Dear Members of the Barton Community,
Barton College is taking steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the Nation responds to this crisis, we are all being called upon to make choices to mitigate the possible impact of the illness. The following guidance and decisions are made in consultation with the Wilson County Health Department, community officials, and College leadership to ensure the safety of our campus community and beyond.
Barton College is announcing a pause in classroom instruction and events starting at 6 p.m. today. No classes will take place between Friday, March 13, and Thursday, March 19. College sponsored events will be canceled during the pause. Classes will resume remotely starting Friday, March 20, at 9 a.m. Barton College will remain open during this period and thereafter to offer support and guidance to students. Faculty and staff will use the pause to prepare to shift to remote instruction. Students will hear from their faculty members by Barton email prior to next Wednesday, March 18, with information about their revised classes. Two weeks after the advent of remote instruction, we will evaluate whether courses will continue remotely or return to face-to-face offerings. Students who have off-campus placements such as nursing clinicals should consult with their deans about the continuance of those placements during the pause in instruction.
At the direction of the Wilson County Health Department, several members of the campus community have been tested for COVID-19. As of yet, we have no results on these tests. Those members of the campus community are being monitored and quarantined at this point. Those having had close contact with these campus community members have been contacted by Student Health Services. All other members of the campus community should self-monitor for symptoms in keeping with best practices.
Students may choose to return home beginning this evening. Those who choose to do so may remain on campus. Food services will be available for those students who remain, though Blue’s Late Night will be discontinued. All students who choose to stay on campus must complete a form to confirm their presence on campus. Residential students will hear from Jeff Tilson, Assistant Dean of Campus Life and Residential Services, for access to the form.
If any students are exhibiting symptoms (shortness of breath, fever, and cough), they should contact Student Health Services at 252-399-6397 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Student Health Center staff is available Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and they will advise you on resources and next steps. If you experience symptoms after hours, please call the Professional On-Call Staff Member at 252-289-7993.
During the period of the discontinuance of classes, employees should report to campus for work as usual. Employees who need accommodations to their work schedules should consult with their supervisors.
Please continue to monitor campus communications for updates about this situation, and please continue to follow essential hygiene guidance to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
I appreciate the understanding and flexibility of everyone in our community during this difficult and rapidly changing time. I am especially grateful to the faculty, staff and administrators who are working tirelessly to not only continue campus operations, but are also taking extra measures to safeguard our community and stay true to our mission.
Stay connected to your Barton family, and remain strong in the values and spirit that our campus community represents.
Grace and peace,
Douglas N. Searcy, Ph.D.