Covid-19 Illustration

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in Tennessee rises, officials at Maryville College continue to monitor reports issued daily by state and local health officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of State.

This page has been created to keep all of our constituents informed about global and national developments, decisions made with regard to the MC community and precautions taken on campus against the introduction and spread of the disease.

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What is the plan for instruction and campus operations in response to COVID-19?

Update:  March 24, 2020

Following both President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding community mitigation, we have decided to move all classroom instruction to distance-learning formats – in almost all cases, specifically through online instruction – through the end of the semester. Classes will begin March 30, and students should be regularly checking their Maryville College email accounts for further directions from the Academic Dean’s Office and their professors. The Academic Dean’s Office has developed a guide to help students navigate this new style of learning and meet their educational goals.

We are pushing the end date of classes to April 29. The Study Day is scheduled for April 30, with exams held May 1-6.

The College’s normal satisfactory/unsatisfactory (“Pass/Fail”) policy has been stretched for this semester. Students may notify the Registrar that they would like to take any course for an S/U grade at any point up to one week after final grades are posted. This is an option with many consequences, so students are encouraged to talk to their professors and academic advisors before making a decision.

As of March 19, campus facilities are closed to the public, and the majority of faculty and staff are expected to work from home until at least April 6. Staff members who perform essential duties such as safety and security, housekeeping, maintenance and food service will continue to report to campus for work as long as they are healthy and able to do so. As we receive guidance from government agencies, information about federal work-study jobs for students will follow. Students who need access to specific academic spaces for research or independent projects should coordinate with their academic advisor.

Are students permitted to live on campus at this time?

 Update: March 25, 2020

Residence halls closed for Spring Break and will remain closed to students (with the exception of those who already have been given approval to stay) throughout the semester. This very difficult decision was made to ensure social distancing and prevent the introduction of COVID-19 disease on campus.

Starting March 25, we will allow students to move out of their rooms. However, to ensure social distancing and adequate staff support, students will need to make a reservation for a specific 3-hour shift and limit their number of helpers to two. Today, students received information to sign up for allotted times slots based on their assigned residence halls. The College urges students to sign up and make arrangements for moving out during the times available per each building. Students who experience extenuating circumstances that impact their ability to move out (e.g. in isolation) should contact Residence Life. Please keep in mind that the College may be forced to suspend move-out if orders from officials call for greater restrictions. For more information, visit the FAQ webpage created for move-out this Spring.

Will students receive refunds for room and board?

Update: March 31, 2020

For students who were required to move off campus, the Business Office has calculated prorated credits for Spring Semester room and board costs. Students will find the details of these credits by logging into their Self-Service accounts.

Prorated credits will automatically be applied to students’ Fall Semester 2020 statement balances. The advantage to leaving the credit on the student’s account is that it may reduce the amount of student loans for the Fall Semester.

Graduating seniors will need to request a refund check, and other students may opt to receive a refund check instead of keeping the credits. To request a refund check from the College, students should email the address where they want their check mailed to Kay Pritchett, student accounts manager in the Business Office, at kay.pritchett@maryvillecollege.edu.

Students who still owe a balance on their accounts after these credits have been applied should continue to make their payment plan payments or send a check for the balance owed or pay online and cancel their payment plan contracts.  Melissa Millsaps, student accounts liaison, can answer these questions at melissa.millsaps@maryvillecollege.edu.

Will athletic games and matches go on as scheduled?

Update: March 13, 2020

This afternoon, the Presidents Council of the USA South Athletic Conference decided that, effective March 16, the remaining season of competition has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The cancellation includes non-conference contests and tournament competitions in all Spring sports. The statement was posted on the conference website.

Most of our Spring student-athletes and coaches were notified of the conference’s action in afternoon meetings today.

What about campus events?

Update:  March 19, 2020

All campus events scheduled through May 31 have been cancelled.

As of March 18, Baccalaureate and Commencement, originally scheduled for May 2, are postponed to a later date. The desire to celebrate a huge achievement with family and friends is something we will keep in our minds and hearts as we make decisions about those ceremonies in the coming days. Please be patient as we consider various options.

All events scheduled at the Clayton Center for the Arts through May 31 have been cancelled or postponed. Please visit the Clayton Center website.

The 2020 Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games have been cancelled. Members of the Games’ Board announced on March 19 that this year’s event would not be rescheduled, but they would plan for the 2021 Games on May 15-16, 2021. “2019 was our most successful year ever, and although this is a great disappointment, we are confident that the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival & Games will come back STRONG IN 2021,” read the statement.

 

What is the plan for international travel and international students?

Update:  March 13, 2020

All Maryville College-sponsored or affiliated international travel has been suspended until further notice. This decision is the result of both the US State Department Level 3 Global Health Travel Advisory released on March 11, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation relating to travel from Europe, increasing entry restrictions, and community responses to the outbreak.  We are working with our partners to get any recoverable funds we can from the programs. This may take some time since the industry is dealing with a high volume of cancellations at the moment, but we will update impacted students as soon as we can with further details. As per our cancellation policy, students will receive all monies MC is able to recover from our vendors and program providers.

How do I self-report international travel?

We recommend that MC community members cancel all non-essential international travel over Spring Break. For those who do travel abroad or to hot-spot areas, we request that they self-report their travel information using our form and also self-isolate away from the MC campus for 14 days after return.

What is COVID-19 and who is at risk?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and now has shown up in locations around the world and the United States.  Symptoms of the disease may appear two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. COVID-19 is not an influenza, but in terms of how it is transmitted, what its symptoms are, and how to treat it and prevent its spreading, it functionally resembles a flu (though more contagious).

According to the CDC’s website, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low for the majority of people. There is not widespread circulation in most communities in the United States. Older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are the most at risk.

How can the disease be prevented or contained?

To prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in schools and educational institutions, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands at regular intervals and with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Stop handshaking and use other noncontact methods of greeting. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Clean and disinfect shared/touched surfaces often. Open windows or adjust air conditioning to increase ventilation.
  • Be careful with meetings and travel. Do not travel to COVID-19 “hot spots” and be careful when traveling, domestically. Avoid all nonessential travel to those countries identified with high advisory levels, and be mindful of the possibility of cross-contamination in airports and other large, public venues. Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible.
  • Handle food carefully. Limit food sharing, and ensure that cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene.
  • Stay home if you are sick or have a sick family member at home. If you live in a residence hall, avoid common spaces. Students may seek treatment in the College’s Health Clinic or at East Tennessee Medical Group’s CareToday Clinic at a reduced student fee. The clinic is located at 266 Joule Street in Alcoa. Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should notify the clinic ahead of arrival.

Off-campus offers and resources

U-Haul Free Storage Offer for College Students

Beginning Monday, March 16, Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter also will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across its footprint for public use.

Comcast offer for free 60-day Internet Essentials Service to new customers

McKibbon Hospitality, which operates many Marriott and Hilton properties in the Knoxville area, is offering discounts for students, faculty and staff impacted by COVID-19. The $69/per night rate applies at all properties, which are Towneplace Suites, Hampton Inn and Suites Knoxville-Turkey Creek/Farragut, Homewood Suites by Hilton Knoxville West at Turkey Creek, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Knoxville at Turkey Creek, Courtyard by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff and Residence Inn by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff. For discount information or to make reservations, contact Logan Dockery at 865.218.5505 or knoxvillesm2@mckibbon.com.

Enterprise Student Travel Assistance

United Way of Blount County's Social Service Updates shares information about a variety of services, including food assistance and mental health counseling.

The Centers for Disease Control website

The World Health Organization website

The U.S. Department of State website

The Tennessee Department of Health website

Blount County Intergovernmental Information website

MEMORANDUM to campus, March 23, 2020

The following is a memorandum emailed March 23 to members of the Maryville College community from President Tom Bogart regarding the campus's updated response to COVID-19.

TO:  Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
FROM:  Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE:  Campus responses to COVID-19
DATE:  March 24, 2020

I and other campus leaders continue to assess the COVID-19 outbreak and follow guidance from government and public health authorities. This week, more decisions were made regarding the Spring Semester and our campus community. Details are below.

As announced on March 18, residence halls will remain closed to students for the remainder of the semester (except for students who have been given permission to stay), but we will begin to allow students to move out of their rooms. To ensure social distancing and adequate staff support, however, students will need to make a reservation for a specific 3-hour shift and limit their number of helpers to two. Today, Residence Life staff members will email residents details and instructions. The shifts start tomorrow, March 25, but please keep in mind that the College may be forced to suspend move-out if orders from officials call for greater restrictions.

Distance education begins next Monday, March 30. Faculty are now updating their syllabi and assignments and readying the technology to successfully complete the semester. We have not answered every question regarding course delivery, and we will experience bumps along the way, but know that our commitment is to make distance learning as engaging an experience for students as possible. The Academic Dean’s Office has developed a guide to help students navigate this new style of learning and meet their educational goals. I recommend that all members of our campus community become familiar with these tips.

The College’s normal satisfactory/unsatisfactory (“Pass/Fail”) policy has been stretched for this semester. Students may notify the Registrar that they would like to take any course for an S/U grade at any point up to one week after final grades are posted. This is an option with many consequences, so students are encouraged to talk to their professors and academic advisors before making a decision.

The campus community’s response to this challenging time is inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for all you are doing to keep Maryville College moving forward. Stay focused, stay healthy, and stay positive!

MEMORANDUM to campus, March 18, 2020

The following is a memorandum emailed March 18 to members of the Maryville College community from President Tom Bogart regarding the campus's updated response to COVID-19.

TO:  Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
FROM:  Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE:  Campus responses to COVID-19
DATE:  March 18, 2020

The College’s Crisis Management Team continues to meet regularly to assess the COVID-19 situation and to make decisions related to the Spring semester. The following paragraphs detail updates to the College’s response to the pandemic.

Following both President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding community mitigation, we have decided to move all classroom instruction to distance-learning formats – in almost all cases, specifically through online instruction – through the end of the semester. Classes will begin March 30, and students should be regularly checking their Maryville College email accounts for further directions from the Academic Dean’s Office and their professors. Details surrounding the delivery of support services (academic, accessibility, counseling, library, etc.) will be announced as decisions are finalized – prior to the beginning of distance-learning coursework.

We are pushing the end date of classes to April 29. The Study Day is scheduled for April 30, with exams held May 1-6.

We also have made the decision to close campus facilities to the public and are encouraging the majority of faculty and staff to work from home until at least April 6. Staff members who perform essential duties such as safety and security, housekeeping, maintenance and food service will continue to report to campus for work as long as they are healthy and able to do so. As we receive guidance from government agencies, information about federal work-study jobs for students will follow. Students who need access to specific academic spaces for research or independent projects should coordinate with their academic advisor.

Residence halls will remain closed to students (with the exception of those who already have been given approval to stay) throughout the semester. This very difficult decision was made to ensure social distancing and prevent the introduction of COVID-19 disease on campus. We will announce dates, times and processes for students to collect their belongings when we believe doing so is safe for our community. A determination about refunds and processes also will be made and announced at a later date.

The post office will forward students’ mail and packages (those items that can be forwarded) to the address on file in the Registrar’s Office. To update forwarding addresses, students should email Vicki McNutt, Mail Services Manager, at vicki.mcnutt@maryvillecollege.edu

Related to the above actions is the decision to cancel all campus events through May 31 or until such time as it is recommended to continue with public gatherings.

As of today, Baccalaureate and Commencement, originally scheduled for May 2, are postponed to a later date. We know that for graduating seniors and their loved ones, Commencement is the culminating event that they have spent years working toward and planning. That desire to celebrate a huge achievement with family and friends is something we will keep in our minds and hearts as we make decisions about those ceremonies in the coming days. Please be patient as we consider various options.

Spring is usually a very busy and exciting time on the Maryville College campus, so the imminent stillness and quiet will not only be strange, it will be incredibly painful. Please know that I and others are heartbroken that students, especially graduating seniors, are experiencing such tremendous loss alongside much fear and uncertainty for the future. I believe that working together and supporting each other, we will emerge from this crisis a stronger community and an institution more mission-focused than ever before.

MEMORANDUM 2 to campus, March 13, 2020

The following is a memorandum emailed March 13 to members of the Maryville College community from President Tom Bogart regarding the campus's updated response to COVID-19.

TO:  Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
FROM:  Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE:  Campus response to COVID-19 – Athletics and Campus Events
DATE:  March 13, 2020 

This afternoon, the Presidents Council of the USA South Athletic Conference decided that, effective March 16, the remaining season of competition has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The cancellation includes non-conference contests and tournament competitions in all Spring sports.  Most of our Spring student-athletes and coaches were notified of the conference’s action in afternoon meetings today.

My sincere condolences go out to our student-athletes, coaches and fans who were just beginning to enjoy victories on our fields and courts in warmer weather. But as it is stated on the conference website, “this decision … keeps the safety of those individuals and their communities at the forefront” by minimizing individuals’ risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Again, I urge you to be patient and stay calm in this time of uncertainty. 

MEMORANDUM to campus, March 13, 2020

The following is a memorandum emailed March 13 to members of the Maryville College community from President Tom Bogart regarding the campus's updated response to COVID-19.

TO: 
Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
FROM:  Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE:  Campus response to COVID-19
DATE:  March 13, 2020

With yesterday’s report of a person in Knox County testing positive for COVID-19, Tennessee’s number of confirmed cases has risen to 18, but as of today, no cases have been confirmed in Blount County, and there are no confirmed or suspected cases on the Maryville College campus.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend the closure of colleges and universities in communities where the virus has not been identified; however, we recognize the likelihood of local cases being identified, so our plan is to extend Spring Break one week to give us more time to assess the situation and make appropriate plans. Residence halls will remain closed throughout this time period.

Realizing that residential students will be gone from campus for a longer time than expected, the time and date for vacating the residence halls for students has been extended to noon on Monday, March 16. Students who received approval to stay in the halls during Spring Break should get in touch with Residence Life staff. We will also work, on a case-by-case basis, with students who have no off-campus options for housing or meals.

Again, students should leave campus with essential belongings and those things (electronic devices and chargers, textbooks, notebooks, etc.) that would allow them to fully engage with online instruction.  If a decision is made before March 30 to move all instruction to online formats, residence halls will remain closed. We will give students time to get their belongings and make off-campus living arrangements. Here, too, we would work, on a case-by-case basis, with students who have no off-campus options for housing or meals. 

The College will not close during these two weeks. Staff and faculty members will be required to report to campus as usual, practicing social distancing, unless they are sick or have sick family members at home. With regard to absences and telecommuting, employees should communicate and coordinate with their supervisors.

We have made the difficult decision to suspend all college-sponsored or affiliated international travel until further notice. This decision is the result of both the US State Department Level 3 Global Health Travel Advisory released on March 11, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation relating to travel from Europe, increasing entry restrictions, and community responses to the outbreak.  I know this news will be incredibly disappointing to the almost 200 students who were planning to travel abroad in the coming months, but our students’ health and safety are our primary concern. We are working with our partners to get any recoverable funds we can from the programs. This may take some time since the industry is dealing with a high volume of cancellations at the moment, but we will update impacted students as soon as we can with further details. As per our cancellation policy, students will receive all monies MC is able to recover from our vendors and program providers.

We recommend that MC community members cancel all non-essential international travel over Spring Break. For those who do travel abroad, we request that they self-report their travel information via the College’s Coronavirus Webpage (a form will go up later today) and also self-isolate away from the MC campus for 14 days after return.

Out of an abundance of caution, College-related non-essential travel outside of the Knoxville area also is being prohibited. We have cancelled Spring Break travel related to SOC149: Road to Justice. Cabinet members will need to be consulted about employees’ trips that have already been planned and/or paid for.

A decision about spring sports is expected later today. Already, numerous schools in the USA South have suspended play for the remainder of the semester.  We will communicate about athletics and the cancellations of other large-scale, College-sponsored events on the MC website.

This will be a Spring Break – and possibly a Spring Semester – unlike any other that we have experienced. I and other administrators are committed to making the best decisions we can – with the information we have – for the entire community. Please visit our website for ongoing, updated information. Please be patient with us and with each other, take care of yourself and remain calm throughout the coming days and weeks.

 

MEMORANDUM to campus, March 11, 2020

The following is a memorandum emailed March 11 to members of the Maryville College community from President Tom Bogart regarding the campus's updated response to COVID-19.

TO:  Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
CC:  Maryville College Board of Directors
FROM:  Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE:  Campus response to COVID-19
DATE:  March 11, 2020

I know many of you are aware of colleges and universities across the United States that are responding to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) by temporarily or partially closing and/or moving all classes to online formats.  Like many other institutions, we have NOT determined that similar action is necessary at this point. However, I want to let you know that a team of college administrators is monitoring the situation daily, looking to expert advice and guidance from a variety of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization and state and local health officials

A page has been set up on the homepage of the College’s website to keep all of our constituents informed about global and national developments, decisions made with regard to the MC community, and precautions taken on campus against the introduction and spread of the disease.  Over Spring Break, I urge you to check your College email account frequently, as we may be sharing more information in the coming days.

As stated in last week’s memo, I also urge you to take precautions while traveling, practice good hygiene and stay home if you get sick.

While we will make every effort to continue operations here at the College uninterrupted, we cannot predict the spread or severity of COVID-19 in our area nor the directives of authorities. Because there is the possibility of having to move classes to an online format, students should take with them those things (electronic devices and chargers, textbooks, notebooks, etc.) that would allow them to fully engage with online instruction.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are of paramount importance, so I want to assure you that faculty members and supervisors will be as flexible as possible with classes and in-person attendance if your circumstances warrant it.  Please use your best judgment as it relates to your health and the health of classmates and colleagues, and communicate with the appropriate people.

The news reports and responses to COVID-19 change hourly. We will make decisions that are in the best interest of the health and safety of our campus, and we will try our best to give our campus community ample time to plan for any change in our normal operations. I ask you to be patient and remain calm throughout this outbreak.

MEMORANDUM to campus, March 3, 2020

The following is a memorandum emailed March 3 to members of the Maryville College community from President Tom Bogart regarding the campus's response to COVID-19.

TO:  Maryville College Students, Faculty and Staff
CC:  Maryville College Board of Directors
FROM:  Dr. Tom Bogart, President
RE:  Campus response to COVID-19
DATE:  March 3, 2020

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak continues to headline the news, I want to assure you that many of us here at Maryville College are monitoring related reports issued daily by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, and state and local health officials. The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are of paramount importance.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and now has shown up in 60 locations around the world, including the United States.  Symptoms of the disease may appear two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. COVID-19 is not an influenza, but in terms of how it is transmitted, what its symptoms are, and how to treat it and prevent its spreading, it functionally resembles a flu (though more contagious).

At the time of distribution of this memo, the CDC is predicting that most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. So far, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Tennessee, but the CDC is reporting that, like any other virus, this one will spread worldwide.  

As a college campus with a high residential population, it is vitally important that we take necessary precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 on our campus, so I offer the following advice:

  • Do not travel to COVID-19 “hot spots” and be careful when traveling, domestically. With Spring Break occurring in two weeks, please avoid all nonessential travel to those countries identified with high advisory levels, and be mindful of the possibility of cross-contamination in airports and other large, public venues.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often, with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid close contact with individuals who are coughing and sneezing; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze; and clean and disinfect shared/touched surfaces. (The College’s housekeeping staff will increase its focus on sanitizing surfaces in common areas, heavily used doors, elevators, handrails, etc. However, this will not be a substitute for good personal hand hygiene practices.)
  • Stay home when you are sick. If you live in a residence hall, avoid the common spaces. Students may seek medical treatment in the College’s Health Clinic or at East Tennessee Medical Group’s CareToday Clinic at a reduced student fee. The clinic is located at 266 Joule Street in Alcoa.

The College’s Center for International Education (CIE) is monitoring and assessing the global COVID-19 situation daily. The CIE is in frequent contact with MC students who are currently studying abroad and those students and groups that have international travel planned for later this spring and summer.

The College’s Crisis Management Team is increasing its meeting frequency and expanding its membership to continually monitor and efficiently respond to situations resulting from this virus. Members of the team will be communicating about more specific issues with various constituencies in the near future.

I urge everyone to stay informed of the latest reports and advisories posted by the experts in communicable diseases and international travel by visiting the websites of the CDC, World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of State