Coronavirus campus updates

March 27 - Mail Services Notice

Attention Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to navigate the responses to COVID-19, Mail & Receiving Services continues to operate daily, but with reduced hours.  Currently, our hours are between 8:30 am -12:00 noon. However, we are taking further precautions to limit our face to face interactions.

These safety precautions include:

  • Limiting visits to USPS for retrieval of inbound mail and delivery of outbound mail to once per day.
  • No signature will be required for accountable/trackable mail deliveries. Mail & Receiving shall sign as delivered on behalf of recipients.
  • Mail and receiving will not be delivering mail and packages during Governor Whitmer's "Stay at Home" period of time:
    • 1200 Holden (our location) will be open for pick-up of mail and packages and for drop off of any outbound mail. We have staged an isolated area near the dock entrance door, which is clearly marked RECEIVING, for pick-ups and deliveries. If you call ahead when you are coming the staff can ensure we have your mail and packages ready for pick up when you arrive.
    • 1200 Holden is located across from the Detroit Recycling Center with nearest cross roads being Lincoln and Holden.
    • If Departments wish to have their mail bundled and sent via USPS to a staff member's home address, they may reach out to Leo Lieberman with an index to charge and the name and address of the staff member to send it to and we will do our best to accommodate these requests. Unfortunately we do not have the ability to do this for packages. All mail will be sent accountable so that it can be tracked
    • In the event you are not able to pick up your mail and packages, they will be housed until we are back to operating as usual. There will be no need to call or email to advise.
  • Please contact us as 577-2377 or 577-2376, or Leo Lieberman at bd4608@wayne.edu with additional questions. Please also note that due to reduced staffing during this period calls may not be answered straight away and there may delays in responses.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are adjusting our processes as needed. Further notifications will be sent out as needed. 

Leo Lieberman, Associate Director, Campus Services


March 26 - Modified custodial coverage

All,

I hope this communication finds you all safe and well. The purpose of this communication is to update you all on the status of custodial coverage for Wayne State University buildings where we have limited occupancy during the governor's executive order, EO2020-21, which will extend through April 13, 2020.

In order to exercise an abundance of caution for the campus community, effective Friday, March 27, we will modify the custodial coverage for critical buildings. The modified schedule includes modified tasking as well.

Minimal custodial coverage includes:

  • Service on Tuesdays and Fridays only, from 7-11 a.m.
  • Collection of a single trash-drop point at the entrance of the building
  • Paper and soap restock, basic wipe down of first-floor restrooms only
  • Sanitization of access card pad and hardware on exterior doors and elevator keypads for the main entrance

Critical buildings that will receive minimal scheduled custodial coverage during Executive Order, EO2020-21:

  • Medical Campus
    • Lande
    • Elliman
    • Mott
    • Applebaum
    • Scott Hall
  • Main Campus (north)
    • Computing Services
    • WSU Police Station
    • Integrative Biosciences Center 
    • 1200 Holden
  • Main Campus (south)
    • Academic/Administrative Building 
    • University Services Building
    • Welcome Center

Please know that we expect staffing coverage challenges well after the expiration of the governor's executive order; therefore, modified custodial changes are expected for the foreseeable future. We will be sure to communicate changes to schedules and tasks as situations arise. If you have questions related to coverage, please contact fpm@wayne.edu.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation in helping Facilities Planning and Management ensure the safety and health of our staff and the campus community. Remember: Be nice, be kind, be thankful. We are all in this together.


March 25 - P/N grading winter 2020

Dear Wayne State University Warrior:

I hope this email finds you well. I realize that the transition to online classes can be stressful for some of you, in addition to the worries and challenges the coronavirus pandemic is bringing to our families, friends, co-workers and fellow Warriors.

To help you complete the semester and maintain your progress toward your degree, Wayne State is adding a pass/no pass grading option for undergraduate classes taken during this winter 2020 semester. There are several details to this process, so you will want to review them carefully and work with your academic advisor to determine the best choice for you to make. The entire plan will be on wayne.edu/coronavirus/student-information by Monday, March 30.

Instructors will assign a letter grade for each course. Then, depending on the grade received, the letter grade may be translated into a pass/no pass format. Specifically, grades of D+, D, D- and F will be automatically translated into a grade of N, a grade that will not affect your GPA, although you will not receive credit. However, there may be a few cases where a D+, D, or even a D- may serve you better. If you think this might be the case, you should consult with your advisor. After doing so, you will have the option to change your N to the earned grade, whether D+, D or D-.

If your instructor assigns a grade of A, B or C (including C-), you will receive that letter grade. However, depending upon your academic program and goals, you may prefer a P. Again, you should consult with your academic advisor to discuss the options. If you and your advisor determine that a P is in your best interest, you will be able to file a request to change the letter grade to a P.

The decision to change your grade depends on many things, including your school/college policies, your current GPA and major, and your academic goals. Up until the time you graduate, you can make this change at any time. You can also change your grade back to the original grade. For example, if you change your program or major, you may decide that it's better to switch from a letter grade to a pass/no pass grade, or vice versa. However, once you graduate, your transcript cannot be changed and your grade will remain fixed on your transcript. A transcript notation will indicate that the pass/no pass grades in the winter 2020 semester resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

P grades elected during this semester will not count toward the maximum allowed. Also, P grades elected during this semester will be accepted for general education credit, but they might not count for some schools, colleges, programs or majors. Therefore, you should be careful to make sure the P grade will satisfy your school, college or program requirements.

This new policy doesn't change any of your school, college or program requirements. You should be aware that although individual schools, colleges or programs are permitted to make curricular changes in light of the coronavirus pandemic, they are not required to do so. In particular, many programs cannot accept grades of P or of C- due to accreditation requirements. Your advisors are learning about this new policy now, just as you are. They are working to review the policy and to understand the best approach for each program and major and they will need some time to discuss within each school and college.

Remember, unless you plan to graduate this semester, you have a great deal of time to make the decision that is best for you. The most important choice you can make now is the choice to commit deeply to your academic success during the remainder of this semester. We are here to help you, so be sure to visit our "Learn Anywhere" website at success.wayne.edu/learnanywhere as well as to keep up-to-date on other important information at wayne.edu/coronavirus/student-information.

Be well and remain Warrior Strong.

Sincerely,

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 24 - Governor Whitmer's executive order

Dear colleagues,

Yesterday, we resumed our winter semester in a new and different manner from which we are accustomed. Also yesterday, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order for all but essential workers to stay home. Over the past several weeks, we have witnessed events and change that was unthinkable just a few months ago.

Despite all of this, we are able to carry on our core academic mission. This is due to the hard work of many people, and the openness and flexibility of faculty, students and staff to adapt and adopt novel ways of teaching and learning, even as we conform to rapidly changing conditions in all other aspects of our lives. Thank you, all of you, for working together as we find our way in this new reality.

The governor's executive order requires that we continue to adapt. To comply with these new requirements, I have asked that deans and members of my cabinet designate, in writing, the people who qualify as exceptions to the order by the end of this month. As a comprehensive university that serves the health and educational needs of our community, we will have clear exceptions. In some cases it may not be as clear. However, I believe this order is in the best interests of all of us, and I ask that we comply in both spirit and letter. If you can work from home, you should be doing so, for your health and the health of others. If you have questions about your specific situation, please direct them to your supervisor, who will work with leadership to answer your questions.

Since this situation began to escalate, our decisions have been guided by three principles:

  1. The safety of our community comes first.
  2. We will, to the best of our ability, "hold people harmless." This pandemic was not caused by any of us, and we will do all we can to ensure people can continue their work, and support themselves and their families.
  3. We will continue to serve our academic mission. This has meant that our faculty, staff and students have had to make tremendous adjustments in a very short period of time. By all indications, they have done so with speed and Warrior spirit. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Finally, as we adjust to these new circumstances, let's also continue to uphold our values, and let's continue to support each other. I've been heartened by many examples of people stepping up to help others, or finding ways to connect or share their stories. I look forward to sharing my stories as Jacqueline and I figure out our work-from-home situation. Most importantly, please remember we are in an unprecedented time, but we are in it together. This will pass, and we will persevere.

Sincerely,

M. Roy Wilson
President


March 23 - Gov. Whitmer signs "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order

On March 23, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order, directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michigan residents to stay in their homes unless they're part of those essential workforces, engaged in outdoor activities, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy or doctor appointments.

Wayne State employees with questions about whether their services are exempt from the executive order should contact their supervisors to discuss; designation of employees as exceptions to the order is subject to approval at dean/vp level. Read the full text of Gov. Whitmer's executive order.


March 20 - Learn Anywhere

Dear students,

Wayne State University is eager to welcome you back to classes on Monday, March 23. While online and remote learning environments are new for many, we assure you that our care for you and our commitment to your success remain as strong as ever. During the last two weeks, dedicated faculty, advisors and staff have been working to ensure that many of your routine academic resources will still be available to you, albeit in different ways. While the way we interact may have changed, our goal of helping you successfully complete the winter 2020 semester has not. To that end, we are excited to share Learn Anywhere, a new resource page that includes tips and services to support online and remote learning.

Information about accessing technology off campus — including discounted and free internet and cellular service — can be found on Computing & Information Technology's (C&IT) resource page. Additionally, the C&IT Help Desk has its extended weekday hours from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and added weekend hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For support, contact 313-577-4357 or helpdesk@wayne.edu.

Many of you are adapting quickly to a variety of issues you never anticipated. We assure you that you will continue learning with access to dedicated faculty, advisors and staff, who will teach and engage using email, phone, Canvas, Microsoft Teams, BigBlueButton, Echo360 and other platforms.

The university will share updates and other information by email, text, newsletters, social media and, of course, through our various websites. Wayne State has established a dedicated student information section on its COVID-19 website to keep you informed during this time. The Dean of Students Office has also provided a place for you to submit your questions.

In addition to these resources, you should check your email regularly, as it is a primary way for us to communicate with you. Please reach out to your instructors if you have questions about a class, or if you need more information about the new course format.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We also commend the tenacity and perseverance of our students and faculty. We know that we will successfully complete this semester because, together, we are Warrior Strong.

Sincerely,

Monica Brockmeyer
Senior Associate Provost for Student Success

Michelle Hunt Bruner
Senior Director, Student Academic Success


March 20 - Campus building availability

To the campus community,

We want to update you on the status of campus buildings during this time when we seek to minimize large congregations of people in buildings and other spaces due to the COVID-19 virus public health threat.

As you know, we are transitioning to remote instruction and learning, starting Monday, March 23. We are also asking everyone who can work from home to do so and C&IT is working hard to make sure people have the necessary technology to do this. For more information about working from home, check the human resources website at hr.wayne.edu.

As a result of these changes, there are far fewer people in all of our buildings. We have been working with people across the university to understand the needs of students, faculty and staff, with regard to building access. We have also sought the advice of health experts and the Wayne State University Police Department (WSUPD) to insure that people who continue to use our buildings are safe.

As a result of these discussions, we have decided that starting Monday, March 23, virtually all campus buildings will be locked, as they are during weekends and the holiday closure. These buildings will need to be accessed either by a OneCard or building key. People without card access who need to enter a building must call WSUPD at 313-577-2222. WSUPD has committed to respond to these requests within 15 minutes. We also want to assure the campus community that WSUPD continues to patrol the campus and check facilities as usual. If you need to get into a building and would like a police escort call the police department at the number above.

During this period, we will be providing limited services to most buildings. You'll see on the list below that we have reduced our need for custodial staff in most areas by keeping only one or two restrooms accessible per building and designating one central location for trash disposal. People who are using these buildings are asked to carry their trash to this central location before leaving for the day.

We understand that this may be inconvenient, but we ask for your patience and flexibility. The potential threat of spread of the coronavirus is causing all of us to make significant changes in our day-to-day routines. Our priority is to keep the campus community safe and healthy during these extraordinary times while we continue to fulfill the missions of the university. To quote a colleague, "We are still doing our jobs, we are just doing them differently." I want to thank everyone in our campus community for keeping operations going during this difficult time.

Buildings that are already closed:

  • State Hall
  • Deroy Auditorium
  • Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center
  • Rands House
  • McGregor Memorial Conference Center
  • Law Library
  • Shapero Hall
  • Law Classroom
  • Beecher House
  • Tierney Alumni House
  • Stadium Auxiliary
  • Softball Stadium
  • Harwell Baseball Field
  • Multipurpose Indoor Facility
  • Bookstore
  • General Lectures
  • St. Andrew's Hall
  • Mike Ilitch School of Business
  • Industry Innovation Center

Buildings that will require no custodial coverage by the end of the day today:

  • Walter P. Reuther Library
  • 5425 Woodward
  • Freer House
  • Knapp Building
  • Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
  • Education
  • Purdy/Kresge Library
  • Law Administration
  • School of Social Work
  • Prentis Building
  • Life Science Building
  • Manoogian Hall
  • Hilberry Theater
  • Shaver Music Recital Hall
  • Art Building
  • Community Arts
  • Linsell House

Buildings that will require minimal custodial coverage:

  • David Adamany Undergraduate Library: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Old Main: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Mortuary Science: one restroom open, on the third floor only; trash at restroom
  • Richard Cohn Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Acadademic/Administrative Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Faculty/Administration Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Integrative Biosciences Center: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Engineering: one restroom (first floor); trash in one location at restroom
  • Bioengineering Center: one restroom (second floor west hallway); trash in one location at restroom
  • Engineering Technology: one restroom (first floor); trash in one location at restroom
  • Manufacturing Engineering Building: two restrooms (one on each floor); trash in locations at each restroom
  • Lande Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Elliman Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Matthaei Physical Education Center: two restrooms (primary men's and womens' locker room restrooms); trash in one location at restroom
  • Welcome Center: one restroom (first floor); trash in one location in restroom

Parking structures that will be closed:

  • Parking Structure #3 (aka Rackham Garage), located at 45 E. Warren between Woodward and John R. –All current permit holders will have access at PS#6 as a temporary solution. PS#6 is located at 61 Putnam between Woodward and Cass, also known as the Welcome Center Garage.
  • Parking Structure #4 (aka Medical School Garage), located at 555 E. Canfield at St. Antoine on the east side of campus. Lot #75 can be used as an alternative and is located at 545 E. Canfield between Brush and St. Antoine adjacent to PS#4.
  • Parking Structure #5 (aka Anthony Wayne Drive Garage), located at 5501 Anthony Wayne Drive. Alternative parking options include PS#1 (aka Palmer Street Garage) located at 450 W. Palmer, between Cass and Anthony Wayne Drive or PS#2 (aka Manoogian Garage), located at 5150 Lodge Service Drive just west of the new Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments.

We will update this message as new developments occur.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Cooke
Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer; and Treasurer, pro tempore


March 20 - Updated Information on positive COVID-19 tests

On March 18, we announced that two employees had tested positive for COVID-19. One employee is based out of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. After further investigation, it was determined that the other person has no formal affiliation with Wayne State.


March 19 - Information on employees with COVID-19

One of the Wayne State employees confirmed to have COVID-19 is based out of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. The other works at Children's Hospital and did not spend time on the Wayne State campus.

Medical professionals are in communication with the employees to conduct contact tracing and are reaching out to students, faculty and staff who may have had direct contact with them. Those contacted individuals will receive advice regarding self-monitoring and/or self-quarantine based on the nature of the contact. If you are concerned, please call your personal care provider or the Campus Health Center.


March 18 - Confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Wayne State University

Dear members of the Wayne State community,

Today, we learned that two members of the Wayne State community have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). These are the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Wayne State University. Our thoughts are with the employees and their friends and families, and we wish them a speedy recovery. Now we turn our attention to you and the safety of others on our campus.

In line with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, these individuals are now under the care of trained clinicians and will be in isolation off campus.

The appropriate health authorities, in adherence to the CDC protocols for COVID-19, are in communication with the employees, and are reaching out to students, faculty and staff who may have had direct contact with them. Those individuals will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their symptoms, and call their personal care providers or the Campus Health Center if they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

I know this announcement causes you concern, and this is understandable. This is serious, and as a medical doctor with a background in epidemiology, I share your concern. Please know that the university has been active in our preparations for this event since well before the coronavirus became a pandemic, and we will continue to do all we can to minimize the risk to our campus community.

I also feel compelled to continue reminding all of us to take precautions. If you are not feeling well, or believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus, please follow the CDC guidelines and stay home. This is especially important, as we understand that one of the infected individuals continued coming to work after becoming ill. This virus is very contagious – now is not the time for this sort of heroism. If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath), please call the Campus Health Center or your primary care provider for an immediate evaluation. When you call, let them know what your symptoms are and if you've traveled out of the country or to a high-risk area in the United States recently. Social distancing is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.  

We will continue to provide regular updates. Wayne State's COVID-19 website is the best source of information about the impact of the virus on our university community and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Please take care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

M. Roy Wilson
President


March 17 - Commencement postponement

Dear students:

I know that you each of you have been working hard to attain your Wayne State degree.  I regret to inform you that Wayne State has made the very difficult decision to postpone spring commencement ceremonies due to the ongoing battle against the spread of the coronavirus. We understand that commencement is an important milestone, one worthy of the traditional pomp and circumstance.  You have worked long hours to earn a degree and we, like you, looked forward to celebrating this day with you and your family and friends. Know that this news as disappointing to us as it is you. However, due to the large number of attendees that typically travel to attend commencement, and government restrictions on larger gatherings, we felt we had no choice but to postpone the event.

One thing that is not cancelable due to the coronavirus, thankfully, is the conferring of degrees for students who have fulfilled their requirements. Please rest assured that graduates will receive their degrees.  The Wayne State School of Medicine and Wayne Law have different academic calendars, and different commencement dates. Information about their commencements will be covered in different messages.

The situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is evolving rapidly, requiring our students to adapt quickly to a variety of issues they never anticipated. Wayne State University has established a dedicated student information section on its COVID-19 website to keep you informed during this time. This site will be updated as new information becomes available, and also provides a place for you to submit questions.

Sincerely,

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 17 - Dean of Students message to Warrior families

Dear Warrior families,

The situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is evolving rapidly, and we understand your concern and desire to know what Wayne State University is doing to keep your student safe and educated in this unprecedented time. To provide the latest information, we have established a COVID-19 website, which includes a dedicated student information section. The site will be updated as new details become available, and it also provides a place to submit questions.

The Presidential Coronavirus Committee — composed of infectious disease specialists, campus health professionals, administrators, faculty and others — is meeting continuously to discuss new developments and make recommendations and decisions to keep the campus community safe. It is important to remember that campus remains open, and while the way we do business may change, our commitment to student success and safety has not.

  • Academics: Face-to-face classes have been canceled March 16-22. However, classes scheduled to be online during this time will continue as scheduled. Remote instruction for all classes begins Monday, March 23. Exceptions for laboratory, performance and other classes — which present a unique challenge for online/remote instruction — will be considered on a case-by-case basis upon recommendation of the appropriate dean.
  • Remote Learning: By the time classes resume, a Learn Anywhere website will be available to provide information, support and guidance about how to access the technology needed, and, most importantly, maximize learning to help students adapt to this change and finish the semester successfully.
  • Events: All events with 50 or more people will be canceled through the end of the semester (April 28) to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for social distancing. The Dean of Students Office has canceled all face-to-face programming and events, and is active exploring opportunities for virtual engagement. April's commencement ceremonies have also been postponed. Alternatives are being explored, and details will be shared as soon as possible to ensure that everyone has enough time to make the necessary arrangements to join us for this joyous occasion.
  • Student Services: Every student support office — including the Academic Success Center; Counseling and Psychological Services; Student Disability Services; Career Services; the Office of Student Financial Aid; and the Student Service Center — is currently able to provide support via online and remote delivery. Additional details about remote peer counseling via the Warrior Chat program will be available soon.
  • Housing: Campus housing remains open, but students who do not need to be on campus are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent place of residence, if possible. For those unable to go to an off-campus location, Wayne State will continue to fully support students in campus housing and dining facilities.
  • Dining: Towers Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during posted hours. All diners are required to use to-go/takeout options effective immediately until further notice. Most other campus food retail, including Gold 'n' Greens, is closed until further notice. Some shops on Anthony Wayne Drive and around campus are open for takeout service only.
  • Parking: Students will be issued a refund for semester parking passes by completing an online cancellation form. The reason for cancellation would be "other."
  • OneCard: If you would like to close/cancel a OneCard account and have funds returned, complete an online cancellation form. Please note that there is a $15 administrative fee to close the account, which will be deducted from the balance. Refunds will be issued in 2-6 weeks. If you do not want to incur the fee, you can keep the funds on your OneCard account and use them at a variety of on- and off-campus vendors
  • Campus Buildings: Some campus buildings remain open but are operating at a reduced capacity. An updated list of closures and building hours is available at wayne.edu/coronavirus/building-status.

The Campus Health Center (CHC) remains open. All students — and especially campus residents — who return from travel or stopovers at any countries or areas with travel advisories set at CDC levels 2 and 3 (currently China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Venezuela and Europe), or who have been exposed directly to a confirmed case of COVID-19, must quarantine themselves for 14 days immediately upon return.

  • Campus residents who believe they qualify for self-quarantine should notify the Campus Health Center (CHC) at 313-577-5041 to discuss their situations.
  • Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the CHC or their primary care provider immediately to begin COVID-19 testing.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should alert the CHC and/or their primary care provider immediately.
  • Those returning from domestic travel in areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 are encouraged to practice self-observation for the development of any symptoms and contact the CHC if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

While these changes are inconvenient, please remember that the CDC recommends social distancing as a critical strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we do our part to protect members of our campus community and beyond. I know that together, we will successfully complete the semester Warrior Strong.

Sincerely,

David Strauss
Dean of Students


March 16 - Update concerning coronavirus disruptions

Members of the campus community,

First, thank you all for the spirit and flexibility you have shown during this time of great concern, rapid change and continuing uncertainty. Even in this time of social distancing and working remotely, we are seeing many examples of dedication, commitment and selfless behavior. That is the true Warrior spirit, and I am grateful.

Safety must remain our top priority, though, and we encourage everyone to attend to their health and the health of those around them by adhering to the many guidelines that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To that end, we continue to consider other proactive measures beyond those we have shared already, and we continue to publish these on our website. An important consideration right now is limiting the amount of people on campus in hopes of mitigating the risk of spreading the virus through personal interactions. Many people have already begun to work remotely, but we still believe there is opportunity to further limit the campus population. That said, it is important to remember that Wayne State is still open, and we continue the work that serves our academic mission.

In the midst of a crisis like the one we are now experiencing, with the speed of change and the necessity of adjustment, it is easy to lose perspective and focus only on the moment. I thought it would be helpful to remind us all of the bigger mission we serve. The core of what we do — teaching and learning — will continue, even if our method of delivery must change for now. We are here to serve our students, and each of us plays an important role in that endeavor.

I have asked our deans and members of my cabinet to work with their teams to identify people who are mission critical and must be on campus, and those who can continue their work at home. Beyond general guidelines, these decisions are best made at a local level, with input from the employees and supervisors who are closest to the work. The analyses and discussions that will inform these decisions are already taking place.

Some staff, due to the nature of their work and the availability of technology, can work from home. Other work cannot be done remotely. An example of this is housing and dining, which are required to serve some of our students, for whom the residence hall is their home. Although the libraries were closed by executive order from Governor Whitmer, we are working on an alternative plan to provide the technology that students need to continue their studies. This, too, will require people on campus to deliver these services. Research, another core mission of the university, also requires a different approach, and this will be discussed in subsequent communications. In all of these examples, services will be provided in a different manner, but they must continue if we are to carry out our academic mission.

Having some work from home while others must report to campus may seem unfair. I understand your feelings and share your concerns. We will do all we can to keep our work environment safe, including limiting the amount of personnel around you and instituting greater measures of cleaning and disinfecting. We ask for your understanding, and ask that you discuss any personal situations directly with your supervisor or your personal care provider. We do not wish anyone to take unnecessary risks.

Finally, more announcements are forthcoming, and we ask for your patience as we continue to adjust to this new world. This is a serious situation, but with all of us working together, supporting each other and serving our greater mission, we can make the best of this situation until it has passed. And, it will pass.

Sincerely,

M. Roy Wilson
President


March 13, 2020 - Human Resources update to employees

To the campus community,

As you know, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has made the decision to close all Michigan K-12 schools in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This poses a new set of challenges for us, especially for employees who have young children. 

First and foremost, it's important to be clear that the university remains open. The Presidential Coronavirus Committee and the Division of Human Resources have been discussing ways to accelerate work-from-home solutions and to support our employees during this time. 

We are taking the following action now through April 28:

  • In order to minimize the risk to our employees, we have developed guidelines on flexible work arrangements (FWAs). Employees will be allowed to work from home if the nature of the job lends itself to that possibility and their supervisor agrees. Employees will be expected to perform normal job duties as if they are working from their office.  
  • Managers are encouraged to use discretion regarding employees' work arrangements and to be flexible regarding attendance policies. 
  • Some employees may not have enough hours in their paid time off (PTO) banks to cover time at home to care for their children or other dependents. We have identified some options that will allow employees to continue to be compensated during this critical time. One of the options, currently under development, is a voluntary shared PTO pool. University leaders have already donated more than 3,000 sick hours that can be used by employees who do not have enough hours in their leave banks. This is a great example of how the Wayne State community supports its colleagues in challenging times. 
  • Additional information on benefits such as wellness resources, virtual doctor's visits, and financial concerns can be found on the HR coronavirus page. This situation continues to evolve quickly, so please check the WSU coronavirus website for the latest information.

If you are sick or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow the CDC guidelines and stay home except to get medical care. If you are exhibiting symptoms (fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath), please make an appointment with the Campus Health Center or your primary care provider for an immediate evaluation. Let them know when you make the appointment what your symptoms are and if you've traveled out of the country recently. Social distancing is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.   

Finally, please remember: If you are well, we need you now more than ever. On-campus staff will be reduced and our jobs may require a different approach than usual. Please be willing to share resources and take this opportunity to cross-train your colleagues. Human Resources is available for consultation and assistance at any time. Now is the time for everyone to band together and remain Warrior Strong.  

Carolyn Hafner
Interim Associate VP & CHRO
Human Resources


March 12, 2020 - Dean of Students message to students

Dear Wayne State University students,

The situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is evolving rapidly, requiring our students to adapt quickly to a variety of issues they never anticipated. Wayne State University has established a dedicated student information section on its COVID-19 website to keep you informed during this time. This site will be updated as new information becomes available, and also provides a place for you to submit questions.

Below are some additional details about how the university will continue to provide support and resources to students:

  • The Dean of Students Office has canceled all face-to-face programming and events, and is actively exploring opportunities for virtual engagement.
  • The Student Center Building will remain open
  • The Campus Library System remains open with spring break hours through March 23, at which time it will provide an update on operations through the end of the semester.
  • Towers Cafe will resume normal hours on Monday, March 16, 2020. All diners will be encouraged to use to-go/takeout options; for diners who choose to eat in Towers Café, self-service will be eliminated and all items will be pre-plated or made-to-order. Safe dining practices, including social distancing, are recommended and guidance will be posted at dining entrances, retail locations around campus and in the Student Center. Gold 'n' Greens and some other retail food operations on campus will be closed March 16-22 due to expected reduced demand during that time.
  • Campus housing remains open, but students who do not need to be on campus are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent place of residence, if possible. For students who need to be on campus, we will continue to support them with available housing and dining.
  • We know that many students depend on funds earned through campus employment. More information will be available shortly regarding altered work schedules, pay, and missed work. Employees should contact their current supervisor with specific questions.
  • The Campus Health Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you exhibit symptoms (fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath), please make an appointment for an immediate evaluation by calling 313-577-5041. If your call is after hours, directions will be provided.  
  • The Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center will close indefinitely at 11 p.m. on Friday, March 13. All programming is also cancelled indefinitely.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is working on plans to ethically and empathetically continue services as possible. Visit the CAPS website or call 313 577-3398 for details. A student experiencing a crisis outside of regular hours can call 313-577-9982.
  • Student Disability Services will be available for students who may need a new or adjusted accommodation based on the shift to online classes.  Please call 313-577-1851 to schedule an appointment Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • In lieu of the NCAA's decision to cancel its spring sports championships, the Athletics Department has decided to cancel its spring sports seasons.

If you traveled over spring break, be sure to follow our university travel guidelines:

All students, and especially campus residents, who return from travel or stopovers at any countries or areas with travel advisories set at CDC levels 2 and 3 (currently China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan), or who have been exposed directly to a confirmed case of COVID-19, must quarantine themselves for 14 days immediately upon return.

  • Campus residents who believe they qualify for self-quarantine should notify the Campus Health Center (CHC) at 313-577-5041 to discuss their situations.
  • Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their primary care provider or the CHC immediately to begin COVID-19 testing.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should alert the CHC and/or their primary care provider immediately.
  • Those returning from domestic travel in areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 are encouraged to practice self-observation for the development of any symptoms and contact the CHC if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

While these changes are inconvenient, please remember that the CDC recommends social distancing as a key strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. I know that together we will successfully complete this semester Warrior Strong.

Sincerely,
David Strauss
Dean of Students


March 12, 2020 - Provost message to students

Dear Wayne State University students,

As you are aware, we are taking a proactive approach to help ensure the safety of our campus community. The speed of change during this situation has necessitated frequent updates to ensure, you, our students, are informed of decisions and can plan accordingly and continue making progress toward your degree. This update is to clarify Wayne State's current plans for classes for the rest of this semester.

Face-to-face classes are cancelled March 16-22. However, classes that were scheduled to be online during this period will continue as scheduled. Remote instruction for all classes begins on March 23. The campus will remain open. Further communication is forthcoming regarding hours and services available, including libraries, the Student Center, dining, etc.   

The extension of the spring break for face-to-face classes will allow instructors time to adapt their syllabi and delivery methods in transition to online and remote instruction methods. Staff in our Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) and C&IT are working around the clock to provide your faculty and instructors with the resources and support they need to give you the best possible learning experience.  

A limited number of classes that present an extreme challenge for online/remote instruction may be granted an exception to this policy. Your professors and deans are examining these options and will contact you directly if you will continue meeting in person.

Our university is committed to providing students with the support you need to be successful when learning in remote and online courses. Every student support office, including the Academic Success Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Disability Services, Career Services, Office of Student Financial Aid, and the Student Service Center, is currently preparing to offer you support using online and remote delivery. Your academic advisors are doing the same. You will also be receiving an update very soon from the dean of students regarding other aspects of student life.

By the time all classes resume on March 23, a "Learn Anywhere" website will provide you with information, support, and guidance about how to access the technology needed, but more importantly, how to maximize your learning. 

We are also exploring ways to support students who do not have access to a computer off-campus, or who may have limited connectivity.  We will continue to expand and improve these supports as better understand your needs.  In short, the way you receive support from the university may change, but our commitment to provide you that support has not. 

Please remember, the CDC recommends social distancing as a key strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of students, faculty, and staff contracting the disease. The experts we are consulting with and many of our peer institutions agree this is the right choice. Please visit WSU's COVID-19 website for the latest on WSU's plans to deal with this pandemic, including FAQs.

I want to reassure you that dealing with this situation and doing everything we can to ensure you have a successful semester is my team's top priority. Although this is a very challenging situation, I am sure that we can all work together toward a successful end to the semester. I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

Sincerely,
Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 11, 2020 - Provost message to faculty

Dear faculty,

We are escalating our institutional response to protect our entire community by suspending face-to-face class meetings. All face-to-face classes are cancelled for the week of Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22. This will allow instructors time to adapt their syllabi and delivery methods in transition to online and remote instruction methods. Classes that started the semester online may proceed normally during this period.

Online and remote instruction will begin on Monday, March 23, and continue for the remainder of the semester. Exceptions for laboratory, performance and other classes which present an extreme challenge for online/remote instruction will be considered on a case-by-case basis upon recommendation of the Dean. Any rationale provided to support such a request should detail extraordinary measures taken to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Please note though, this is not a university closure, and faculty and staff are expected to continue working during this suspension of face-to-face classes.

Staff at our Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) and C&IT are working around the clock to provide faculty and instructors with the resources and support they need during this transition. By Thursday March 12, current best practices and latest options for online teaching will be posted on OTL's "Teach Anywhere" web page, and OTL staff will continue improving this resource as things progress. More details on this initiative will be communicated via email to you as they become available, as well as being regularly updated on the OTL website. Please communicate with your Chairs and the OTL as you develop alternative instruction to keep our campus safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Also, please be understanding and take all reasonable steps to accommodate students who may have difficulty during this transition.

If you have questions, please contact your chair or other appropriate school/college administrator. Staff in the Office of the Provost will be working diligently with deans and chairs to implement this transition as smoothly as possible and will be keeping them informed of new developments.

Please remember, the CDC recommends social distancing as a key strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of students, faculty, and staff contracting the disease. Although the immediate risk to the campus community remains low, the experts we are consulting with and many of our peer institutions agree this is the right choice. Although this is a very challenging situation, I am sure that we can all work together toward a successful end to the semester. We thank you in advance for your efforts in supporting students and the academic mission.

Sincerely,
Keith E. Whitfield
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 11, 2020 - Coronavirus update

Members of the campus community,

As you have heard by now, Michigan health officials have confirmed that two people in Michigan have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the patients is from Oakland County and the other is from Wayne County.

This is not an unexpected development and, as we have communicated, we have been preparing for this scenario. Wayne State University, like other institutions, has an important role to play in containing the spread of this virus. To date, we have chosen a proactive approach to help ensure the safety of our campus community.

The Presidential Coronavirus Committee met today to discuss this new development and to make recommendations to keep the campus community safe. Our decisions are as follows:

  1. Wayne State University will extend its spring break for students and cancel all classes until Monday, March 23, 2020.
  2. To plan for our shift to online instruction, a subcommittee of the larger committee, led by Provost Whitfield, has been analyzing alternative modes of instruction and limiting face-to-face instruction. There remain a number of issues under consideration, including training of faculty and working to accommodate the unique needs of students who have limited access to technology off campus. We will be sharing instructions with the campus within the next 24-48 hours.
  3. Campus housing remains open, but we strongly encourage students who do not need to be on campus to return to their permanent place of residence, if possible. For those unable to go home to an off-campus location, we will continue to fully support students in our campus housing and dining facilities.
  4. Dining will resume normal hours starting Monday, March 16, 2020. Safe dining practices, including social distancing, are recommended, and guidance will be posted at all entrances to Gold 'n' Greens, Towers Café, retail locations around campus and in the Student Center. Campus Dining will be encouraging students to opt for to-go/takeout options, and are making the necessary preparations to accommodate this shift.
  5. The campus will remain open. If you have questions regarding your ability to work from home, please work directly with your supervisor. Human Resources will be providing further guidelines in the coming days on other necessary policy adjustments. Employees who are ill, especially if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, are instructed to stay home.
  6. All events with 100 people or more will be canceled to adhere to the CDC's recommendation for social distancing. Deans and vice presidents may consider exceptions, but safety must remain our top priority. Events with less than 100 people are also discouraged. Communications regarding the upcoming commencement ceremonies will be forthcoming.
  7. The health schools/colleges (medicine, pharmacy and health sciences, nursing, and social work) have unique student instruction situations (e.g., clinical rotations). The deans of these schools and colleges will be communicating further instructions based on the guidance of their accrediting agencies.
  8. Effective today, all university-sponsored international air travel is prohibited.

Please continue to follow updates and developments posted on WSU's coronavirus website. Also, please continue to practice the recommended personal precautions to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. This is an evolving situation and we appreciate your patience.

Sincerely,

M. Roy Wilson


March 9, 2020 - Coronavirus Travel clarifications

Campus community,

Last Friday, we shared a message with you about university travel guidelines in light of the COVID-19 situation. Based on a number of questions we received, we wish to clarify the guidelines concerning quarantines. 

  • Only students, faculty and staff returning from travel or stopovers at any countries/areas with travel advisories set at levels 2 and 3 (currently China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan), or who have been exposed directly to a confirmed case of COVID-19, must quarantine themselves for 14 days immediately upon return.
    • Those who self-quarantine should notify the Campus Health Center (CHC) at 313-577-5041 or their primary care provider that they have begun their quarantine.
    • Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their primary care provider or the CHC immediately to begin COVID-19 testing.
    • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should alert the CHC and/or their primary care provider immediately.
  • Those returning from domestic travel in areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 are encouraged to practice self-observation for the development of any symptoms and contact their health care provider or CHC if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

We understand this may be inconvenient, but these precautions are vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Wayne State University continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and has created a COVID-19 webpage to keep the campus community aware of important updates and policies.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Rebecca Cooke
Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Operations, and Chief Financial Officer; and Treasurer pro tempore


March 6, 2020 - Coronavirus Travel Guidelines

This message has been updated with clarifications on March 9, 2020

Dear university community:

With spring break upon us, we want to answer questions you may have about travel guidelines related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat. These recommendations are from our Presidential Coronavirus Committee and are in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

  • Wayne State will not approve travel to any jurisdiction identified by the CDC with a Level 3 Travel Warning for coronavirus: currently mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. This will also apply to any other country or region that is added to the Level Three Travel Warning list in the days and weeks ahead. We also ask that you restrict travel to Japan, the only nation so far to be on the Level 2 Travel Warning list for COVID-19.
  • We also strongly discourage personal travel to countries or regions with a Level 3 Travel Warning.
  •  If you decide to travel, educate yourself about health resources in the areas under consideration. You may be subject to governmental travel restrictions with little or no notice, and airlines may limit or cancel flights without warning. You will be subject to any restrictions in place at the time of your return.
  • If you plan on domestic travel, please note that the known prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the United States is changing rapidly. Please visit the CDC website for daily updates about spread and outbreak clusters, and check for the latest information before embarking on any trip.
  • If you are a student, staff or faculty and do travel to an area affected with COVID-19, we ask that you quarantine yourself upon your return for 14 days and monitor your symptoms. If you are a student who requires a quarantine, you will need to contact your instructors to make accommodations for your coursework. If you live in campus housing, the university will work with you on accommodations. Please visit our coronavirus FAQ  on additional precautions required upon your return.
  • If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, please alert your primary care physician or the Campus Health Center (313-577-5041). If necessary, the Campus Health Center will provide guidance for the COVID-19 testing protocol. Visit the CDC website to learn more about symptoms.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to file a CARE report with the Dean of Students Office if they are aware of any students who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are concerned that they are experiencing symptoms.
  • The evolving situation related to the COVID-19 virus means we must face the possibility of faculty/staff canceling pre-approved university business-related travel plans. The reason may be due to a canceled conference and/or when travel is considered inadvisable. 
  • In this case, the faculty/staff member's first course of action should be to seek a refund from the vendor(s) where the expense was paid (airline, hotel, conference host). If a faculty/staff member is requesting reimbursement from WSU for expenses related to a pre-approved university business trip that they did not attend, it is an exception to policy and needs the approval of a dean, or an associate provost/associate vice president or higher in order to process reimbursement. Visit here for details on the Travel policy.

A full description of what Wayne State is doing about the potential threat of the COVID-19 virus can be found on our website.

Our priority is to keep the campus community safe and well. Please enjoy your spring break, and we'll see you soon.

Rebecca Cooke

Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Operations, and Chief Financial Officer; and Treasurer


March 5, 2020 - Message from the president

Dear campus community,

I am writing to update you on Wayne State University's preparation for the possibility that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may affect our campus. At this point, there are no confirmed cases in Michigan, but many epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists feel that it's only a matter of time before we see cases of COVID-19 in our state. Now is the time to prepare.

I have charged a presidential committee with ensuring that our campus communicates information promptly, exercises appropriate precautions, and implements continuity plans for our academic mission and campus operations. That committee — composed of infectious disease specialists, campus health professionals, administrators, faculty and others — meets routinely and fully understands the weight of their responsibilities. We will continue to update the campus community regularly, both directly and online.

Additionally, I'd like to address a related issue that is extremely important to all of us. At some campuses across America, there are reports that people have targeted Asian and international students for harassment simply because the novel coronavirus originated in China. This sort of behavior is inconsistent with our values of being a diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus community, and will not be tolerated. I urge all of us to uphold these values, which are a source of pride at Wayne State, even in times of anxiety.  

We are preparing for many contingencies, but this crisis will eventually pass. In the meantime, let's stay true to our values, and continue to treat each other with the respect and dignity we all deserve as members of our common community.

Sincerely,

M. Roy Wilson
President


March 5, 2020 - Message from Dean of Students to students

Dear Wayne State University student,

You are likely aware that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to parts of the United States. Although no cases of the virus have been confirmed in Michigan, infectious disease specialists expect that we will see the virus in the state.

As a university, preparation is our best defense. As we are days away from spring break, this is a good time to mention a few common-sense precautions you can take as you embark on a well-deserved break from your studies:

  • You should not travel to locations that have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for travel restrictions — mainland China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or Japan. These are nations with high incidences of the disease and evidence of rapid spread in the community.
  • If you are traveling in the United States, monitor new developments closely to make sure COVID-19 has not been found in the place you are traveling to. You can view updates on the CDC website.
  • Avoid travel altogether if you are sick. Visit the CDC website to learn more about symptoms.  
  • If you are in large groups of people, consider practicing social distancing and try to stay away from individuals who are coughing or sneezing. The CDC website has more information about prevention.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Consider using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day.
  • If you feel ill and have a cough, fever or shortness of breath, see a medical professional as soon as you can. When you call to make an appointment, make sure you tell them over the phone about your symptoms.

On a different note, we have noted that at a handful of universities across the nation, some have used the coronavirus as a vehicle to target international, and particularly Asian students. The coronavirus may have originated in China and, but it does not discriminate based on ethnicity or country of origin. At Wayne State, we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus community. This is instilled in our values and a focus of our strategic plan, and does not change based on changing situations. I ask that we continue to embrace this value. Behavior that negatively targets others has no place at Wayne State, and will not be tolerated. If you witness this sort of behavior on our campus, we urge you to contact the campus police at 313-577-2222.

A full description of what Wayne State is doing about the potential threat of the COVID-19 virus can be found on our website.

Our priority is to keep the campus community safe and well. Please enjoy your spring break, and we'll see you on March 16.

David Strauss
Dean of Students


March 4, 2020 - Provost message to faculty

Dear colleagues,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) threat is real and significant, although the immediate risk is low. We have been closely monitoring developments globally and nationwide, and are working with health care professionals and others to prepare for potential cases in Michigan and on or near the Wayne State campus. To that end, President Wilson has charged a committee comprising administrators, faculty and staff to ensure that campus is prepared and informed, appropriate precautions are exercised, and continuity plans for our academic mission and campus operations are in place.

At this point, there are no confirmed cases in Michigan, but many epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists feel it's a matter of when — not if — we see cases of COVID-19 in this state. Now is the time to prepare.

As faculty members, you have an important role in managing the risk of COVID-19. For now, we ask that you consider reviewing your attendance policies so as to strongly encourage sick students to stay home and recover. Staying home when you are sick is one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) key recommendations. We hope that you will ask your students to follow these recommendations and not come to class is they feel ill.  Additional recommendations can be found at the CDC's website.

We also recommend that you begin to consider ways to continue your teaching responsibilities should the spread of COVID-19 necessitate limits to meeting in large groups or even the possibility of a campus closure. Although at this point, we see campus closure as unlikely, but it is a contingency we are making sure to consider.

For more information, see the university's communications regarding the COVID-19 virus, how to prevent it and other advice related to minimizing the impact of this illness. Another great source of updated information is the CDC's website. The CDC is leading the national effort to educate and inform, and to promote best practices for prevention and treatment of the virus.

This is a challenging time for all of us. Disruption in our academic mission is challenging and can be disconcerting, especially if it involves threats to our health and well-being. We appreciate your willingness to help us address these challenges and help ease the anxiety that this situation has caused.

Sincerely,
Keith E. Whitfield
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 3, 2020 - Presidential charge issued

Today, a presidential committee was formed, bringing together Wayne State's academic and administrative department leaders to discuss continuity of operations related to teaching, research, campus services and operations, and other community-related issues.

To view previous CMT activities, visit our crisis-preparedness website.


February 28, 2020 - President message to employees regarding travel/study abroad

Members of the campus community,

As you know from our previous updates and the wealth of information being shared publicly, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread at a rapid rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely and providing necessary information, advice and, where appropriate, warnings. I encourage you to visit the CDC site.

As a university with global impact and global travelers, I feel it is important that we take extraordinary precautions in this extraordinary time. As I have noted in the past, the safety of our campus community is our top priority. For this reason, I feel our precautions should extend beyond the advice of the CDC.

Effective immediately, I have directed that we suspend study abroad travel for this semester. The Office of International Programs has already communicated this directive to applicable faculty and students. While this means that some students and faculty must forgo opportunities for global learning for now, we will work to ensure that student finances and progress toward degrees are unaffected. We will continue to monitor the situation for future planning purposes.

Since the situation is changing daily and will continue to do so in the coming weeks, we highly encourage you to keep checking the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites regarding your potential travel plans, and even consider postponing personal international travel until the CDC lifts its travel warnings and feels COVID-19 is under control.

Whether you plan to travel or not, I encourage you to be especially diligent in practicing behaviors that help prevent the spread of disease, including washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze, or staying at home if you are sick. Several of my colleagues at the National Institutes of Health have even discontinued the practice of shaking hands. While I understand the difficulty — and perhaps impracticality — of refraining from such a common greeting, I also have decided to forgo shaking hands as much as possible. While socially awkward, my training in epidemiology and public health makes me believe this is the right approach to reduce the risk of spreading infection. To that end, I ask your indulgence if I, or others, choose a different greeting.

We will continue to update you as necessary through messaging and at our coronavirus information webpage. In the meantime, the committee of experts we referenced in our communication on Feb. 12 will continue to monitor this situation and its implications for our campus, develop necessary recommendations, and report to me weekly.

Thank you for your cooperation.

M. Roy Wilson
President


February 27, 2020 - Office of International Programs message to campus regarding travel

To Our Wayne State University Community,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a great deal of uncertainty and disruption in several countries around the world. Among the impacts are disruptions to international travel.

Out of an abundance of caution and because of the high degree of uncertainty about how the disease is spreading and our inability to control events on the ground in different countries, we have decided to suspend our Wayne State University spring break study abroad programs for this semester.

Participating students will not be impacted financially or academically, and we will work with our faculty to ensure that students receive full credit for their courses. This was a difficult decision, but one made with the best interest, safety and well-being of the students and faculty in mind. Students or faculty with questions can email the Office of Study Abroad or call 313-577-3207.

We will continue to follow the U.S. Department of State and the CDC guidelines regarding other travel restrictions and will post ongoing updates on the situation on the Wayne State coronavirus update page.

Thank you,

Ahmad M. Ezzeddine, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President
Educational Outreach and International Programs


February 12, 2020 - Campus Health Center message to campus

Dear university community,

The coronavirus outbreak, also known as novel coronavirus syndrome or Covid-19, is a significant public health concern. While there have not been any reported cases in Michigan, Wayne State University is carefully monitoring the situation and will take any necessary steps to protect our campus community. A committee of campus experts has met and are following this situation closely. This committee is composed of infectious disease physicians from the School of Medicine, staff from the provost's office, Campus Health Center professionals, communication staff and others.

In keeping with the recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. government, all WSU-related travel to China will be restricted and personal travel to China discouraged. Students, faculty and staff who have returned from China in the last 14 days should follow the recommendations listed on the CDC website.

If you have one or more coronavirus symptoms, please see your primary health care provider, visit a local urgent care center or call the Campus Health Center at 313-577-5041 to make an appointment.

Here are some potential scenarios and recommended actions:

  1. Faculty, staff and students who have been in China in the last 14 days or have come into contact with a person known to have the coronavirus and have symptoms of respiratory illness — including fever, cough or difficulty breathing — should see their primary care health provider for an evaluation. Your physician may isolate you in a private room and ask you to wear a facemask and other appropriate protective equipment. The appropriate clinical assessment may be conducted in collaboration with state and local health departments.
  2. If you have not been to China and have no symptoms but are just generally concerned about the coronavirus, you may contact the Campus Health Center and ask to speak with a nurse practitioner, the outreach nurse or nursing administration.
  3. If you live in campus housing with someone who has traveled to an affected area and are concerned about remaining in the residence, please contact Dr. Kelly Thacker, associate director of university housing, at 313-577-2116 to explore alternative temporary housing.

Although there is, understandably, a high level of concern and much misinformation about the novel coronavirus syndrome, we do not believe there is any immediate threat to our campus community. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will post updates on new developments to keep the campus community informed. We also encourage good health hygiene for all infectious diseases. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you are sick.

For more information about the novel coronavirus syndrome, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/.

 


January 28, 2020 Update

Dear University Community,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring developments around a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. There are seven distinct types of coronaviruses. This strain is known as the novel coronavirus because it is a new permutation of existing coronaviruses.

Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people who contract them. Two types in particular – MERS and SARS – have been known to cause serious illness and, occasionally, death.

Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in close to 2,700 confirmed cases and 106 deaths in China, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case of the virus in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020 in Seattle, Washington and since then four other cases have been confirmed in the U.S. There is no known cure, although scientists are working on developing an effective vaccine.

Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people are infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses typically last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever, chills
  • body aches
  • a general feeling of being unwell

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.

Officials from the state health department report there is some evidence of limited person-to-person transmission of the virus, but that the risk to the general American public is still deemed low. There have been reports of three suspected patients in Michigan – two in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb County. All three cases have been confirmed as negative.

If you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, please contact your primary health care provider to schedule an appointment. It is particularly important to report to your provider if you have traveled or been in contact with someone who has recently traveled to China.

If you are having any of the above symptoms and need care, please visit a local urgent care center, or call the Campus Health Center at (313) 577-5041 to make an appointment. Office hours Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update you as developments occur.

For more information about the novel corona virus please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Thank you,
Campus Health Center Staff
313-577-5041