East Mississippi Community College continues to actively monitor the spread of the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). We remain in close contact with the Mississippi Department of Health and other health officials, as well as peer institutions across the state and region. As the situation evolves, we are committed to taking all necessary precautions to keep our students, faculty, staff, and the community as safe as possible. In light of the continued spread of the virus, I am writing to update you on some major near-term changes we are instituting to mitigate the spread of the virus to the communities we serve:
In keeping with regional institutions such as Mississippi State University and the Mississippi University for Women, we are extending spring break until Monday, March 23. This decision will allow us additional time to monitor the spread of the virus, as well as prepare to migrate on-ground classes to online delivery if needed.
We are asking that all residential students refrain from returning to campus until further notice, as we are engaged in substantial sterilization and sanitation efforts to prepare campus facilities.
In keeping with recommendations from the CDC, we are limiting all non-essential gatherings of more than 25 people in hopes of minimizing the time spent in proximity to one another in confined spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, and residential buildings. As a result, all campus activities and events are canceled until further notice. We will coordinate with local media partners to communicate about public-facing events.
Faculty and staff will return to work Monday, March 16 to maintain critical operations; however, those who are able to work remotely are asked to do so. Employees who have traveled to high-risk areas are asked to self-quarantine. We will engage in additional contingency planning and prepare for a potential move to virtual instruction during the week of March 16. Deans and Directors will be in contact with individual departments to provide additional guidance.
These decisions were not made lightly. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading health officials on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 and are also consistent with similar decisions made by a number of our peer institutions.
For regular updates and additional information, please visit this dedicated webpage. We will continue to send you updates by email as needed.
Thank you for your continued patience as we work together to ensure the health and safety of our community.