DSU outlines measures in response to coronavirus

DOVER – Delaware State University is telling students who are currently on spring break to not return to campus until Sunday, April 5, in response to the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a letter to students, DSU president Tony Allen wrote, “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.

The letter also stated:

  • 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 this Sunday. 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 the university’s 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 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. The school is currently exploring telecommuting possibilities when practical. DSU said it is aware that there are many special circumstances that will have to be considered and it is organizing to resolve them.
  • DSU is continuing the prohibition on university-related travel, both domestic and international, at least until April 5, unless expressly approved by the Executive Leadership Team: DSU also strongly discourages 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, see the policy letter dated March 10, 2020, on the Coronavirus landing page on the University website.
  • DSU is 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.
  • DSU is establishing a continuous communications strategy that will allow it to provide information and respond to inquiries: The school’s 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. Students are asked 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,” President Allen said. “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.”


Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

Have a question about the coronavirus? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll ask the appropriate public officials.