March 11, 2020
TO: Deans, Chairs, Faculty and Staff
FROM: Laurence B. Alexander, J.D., Ph.D.
RE: Suspension of face-to-face instruction
Due to an abundance of caution, UAPB will close at the end of the day March 11 until Monday, March 30. There have been no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) identified among any campus faculty, students, or staff.
A potential case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified at Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) in Pine Bluff and a test has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for testing as a possible case of COVID-19. The case is being treated by the Arkansas Department of Health as presumed positive. The CDC test could be officially confirmed within three to four days.
Eleven nursing students participating in clinicals, two faculty membersl are believed to have had indirect contact with the patient who tested positive. Arkansas Department of Health Director Nate Smith says the university risk to faculty, staff and students is low. However, we will err on the side of caution and start online delivery of courses.
All faculty are directed to use Blackboard so that we can continue providing high quality instruction. We plan to resume face-to-face classes on Monday, March 30, 2020. We will continue to monitor these developments. Please be alert for any additional guidance from the Chancellor.
All scheduled campus activities, including student programs, and athletic events are cancelled until Monday, March 30. All university-related travel by employees or students is likewise suspended. Mid-terms will be rescheduled after face-to-face classes resume.
Any changes to this protocol will be posted to the university website, will be sent via email to campus, student list, and will be communicated to the media through the Office of Public Information.
Laurence Alexander, J.D. Ph. D