for the remainder of the semester. However, both testing and tutoring services will be offered virtually.
  • The Student Center and student housing will remain open. Food Services will be available in Thunderbird Circle, the cafeteria located in the Student Center. Other dining options in the Student Center will be closed for the rest of the semester.
  • All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to conduct their work virtually. Some individuals may be able to do so working from home while others may prefer to come to campus and work privately in their offices. Exceptions include academic college and department offices, as well as individuals who must interact with the public in a face-to-face manner. 
  • For the rest of the campus-specific updates, read the email sent from President Wyatt.

The health, safety, and well-being of everyone on our campus and community is our relentless priority at all times. COVID-19 is already proving to be an unprecedented disruption and this extraordinary move is being made to try and prevent the spread of the coronavirus throughout SUU, Cedar City, and Utah. With the rapidly evolving nature of the disease, the landscape is continually shifting, and we will do our best to communicate with you as decisions are being made.

We’re taking these steps for three reasons: to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff and Cedar City neighbors, to slow the potential spread of the virus, and to ensure the continuity of our core mission - educating our students.

Read the latest update

Additional information regarding the coronavirus may be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. 

What should I do if I'm feeling sick?

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. You could also call Intermountain Healthcare Insta-care at (435)-865-3440 or Cedar City Hospital at (435)-865-5000.

Your healthcare professional will work with the public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If this is an emergency please call 911.

For those living on campus and in Cedar City, we encourage you to stay. Cedar City’s rural location and smaller population may reduce the risk of coming into contact with the coronavirus. We will continue to provide housing and dining services, and the library, tutoring center, testing center, and student center will remain open.

Due to the developing nature of COVID-19, students may want to consider staying in Cedar City during spring break and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of southern Utah. For those that are traveling, students are encouraged to return to campus following spring break. Currently, there are no restrictions on personal travel during spring break, either internationally or domestically. However, for those who travel to certain areas, SUU is considering following the lead of other institutions and imposing a requirement for any student, faculty or staff who travels abroad and returns to SUU to practice social isolation and distancing for a minimum of 14 calendar days.

The University will remain open and student-workers should continue reporting to work as usual and take the recommended steps to prevent illness.

Faculty will have full access to campus offices and resources and will be able to provide instruction from campus. The administration is currently developing a plan for remote work, however, we recognize that not every employee can or will be able to work from home. A follow-up message will be sent to all faculty from Interim Provost Eves with additional information regarding adjustments to instruction.

We encourage faculty to be flexible and do their best to provide students with a positive learning environment. Please be accommodating as students’ extenuating circumstances arise.

Faculty will be hearing from their deans soon with more details about moving classes online. The Online Teaching & Learning (OTL) office has several resources for faculty on their website, including request forms for a Zoom Pro license and a webcam if your office or personal computer doesn’t already have one. Please contact canvas@suu.edu with other questions.

During this time, the university is NOT closed. Staff should continue normal business operations and take the recommended steps to prevent illness. Employees are expected to continue to support the needs of the University. The administration is currently developing a plan for remote work, however, we recognize that not every employee can or will be able to work from home.

Please remain flexible in your current operations as we work through this rapidly evolving situation. Additional information will be available soon.

Stay Updated on the Situation

SUU has a text alert system in place to immediately warn anyone of any campus emergency. 

Sign up for Text Alerts from SUU

All questions regarding the university’s COVID-19 response can be emailed to SUU's Emergency Response team at emergencyresponse@suu.edu.

Email the Emergency Response Team

When you call SUU's hotline (435-865-8488), be prepared to leave a short message regarding your question or concern, your name, and phone number. 

A representative from SUU will collect your information and respond within the next business day with further resources to help answer your question.

Call the SUU COVID-19 Hotline

Campus Notices

Read more Coronavirus articles

Coronavirus in Utah

University Operations

No, there are very limited in-person services available on campus and it will remain that way through the rest of the semester. Most offices and many buildings are closed as faculty and staff have begun working remotely. However, everyone still stands ready to help, as we always do, but now we are connecting via video chats, phone calls, and emails rather than in person. As a University, we are following the instructions from our Governor and taking our responsibility very seriously to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep everyone healthy.
The PE Building’s recreation facilities (swimming pool, basketball courts, fitness center, climbing wall, etc.) are closed. All intramural and club sports are canceled for the remainder of spring semester.

We are hopeful that summer semester will go on as originally planned, but only time will tell. As of today, we have not canceled classes this semester or the summer semester. Instructors scheduled to teach summer courses should continue to plan for those courses. Students registered for classes should move forward as usual with finding housing accommodations, job opportunities, and preparing for their courses.

Since the campus will remain open, we will still enforce the parking regulations through the end of the semester.

Yes, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is still available but moving to remote delivery of counseling/consultation as quickly as possible. If you are currently a client at CAPS you will be contacted by your individual counselor to discuss the transition.

If you are in immediate need of counseling support, please call CAPS at (435) 865-8621 or call SUU Police (435) 586-1911. See the full message from CAPS.

Package pickup will still be in the bookstore. You can request pickup from the loading dock by calling the SUU Bookstore at 435-586-7995.
No, the library has been closed as of March 27. The library will continue services remotely, though, including checking out materials, Interlibrary Loans, research help, Copy Shop, and research curriculum design. Please read the latest update from the Library for more details.
Yes, check the computer lab usage dashboard and select one of the many computer labs still open all across campus.

The in-person Testing Center and Tutoring Center services will not be offered for the remainder of the semester. However, both testing and tutoring services will be offered virtually.

The one exception to this is the specialized testing services for non-course exams including specialized exams, non-university agencies for licenses and certifications, national tests, Accuplacer Next Generation English, Accuplacer English Remote placement exams, and English 990 Test Out Exam. Contact specialtest@suu.edu if you need to schedule one of these tests.

The writing center will be fully staffed and functional for the remainder of the semester. However, all sessions will be conducted online. Read the latest update from the Writing Center for more details.
Yes! Hours have slightly adjusted and accommodations are being made to make book returns remote. Please read the latest update from the Bookstore for more details.
No Utah System of Higher Education institution will offer tuition reimbursement because classes are still being taught remotely.
No colleges or universities in the state of Utah are offering any sort of refund of tuition and fee dollars for the spring semester. We certainly understand students may be frustrated with this change in instruction. Asking faculty and students to transition from face-to-face learning to remote instruction is an unprecedented scenario. We've never done it at this scale, nor have any other universities around the country. Hopefully we can all do our best to work together to maintain a positive learning environment, even though it is not the ideal learning modality for everyone. Faculty have a number of options to deliver their courses. Among those options is to deliver lectures and engage in discussions through videoconferencing. While this is not the same as a classroom discussion, learning in this way is a valuable professional skill. We're asking that all students do their best under these trying circumstances. We recognize this is certainly not ideal, but if we work together, we can ensure that you'll have the opportunity to accomplish your educational goals.
All athletic practices and competitions are canceled.
All custodial managers have been trained and refreshed on high touch-point cleaning practices, which include handrails, chair arms, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, etc. and use Green Solutions Neutral Disinfectant for cleaning. Custodial Services has ordered and stocked extra quantities of restroom soap and paper towels, anticipating increased use rates of these products. Soap and hot water hand washing have been recommended by the WHO as the primary cleaning method for hand sanitation. If large-scale decontamination is needed, Facilities will contract with ServPro, an emergency mitigation and restoration service provider, to handle disinfection and cleaning in the case of viral contamination.

Commencement

Unfortunately, yes. The Utah System of Higher Education is requiring all public colleges and universities to postpone their commencement and graduation events scheduled for this spring.
We have already engaged the graduating student body officers and our Alumni Office for this cause. They will be seeking your input and offering suggestions as we work together on alternative commencement plans.
YES. Even though the actual event of commencement has been postponed for reasons out of our hands, you will still be an SUU graduate (assuming you pass all your courses and fulfill all graduation requirements).
Typically diplomas are available for pick-up and mailed out after final grades are posted, which happens between June and July. Any questions about diplomas can be directed to Sheila Johnson (johnson_s@suu.edu).

Yes! The refund will automatically be processed for everyone who has purchased their regalia. Graduates should see this processed within the week.

If anyone has questions about regalia refunds, please contact Kol Gibson (kolgibson@suu.edu).

Students Living on Campus

Student housing will remain open. Food Services will be available in Thunderbird Circle, the cafeteria located in the Student Center. Other dining options in the Student Center will be closed for the rest of the semester.

For students who choose to check out of University Housing, SUU will refund a prorated amount for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Yes, students who check out of housing will receive a prorated refund for the remaining weeks of the semester.
SUU contracts with third-party food service provider for all our food services on campus. We have contacted their corporate office to enquire about possible meal plan refunds, but have not yet received an answer. As soon as we know more, we will contact all students who have a meal plan.

Food Services will be available in Thunderbird Circle, the cafeteria located in the Student Center. Other dining options in the Student Center will be closed for the rest of the semester.

The HOPE Pantry will continue to provide food to SUU students and STECH students. Requests for food can be made online and will be filled each day, Monday through Friday.

All club functions have been cancelled for the remaining part of the semester, including events, gatherings, socials, meetings, etc. both on and off campus.

There are many ways in which you can connect with your club members virtually. We suggest creating a Facebook Hangout page, GroupMe thread, Facebook Live session, email chain, etc. to continue to connect as a club. Heather Garcia and the Vice President for Clubs and Student Organizations Austin Johnson would be happy to think through some of the ways to transition connection online for the remainder of the semester. You can connect with Austin at clubsvp@suu.edu .

Classes and Academics

Starting Monday, March 23, all instruction for Spring 2020 (including final exams, science labs, etc.) will be delivered remotely. The only exception will be for one-on-one flight instruction.

At the direction of Governor Gary Herbert, SUU will join the seven other institutions of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and temporarily move from face-to-face courses to online instruction due to the worldwide impact of COVID-19.

NO. You can continue working hard in your classes, giving yourself a chance to be successful in this new format. If the worst happens and you are not pleased with the outcome, you can withdraw from any course up to the April 19 deadline.

The SUU Faculty and Administration are committed to providing a Pass/No Credit grading option for students during the current remote teachout of Spring, 2020. While the details are still being finalized, an option will be available, and we are committed to providing the details as quickly as they can be finalized. We invite our students to please continue to do their very best in classes during this challenging, and unprecedented, time.

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is currently closed but staff members are working remotely from home, M-F 8-5. Any students with readers will need to contact the DRC directly to give them instructions on how to access readers online. The DRC will no longer need to accommodate students with note-taking as instruction will be all-online.

If you have students in your class who are deaf, blind, visually impaired or hard of hearing, the DRC is working with the Office of Teaching & Learning to make sure these students are accommodated and supported by our office and the office of online teaching and learning.

The grade will appear on your transcript as a W, indicating that you participated in the course beyond the third week. The credits will be tallied into your Attempted Hours, but the W does not change your grade point average.
If you totally withdraw from the semester the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office is required to perform a calculation to determine if funds must be returned to the Department of Education. If you withdraw from less than all of your courses then no funds will need to be returned; however, you will still need to meet the 70% success rate for future aid.

The answer is, unfortunately, IT DEPENDS.

  1. If you have a scholarship from SUU you will not be required to pay it back, but you will use one of the terms of eligibility for the award.
  2. If you have a third party scholarship (e.g.: Regents, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.) it will depend on the outside organization, or grantor. We will contact them to find out their instructions for the particular circumstance.

IT DEPENDS.

  1. If the course is not required for your program of study, you may choose to repeat the course, or not.
  2. If the course is required for your program of study you must successfully complete the course with the minimum grade required for graduation.
NO. We are well beyond the refund period for all courses for the current semester. In addition, the University remains open and all courses are still offered. The teaching modality has changed due to directives from government and health leaders; not by the choice of SUU.
The course will appear with a grade of “W”, indicating that you participated beyond the third week of the course. The W grade does not calculate into your grade point average.
No. No colleges or universities in the state of Utah are offering any sort of refund of tuition and fee dollars for the spring semester. We certainly understand students may be frustrated with this change in instruction. Asking faculty and students to transition from face-to-face learning to remote instruction is an unprecedented scenario. We've never done it at this scale, nor have any other universities around the country. Hopefully we can all do our best to work together to maintain a positive learning environment, even though it is not the ideal learning modality for everyone. Faculty have a number of options to deliver their courses. Among those options is to deliver lectures and engage in discussions through videoconferencing. While this is not the same as a classroom discussion, learning in this way is a valuable professional skill. We're asking that all students do their best under these trying circumstances. We recognize this is certainly not ideal, but if we work together, we can ensure that you'll have the opportunity to accomplish your educational goals.
No, all final exams will be administered virtually online.

Faculty offices are open and available for use. While classes will be moving online starting March 23 through April 23, faculty have many resources available to them for making this transition.

Faculty will be hearing from their deans soon with more details about moving classes online.

We encourage faculty to be flexible and do their best to provide students with a positive learning environment. Please be accommodating as students’ extenuating circumstances arise.

Faculty will have full access to campus offices and resources and will be able to provide instruction from campus. The administration is currently developing a plan for remote work, however, we recognize that not every employee can or will be able to work from home. A follow-up message will be sent to all faculty from Interim Provost Eves with additional information regarding adjustments to instruction.

We encourage faculty to be flexible and do their best to provide students with a positive learning environment. Please be accommodating as students’ extenuating circumstances arise.

Faculty will be hearing from their deans soon with more details about moving classes online. The Online Teaching & Learning (OTL) office has several resources for faculty on their website, including request forms for a Zoom Pro license and a webcam if your office or personal computer doesn’t already have one. Please contact canvas@suu.edu with other questions.

Travel and Study Abroad

Yes. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in an abundance of caution, we have suspended all university-affiliated travel in international locations until further notice.This includes all programs offered through the Study Abroad Office, the Rural Health Scholars Program, Community Engagement and Community and Academic Enrichment.

International study abroad experiences that are scheduled to take place after the spring semester (April 24) until June and further into the summer are on hold until further notice. DO NOT make any additional purchases if you already have planned international travel.

All University-sponsored or endorsed domestic travel is strongly discouraged and will now only be approved in unique, essential situations. Prior to moving forward with domestic travel, individuals must have approval from their supervisor and the Emergency Response Team. This is an update and tightening of the guidelines shared with campus previously. Supervisors should send an email to the Emergency Response Team ( emergencyresponse@suu.edu ) requesting that the University allow their employee to still travel.

While the University cannot restrict personal, non-university related travel, either internationally or domestically, SUU strongly recommends that all faculty, staff, and students reconsider any travel plans for the immediate future. SUU strongly recommends not traveling to any country with a travel advisory or restriction from the U.S. Department of State. There are no restrictions on traveling within the United States, but everyone is urged to be careful and refer to the CDC for the latest information.

If employees and students choose to travel, all need to understand that SUU is considering following the lead of other institutions and imposing a requirement for any faculty, staff, and students who travel abroad or to high outbreak areas within the United States, and then return to SUU, to practice social isolation and distancing for a minimum of 14 calendar days.

If you currently have a university-sponsored trip planned, individuals and groups must register their travel plans with the Emergency Response Team via this form, so we have a situational awareness of where our campus community might be going between now and the end of May. 

Through the spring semester and, depending on the risk assessments for COVID-19 provided by the CDC, possibly longer.
Yes. If SUU cancels a study abroad program, students will receive a full refund of the fees they paid to SUU for that study abroad program. If students booked flights directly with airlines, SUU cannot offer refunds for such expenses, but many airlines are being unusually flexible with ticket changes due to the coronavirus situation. In the event a study abroad program is canceled, we recommend that students work with their airline or travel agent to get a refund or credit toward a future flight.

As a student who is currently studying abroad with an exchange program, your status and travel are different from students who travel with SUU faculty chaperones as part of SUU-sponsored programs. While still enrolled at SUU for credit, you also have a formal connection to another university that has some responsibilities for your education, safety and welfare. We also recognize that you are independent adults with authority over your travel decisions. That being said, SUU still wants you to know that we are concerned for you and want you to exercise caution and wisdom in doing what is best for you.

The current guidelines and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. State Department, and the Utah Department of Health are that any US student who is currently abroad should consider returning to the USA. SUU takes guidance from these entities very seriously and, based upon this guidance, joins in recommending that you consider returning to the US at this time.

At this time, it is SUU’s understanding that this national guidance is not mandatory, although we encourage you to continue to monitor all relevant and evolving guidance on these issues that could impact you.

Staff and Student Workers

In regards to the work of our employees the goal is to limit face-to-face interaction. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to conduct their work virtually. Some individuals may be able to do so working from home while others may prefer to come to campus and work privately in their offices. Exceptions include academic college and department offices, as well as individuals who must interact with the public in a face-to-face manner. Employees should work with their supervisors for details.

For all student employees whose jobs have been disrupted as a result of these temporary adjustments, the university will provide alternate opportunities for work. The HR Department will be responsible to reassign them to other jobs on campus.

Events

In the spirit of keeping students and the community healthy, effective immediately, the University will restrict any event on campus and large gatherings will be postponed, canceled, or offered virtually.

We also ask that those hosting events that involve visitors traveling to campus, of whatever size, consider alternatives or canceling those events, depending on the risks involved. If the event is sponsored by an off-campus entity such as a national governing body, please check with the entity's officials to understand their decisions related to the coronavirus.

We are not currently scheduling campus tours face-to-face. But to accommodate people who want to talk with someone on campus, we are scheduling Zoom info sessions. These are video conferences with a real person that you can talk with and ask your questions while maintaining social distance. These are offered M-F, 9am-5pm. Sign up and we'll meet you virtually!

You can also watch our newest campus tour video and experience SUU alongside three of our Presidential Ambassadors.

If you have specific questions about a tour, please contact the Admissions Office at (435) 586-7741.

All remaining Red Riots for this school year have been postponed. Please visit the Red Riot website for future dates.

Health and Prevention

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals including camels, cats and bats.

There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease — severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV have been ruled out as the cause of the current outbreak.

While originally thought to spread from animal to person, recently, there have been indications that person-to-person spread is occurring in China and affected countries.

The infectious period for this virus is unknown. Based on other coronaviruses, people infected with COVID-19 should be considered to be contagious from the day of fever onset until 10 days after fever ends, or until appropriate laboratory testing shows the patient is no longer contagious.

Coronaviruses typically have an incubation period of 2‒14 days after exposure. The specific incubation period for this coronavirus is unknown.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses like the cold or flu.

Symptoms may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
The incubation period (the time between exposure and symptoms) is unknown, though most coronaviruses have an incubation period of 2-14 days.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other viruses, follow these simple precautions:

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Don’t travel when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • 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 your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Reconsider travel to any country with a CDC level 3 or State Department level 4 advisory based on the novel coronavirus.

Public health agencies currently do not recommend that people wear masks when they are in public. Additionally, scientists are not sure whether wearing a mask in public actually keeps healthy people from getting sick.  It’s most important for people who are sick to wear a mask in a healthcare setting (such as a waiting room) to avoid exposing other people when they cough or sneeze.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, keyboards light switches). Use a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a 10% bleach/water solution to clean surfaces. Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.