Last Friday, March 6, a university-wide faculty and staff meeting was held to discuss Benedictine’s plans regarding the growing concern of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Benedictine’s Chief of Police, Dave Anderson, also sent a university wide email highlighting precautions the community should take to minimize risk of getting sick, and what to do if someone does get sick.
“Over the past several days, a growing number of colleges and universities have begun to assemble or craft emergency plans in the event of a shutdown either by authorities, outside agencies or the discovery of COVID – 19 on their campuses,” stated University President Charles Gregory.
Benedictine University is following guidelines suggested by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). This includes staying home if sick, and not returning to work or school until you are completely symptom free for 24 hours.
Students are also being asked to report any symptoms they may be feeling by filling out a form located on the Benedictine website. This will help the school, as well as the county, keep track of absences due to illness.
“While there are always possibilities for exposure with flu like illnesses, as of today [March 11], there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID – 19 among students, faculty or staff,” said Gregory.
Over spring break this following week, faculty and staff will be enacting a simulation of the plan to ensure everything works smoothly. Non-essential faculty and staff have been asked to work from home and make sure they are able to access the needed systems from home.
“With the simulation, we hope to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our plan and improve where needed,” said Gregory.
The university has taken a proactive approach to the situation and has scheduled a deep clean of the school buildings and increased cleaning of high touch surfaces on campus.