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Covid-19 Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Limestone College Online & Evening Program (Evening site locations)

March 30, 2020

Starting tomorrow, March 31, 2020, all Limestone College Evening Instruction sites across South Carolina will be closed due to the Covid-19 situation. The closure runs through April 13, 2020.

Limestone’s sites that will not be meeting for evening classes include Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Gaffney, and Greenville. Online & Evening Program staff members will be available for contact via email during the closure. Please reach out with any questions, or to schedule virtual advising appointments. You can find a list of Online & Evening Program contacts by clicking here

During the closure period, Evening Instructional site staff members located at Limestone’s Day Campus in Gaffney will continue to be available on-site during the limited hours of 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

All Limestone College offices will be closed, as regularly scheduled, on Good Friday (April 10, 2020) and Easter Monday (April 13, 2020).

Term 2 Online courses continue as normal. Term 2 Evening Program classes will continue to meet via Blackboard Collaborate during their normal class hours.

Thank you for your flexibility, thank you for understanding, and thank you for being SAINTS!


Limestone Exploring Options After May Commencements Are Postponed

Eligible Students Will Officially Graduate After Spring Semester

March 30, 2020

Limestone is postponing its regularly scheduled commencement ceremonies in May, but the College is developing plans to still provide meaningful graduation experiences for its seniors.

Dr. Darrell Parker, Limestone’s President, announced today that his institution had to make the difficult decision similar to the one taken by numerous colleges and universities across the country as a result of the coronavirus health emergency.

Although Limestone will not hold its two on-campus ceremonies as planned on Saturday, May 2, inside Fullerton Auditorium, eligible students will officially graduate when their degree requirements are verified after the Spring semester. The College anticipates mailing diplomas to students as soon as possible.

“Graduation is the most joyous time of year here at Limestone,” Parker said. “However, this unprecedented time has led to too much uncertainty in regard to trying to plan a graduation ceremony in a few short weeks. The health and safety of the campus community must be our top priority. Commencement is the culmination of years of hard work for our Class of 2020, so we’re looking at ways to give those students and their families the wonderful experience they deserve.

“We are considering many options to allow them to celebrate the achievement of earning a college degree,” he continued. “We should have a clearer idea in the near future regarding the ways we will be able to honor our graduates for their accomplishments. The postponement of the regularly scheduled ceremony will not impact their standing as a graduate or the timing of their degree completion.”

Parker said that, as the concerns over the coronavirus subside, more information regarding future graduation activities will be announced as they emerge.

The commencement postponement announcement comes after coronavirus concerns led to Limestone moving the remainder of the Spring semester to remote learning.

The graduation ceremonies in May were expected to be the final ones at Limestone before moving to university status during the summer. The first official Limestone University class to graduate will be in December of this year.


UPDATE: Limestone Evening Instruction Sites

March 27, 2020

Limestone College Online & Evening Program Students:

Due to the recently issued stay-at-home ordinances passed in those respective areas because of the coronavirus health crisis, Limestone College’s evening instruction sites in both Charleston and Columbia will be closed until April 10, 2020.

The staff members at those sites are available via email. For immediate assistance, please call 1-800-795-7151 (ext. 8511) and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

Limestone’s online classes are continuing as usual. Evening classes are continuing at their assigned times each Tuesday and Thursday using Blackboard Collaborate.

Thank you for your understanding, and thank you for being SAINTS!


Letter From The President Regarding Limestone’s Coronavirus Response

March 19, 2020

Dear Limestone Students:

As your President, I want to tell you how much we appreciate your understanding through this unprecedented experience. Our leadership team here at Limestone continues to closely monitor the growing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak both internationally and locally.

Our top priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community, while also making sure that our students can complete their courses and advance their progress toward graduation. To that end, please reach out to Limestone’s Student Success Office and others here if you need assistance as you focus on your degree completion. Our staff and our faculty members are here to help, so please communicate with the campus when you need support of any kind. We will continue to offer a number of services to enhance your overall success and to support your goal of graduating.

As you may have learned by now, through our various communications channels, Limestone announced yesterday (Wednesday, March 18, 2020) that we will extend our Day Campus virtual student instruction for the remainder of the current semester. Originally, we had decided to transition to online learning for at least three weeks. That time period has now been expanded through the spring semester.

While we have no cases of COVID-19 on our campus, our overarching focus is on our community’s health and safety – especially for those in high-risk categories. Taking these actions reduces the exposure of Limestone community members to the virus.

The residential experience at Limestone provides meaningful student connections to last a lifetime. But for those of you who cannot be here with us in person for the rest of this semester, this temporary separation from one another will certainly not diminish those bonds. We look forward to having our entire Saints family back on campus with us as soon as possible to renew those relationships and to build new ones.

Those of you who might have questions about your remote courses or academic accommodations should contact your professors directly through Blackboard.

Our faculty members have developed online lessons for every class to get you successfully through the semester. We ask that you log-in to Blackboard to receive lesson plans, submit course work, and to communicate with professors. Also, please provide your instructors, through Blackboard, with your most up-to-date telephone numbers.

We are very fortunate that we have the experience, the technology, and the resources to continue this semester entirely online. Our faculty and staff are working diligently to keep you on track toward your degrees, and we appreciate the hard work and flexibility from our entire campus community – especially from you, our dedicated students.

The College will continue to be open for students who feel safer remaining on campus than traveling home. While there will be no face-to-face classes, residence halls, dining services, academic support, and other limited services will remain open and available for students who stay on campus.

We know that many of you will likely have additional questions, so you can expect updates from Limestone on a regular basis throughout the rest of this semester.

Limestone still plans to have a meaningful graduation experience for seniors, and more information about that will be released at a later date.

As you know, it was announced last week that the College has cancelled all athletic competitions and practices for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. While the cancellations were necessary, we know that it is valid that our student-athletes feel great sadness that their seasons are over. We, too, feel that sadness for you.

For those of you who have departed your residence halls to return home, please be assured that your belongings left behind will be held safely until such time a plan is developed for you to retrieve those items. Before we think about those next steps, we will focus on doing what is presently best for our community and our campus.

Regularly updated information from the College will be available at www.limestone.edu/corona and on your Blackboard accounts. Limestone is also asking that you check your email regularly for updates.

Be safe, support one another, and let’s all come back from this experience stronger than ever!

And don’t forget, regardless of what happens with the coronavirus situation, we will officially change our name to Limestone University starting on July 1 of this year – and we’re so grateful that all of you are a part of this historic occasion.

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your loyalty. And thank you for being SAINTS!

 

Best regards,

Dr. Darrell Parker


Limestone College Students Will Continue Remote Learning For Remainder Of Semester 

March 18, 2020

Limestone College announced today (Wednesday, March 18, 2020) that it will extend its Day Campus virtual student instruction for the remainder of the current semester.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Limestone officials decided last week to transition to online learning for at least three weeks. That time period has now been expanded through the spring semester.

Limestone faculty members have developed online lessons for every class for the next six weeks. Students are instructed to log-in to Blackboard (used by Limestone as its virtual learning management system) to receive lesson plans, submit course work, and to communicate with their respective professors. Students are also asked to provide their instructors, through Blackboard, with their most up-to-date telephone numbers.

The College will continue to be open for students who feel safer remaining on campus than traveling home. While there will be no face-to-face classes, residence halls, dining services, academic support, and other limited services will remain open and available for students who stay on campus.

“The residential experience at Limestone provides meaningful student connections to last a lifetime,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “But for those who cannot be here with us in person for the rest of this semester, this temporary separation from one another will certainly not diminish those bonds. We look forward to having our entire Saints family back on campus with us as soon as possible to renew those relationships and to build new ones.

“Limestone is very fortunate that we have the experience, the technology, and the resources to continue this semester entirely online,” he continued. “Our faculty and staff are working diligently to keep our students on track toward their degrees, and we appreciate the hard work and flexibility from our entire campus community, including our dedicated students.”

Parker added that Limestone officials are aware that students will likely have additional questions, so news and updates will be communicated on a regular basis.

Limestone still plans to have a meaningful graduation experience for seniors, and more information about that will be released at a later date, Parker said.

The College’s leadership and crisis response team continues to monitor the situation, maintaining contact with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and other health and safety officials in the state.

Limestone’s onsite operations staff will continue its efforts to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.  

It was announced last week that the College has cancelled all athletic competitions and practices for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

Parker said that students who have departed their residence halls to return home can be assured that their belongings left behind will be held safely until such time a plan is developed for students to retrieve those items.

Regularly updated information from the College will be available at www.limestone.edu/corona and on the students’ Blackboard accounts. Limestone is also asking that its students, faculty, and staff check their email regularly for updates.


Limestone College To Temporarily Move To Remote Instruction Due To COVID-19 Concerns

March 13, 2020

After consulting with state health experts amid new developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, Limestone College officials announced today that it will activate its academic continuity plan to offer alternative student instruction.

While there are no known cases of coronavirus on the Limestone campus, officials have made the decision to transition to virtual learning for at least the next three weeks. Students will be contacted by professors regarding the specifics of each course’s remote operation. All online classes already scheduled will continue as normal.

 The College will stay open and employees will operate on a normal schedule, although students will have the option to stay on campus or return home to receive their remote instruction.

While there will be no face-to-face classes during that time period, the Limestone campus will remain open for students who do not wish to leave or to travel back home. Residence halls, dining services, academic support, and other limited services will be open and available for students who remain on campus.

No later than Friday, March 20, students will receive updates from their professors regarding virtual and home project instruction and learning. Students are asked to log-in to their Limestone College portal on a regular basis to check for updates from faculty members.

“For the students who do not wish to return to campus following this week’s spring break, Limestone is offering alternate instruction that they can do from their home using the internet,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “Those who are already back on our campus have the option to stay or return home – the decision will be theirs to make. Students not yet back on our campus from spring break also have the option to return or to receive instruction from home. The students who remain on our campus will also receive online instruction while continuing to stay in their residence hall rooms and use their meal plans from our food service provider.”

Limestone has canceled all athletic competitions and practices for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

Throughout the coming days, the College’s leadership and crisis response team will continue to monitor the situation, maintaining constant contact with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and other health and safety officials in the state.

Limestone’s onsite operations staff will continue to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces with a suitable chemical disinfectant.  

Parker said that Limestone will regularly reassess the situation and decide the best course of action moving forward.

In the meantime, regularly updated information will be available at www.limestone.edu/corona. Limestone is also asking that its students, faculty, and staff check their email regularly for updates.

Limestone’s announcement comes after several universities in South Carolina have extended their spring breaks and moved to online classes amid concerns about growing cases of the virus. After receiving updated guidance from state health officials, Limestone made the decision today to offer alternative learning on a temporary basis.


March 12, 2020

Limestone College is actively working to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and guests. The College continues to monitor COVID-19 information from leading health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our Day Campus students are on Spring Break during the week of March 9-13. 

Presently, Limestone plans for its in-person Day Campus classes to resume as scheduled on Monday, March 16.

Some colleges and universities in the United States have canceled in-person class attendance. Those cancellations have occurred primarily in areas of the country where the virus is spreading rapidly. That is currently not the case in South Carolina. 

However, should the situation change, Limestone does have an academic continuity plan that would be implemented. Should that occur, our campus community will be notified. We ask that our students, faculty, and staff check their email regularly for updates.

Limestone has plans in place that include housing and meal accommodations in the event someone should be isolated because of illness.

The College’s housekeeping staff continues to use best practices while cleaning surfaces in common use areas in all buildings.

Sodexo – Limestone’s housekeeping, maintenance, and food service partner – has established regional and country response teams supported by a global COVID-19 coordination team working across the 67 countries in which it operates. In coordination with Limestone officials, Sodexo is implementing measures on our campus appropriate to the local situation to ensure everyone’s safety and business continuity. Sodexo’s onsite operations, including the Limestone campus, have been instructed to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces with a suitable chemical disinfectant.   

In addition, Sodexo response teams consisting of subject matter experts from health care, human resources, supply management, health and food safety, and culinary and facilities operations, are meeting on a regular basis to monitor the situation and react quickly as needed.

It is imperative that Limestone’s campus community take this health issue seriously and practice behaviors proven to limit the spread of illness. Students, faculty, and staff are all strongly encouraged, when sick, to stay home and minimize direct physical contact with others. Limestone’s faculty is been advised to be more flexible with absences due to illness, and supervisors are encouraged to do the same. Please refrain from attending any social events if you are sick.

Prior to the start of Spring Break, our campus community was encouraged to visit the CDC and U.S. State Department websites to make informed decisions regarding travel. The College continues to discourage travel to affected areas. Several countries are under travel advisories, and more could be added as the situation evolves. 

We are committed to keeping the Limestone College community informed through regular updates and audience-specific messaging as necessary.

We have established a webpage where the latest Limestone-related coronavirus information can be found: www.limestone.edu/corona.

As this situation evolves, there may be additional screening and quarantine requirements mandated by government entities. If that becomes necessary, we will communicate such requirements to our students.

Limestone is asking its campus community to follow these instructions:

• Stay home when you are sick.
• To protect others, students and other members of our campus community should limit contact with elderly family members and friends, or those who might be at-risk due to other health issues.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Minimize direct contact by keeping the recommended “social distance” of minimally three to six feet from others.
• Eat well and get plenty of rest.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

For those experiencing flu-like symptoms, call ahead to your primary care physician or the Limestone Health Center. Call the Health Center at 864-488-8348 or 864-488-4051 for an appointment.

Those who are feeling ill should refrain from using the College’s dining facilities. For those who are sick, they can contact the Health Center and it will work with Sodexo to coordinate meal delivery.

Students are responsible for notifying professors and instructors if they must miss class because of illness and for developing a plan to make up assignments.


Limestone Corona Virus (COVID-19) Spring Break Update

Monday, March 2, 2020

Dear Limestone Students,

With Spring Break approaching, you may have questions regarding how the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) could affect your upcoming plans.

Limestone College is following expert national and international recommendations regarding the outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a webpage with the latest information regarding the Coronavirus.

CDC Information on Coronavirus

The CDC also has a webpage that offers an important resource for any updates and alerts related to travel:

CDC Coronavirus Travel Information

Please review the information below for additional guidance from Limestone College:

  • Limestone requests that you inform the College if you plan to travel abroad during spring break.

    Students can email that travel abroad information to Robert Overton, Dean of Student Life, at roverton [at] limestone.edu.
  • Whether or not you plan to travel abroad, we encourage you to discuss your spring break itinerary with your families or loved ones, to share with them any travel providers (airlines, trains, etc.) and the contact information for your travel companions.
  • Limestone is restricting travel to South Korea and China, including Hong Kong and Macau, until further notice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Warning for both South Korea and China, urging all U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel, and a Level 2 Travel Alert for Iran, Italy, and Japan. Outbound travel to other destinations is not impacted at this time, but this may change.
  • If you plan to travel abroad, check entry and exit requirements for the U.S. and your intended destination before your departure and your return. Many countries have instituted restrictions and quarantines for travel into and out of the country that may directly affect you. Please be mindful that travel restrictions can change with little or no advanced notice, and airlines may change or cancel flights in response.
  • Enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, to receive current embassy alerts and messages for your destinations: https://step.state.gov/step/.
  • Students traveling on an approved Limestone-related trip will receive support from the College while abroad and should look for additional information to be sent to students via email.
  • Limestone officials are monitoring how the Coronavirus could impact the College’s upcoming Global Experience trips to Italy and Europe in May of 2020. Should one or both of those trips be impacted, Limestone will provide additional information and participating students will be contacted directly via campus email.

 

While there is still much that is unknown about this virus, the prevention steps recommended during each cold and flu season remain useful.

CDC Cold & Flu Prevention Steps

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these Coronavirus Disease prevention steps.

CDC Coronavirus Disease Prevention Steps

This virus has similar symptoms to the flu, so it is important not to make any assumptions. Students experiencing high fever, cough or respiratory challenges should visit Limestone’s Health Center.

If you think you might have symptoms of the Coronavirus, please contact your health care provider or the Limestone Heath Center, so that they are prepared for your visit. Limestone’s Health Center can be contacted directly by calling:

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, but especially during flu season:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

We understand that this rapidly developing situation is concerning and may also directly impact your family, friends and loved ones. If you need support and would like to speak with someone, please contact the Health Center.

Health officials and administrators throughout Limestone College will continue to monitor the threat of the Coronavirus. Please check back to this webpage often for any additional communication.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Monica Baloga, Provost

Robert Overton, Dean of Student Life

Sandy Green, RN, Director of Health Services