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VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK UPDATES

Published date: April 7, 2020

Room and Board Rebates

In an effort to minimize the financial impact on students and families, Virginia State University will be making adjustments to room and board for all students residing in the residence halls with an effective date of March 18, 2020.  The University has worked to develop a refund/rebate protocol that is appropriate and fair while also taking into consideration the financial obligation for existing contracts and services.  As part of the university’s shared governance model, we had representation from the Student Government Association (SGA), Faculty Senate, and Staff Senate.  All approved the recommendation to move forward with the room and board rebates.

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April 3, 2020

There is new information for students planning to attend VSU in Fall 2020.  Click here for answers to your frequently asked questions.

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March 31st, 2020

VSU Emergency Grading Options for Spring 2020 Semester 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The University recently transitioned to remote instruction to ensure the health and safety of the University community amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic.

We recognize the additional stress that this abrupt change may bring and are sensitive to the needs of our students and faculty as we navigate the challenges of this new academic environment.  Therefore, in consultation with the VSU Administration, leadership of the Faculty Senate, the SGA, the Academic Credits Committee, and Staff,  VSU has implemented a set of measures designed to increase flexibility and enhance student success during their acclimation to the new remote instruction learning environment for the Spring 2020 semester. For more information about the new standards, please click here.  In addition, please click here for Faculty and Staff FAQs or Student FAQs.


March 30, 2020

VSU President Responds to COVID III Legislation

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March 27th, 2020

Virginia State University has received additional guidance as it relates to the usage of Public Health Emergency Leave Policy or PHEL. The Commonwealth of Virginia and consultation with the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) has increased the amount of PHEL for faculty, staff, students and wage/hourly employees effective March 26, 2020. Faculty and staff are now eligible to receive up to 160 hours in total for PHEL. As a reminder, while wage/hourly employees are eligible for PHEL, the amount of PHEL given will be prorated based on the average number of hours worked in accordance to the Affordable Care Act (see FAQ’s, for specific information related to wage/hourly employees – 1500 Hours Rule).

It is important to note that the President is still strongly encouraging those that can telework, please do so.  PHEL should be the leave of last resort for employees who are well, for those who cannot telework or perform any work remotely, and for those who may need a few days to make child/elder care arrangements. The Office of Human Resources has updated the FAQ’s to incorporate the appropriate changes. It is encouraged that you read through the FAQ’s completely as your question(s) may be answered.  If not, please contact HR@VSU.EDU for additional guidance and assistance.

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March 23, 2020

Registration for Virginia State University’s orientation, Trojan Introduction Program (TIP) has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and govern ourselves accordingly. If we are not able to open registration in the coming weeks, The Office of Enrollment Management will consider alternative options to orientation and registration.

Please keep up-to-date on our VSU CORONAVIRUS webpage: http://www.vsu.edu/news/news/2020/VSU-Coronavirus-Updates.php

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March 20, 2020

VSU President Makola Abdullah shares a new message to the VSU Community

VSU President Makola Abdullah shares a new message to the VSU Community

Watch the Video


March 19, 2020

The Virginia State University Spring 2020 Commencement is postponed due to the current uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.  This decision was reached following consultation involving VSU administration, Student Government and Senior Class leadership. 

A proposed date for Spring 2020 Commencement will be forthcoming following continued conversations with VSU administration and VSU student leadership. 

Students who applied for graduation, meet all graduation requirements and who have been cleared and certified, will receive their diplomas by way of US mail following successful completion of the Spring 2020 semester.

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March 18, 2020

VSU Students, ensure that you are properly prepared to receive remote instruction from your professors. See your “Remote Instruction Guidelines” 

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March 18, 2020

Student Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding COVID-19 Public Health Threat
Below you will find frequently asked questions that may be helpful to you as we navigate this public health crisis together as a VSU Community.

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March 18, 2020

VSU Office of Human Resources Frequently Asked  Questions.
Virginia State University remains fully operational. However, out of an abundance of caution, some departments are teleworking.  Please click here for the latest FAQs from the VSU Office of Human Resources regarding telework, Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL,) etc. during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Virginia Department of Health Coronavirus Update

March 18th, 2020

  • The initial source of COVID-19 is still being investigated
  • As of 03/18/2020 at noon-VA 77 cases and 2 deaths.
  • Vulnerable population remains over 60-year-old, chronic comorbidities-heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and immunosuppressive processes. However, anyone is susceptible 
  • COVID-19 is spread via respiratory droplets, person to person. 
  • Incubation period 2-14 days; may present as a mild illness in the beginning.
  • COVID-19 is more infectious than the Flu per World Health Organization.
  • COVID-19 can spread to people less than 6 feet away and within 15 minutes.
  • Practice enhanced precautions with travel Level-Hot spots Washington and New York.
  • VA is ramping up testing capabilities including drive through testing-swabs include oral and nasal screening. Currently test results are reported within 2-7 days. Self isolate while awaiting results.
  • Home isolation is recommended who are medically stable and can receive care at home. Virus may last up to 14 days; worsening conditions proceed to the ED for possible hospitalization.
  • Handwashing soap and water for 20 seconds with friction.

Trusted sources-

  • CDC.gov
  • VDH.virginia.gov
  • VDH call center 877-275-8343.

Triaging People Reporting Illness

  • A-Are you ill with a fever or have a cough or shortness of breath?
  • B-Have you been in an area with COVID-19 transmission in the last 2 weeks?
  • C-Have you care for or been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 2 weeks? 

If yes to A, ask questions B & C and refer to the local health department for assessment.

Virginia Department of Health  call center 877-275-8343.

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March 17, 2020

The VSU Emergency Preparedness Team is actively monitoring the changes involving the developments and impact of COVID-19.  The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).  The virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby which are then inhaled into the lungs.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid toughing your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Call your doctor: If you think, you have been exposed to COVID-19, develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing.

If you have questions, please contact questions@vsu.edu.


Relax, Relate, & Release

March 16, 2020

Finding the silver lining in the time of a crisis is difficult. The Coronavirus Pandemic has increased our anxiety and stress. Left unchecked, persistent anxiety invades every area of our physical, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing. But it can also create reflective moments where we focus on what really matters. During the upcoming days, the Trojan Wellness Network challenges you to take care of not only your physical, but psychological well-being. Guided meditation is one strategy for improving your emotional well-being. 

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Important Message on Classes

March 12, 2020

Greetings VSU Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Important message from President:

The VSU Emergency Preparedness Team is actively monitoring the changes involving the developments and impact of COVID-19.  Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the VSU campus; however, out of concern for our VSU Community, the University will take the following actions. 

All classes are canceled for the week of March 16-20, 2020 in an effort to give faculty adequate time to convert classes to an off campus format.  

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, Virginia State University will convert to all remote instruction (online/distance education) classes for the remainder of the Spring 2020 academic year.  Students will receive instructions from the professor for each of their classes no later than Friday, March 20, 2020.

All students are required to access and check their VSU issued emails as that will be the primary method of communication with students regarding these continued urgent changes.

VSU strongly encourages ALL students to return home immediately. Residence Halls will close for the remainder of the semester on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 5:00pm.  Students will not have access to their rooms beyond that date. We understand that for a limited number of students with extenuating circumstances, going home is currently not an option. Students needing to request an exemption from this directive must submit an exemption form (attached) to the Housing Office in Quad II Room 1107 by 5:00pm Friday, March 13, 2020.

We are in the process of preparing for telework for those staff members whose supervisors deem  eligible for that option.

While institutions across the country are weighing these same decisions, the safety of our community is our top priority.  The VSU administration understands there are a number of questions regarding these necessary actions and will continue to share pertinent facts and information as it develops.

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Presidential Address -Coronavirus

March 12th


Coronavirus Update

March 11, 2020

Greetings VSU Community,

Virginia State University is proactively responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as defined by the World Health Organization. The VSU Emergency Management Team continues to implement measures to protect the well-being of our VSU campus community.  As of today (3/11/20), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has nine (9) presumed cases of coronavirus in Virginia.  Presently, there are no confirmed cases involving members of the VSU campus.

The VSU faculty are committed to preparing to provide remote instruction should the University deem it necessary.

Currently, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all large scale events are modified, postponed or canceled for the safety and well-being of the event staff, participants and the community.

Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, Virginia State University has announced that it will cancel/modify all scheduled large gatherings on campus for a minimum of 30 days.

This includes:

 

MODIFIED EVENTS:

  • There will be no self-serve areas in any campus dining facility including salad bar, deli bar, pasta and pizza station. Instead, those areas will offer prepackaged servings.
  • Student Town Hall meeting will be streamed live March 11
  • New Initiate Presentations (Probates) will be live streamed: more information will be forthcoming
  • Mr. and Miss VSU Pageant will be live streamed: more information will be forthcoming
  • Student Leadership Elections/campaigning will be online
  • No spectators at any at-home sporting events until further notice

CANCELED EVENTS

  • Berry School Agriculture Event March 10-11
  • Founders Day Convocation and Soiree March 12
  • Women’s History Month event on March 16
  • Veterans Farmer Conference March 17-18
  • College of Agriculture Marketing Your Farm Event March 24
  • Virginia Association of Residence Halls Conference March 27-28
  • Spring Fling April 5-11
  • VSU Open House April 11
  • All campus tours
  • Public Sunday Brunch in Gateway Dining Hall
  • All University Related Travel Abroad

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VSU Travel Restrictions

March 11, 2020

Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and internationally, effective March 9, 2020, all international travel for VSU faculty, staff, and students is prohibited.  This travel ban includes all business-related and study abroad travel for itineraries after March 9, 2020, including travel paid for using university or philanthropic funding sources.  VSU is following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on student travel  and CDC guidance on travel in areas affected with COVID-19.  

For domestic travel, VSU Administration will review all upcoming travel requests and previously approved travel authorizations to determine if the travel will be authorized on a case-by-case basis because of the rapid spread of the virus across the United States.  Not all travel will be authorized.

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VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY RESPONDS TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

March 5th

Virginia State University (VSU) is proactively responding to the coronavirus, COVID-19. The VSU Emergency Management Team met today as a proactive measure to prepare an emergency operational plan.
Presently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Virginia. However, the University is working with public health officials to be as prepared as possible to protect the health of the VSU community. We continue to follow the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to align our plans with the most current recommendations from experts. This includes encouraging everyone to monitor their own health, practice good hygiene and stay home if feeling sick.
As a precautionary measure, we are utilizing the same measure of preparations that we would for any other potential occurrence that would disrupt normal campus operations. This includes working with campus leadership and regional public health partners to take steps that can minimize disruptions to student learning as we prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Even if these measures are not ultimately needed, ensuring that we are prepared for disruptions now will serve us well in the future.
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VSU Statement on Coronavirus and Student Safety Abroad

February 27, 2020

Virginia State University acknowledges the concerns that students, parents, and other University stakeholders may have regarding the status of the Coronavirus and any potential risks that it may pose for our students studying abroad.  Currently, VSU currently has no students studying abroad in China or in other locations where cases of the virus have been reported.  In addition, the University has been monitoring the progression of the outbreak through information provided by daily communications issued by the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), the U.S. Department of State,  the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and from Safety and Risk Management teams of our study abroad partners who are in touch with health officials in program locations. Because students’ health and safety, while both at home and abroad, are of utmost importance to the University, we will continue to monitor any developments related to his pandemic and remain proactive in our response.   We will continue to keep our VSU community informed through email and our website as the situation evolves.

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