Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
COVID-19 TESTING POLICY FOR LIMESTONE UNIVERSITY
July 29, 2020
Limestone University’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic needs the support of our students to be successful.
To protect the health and well-being of the campus community, it is essential that Limestone University students have a COVID-19 diagnostic test prior to the new 2020-2021 academic year that begins in August. Students must submit online the necessary testing results prior to moving into residential housing or attending classes on the Day Campus in Gaffney.
Limestone Day Campus students are required to show proof of COVID-19 testing before moving into residence halls (for residents) or before attending the first day of classes (for non-residents). Testing information must be uploaded using the Student COVID-19 Response Questionnaire (non-athletes) or submitted to Athletics (athletes) and can include one of the following:
- Proof of prior COVID-19 infection;
- Proof of presence of COVID-19 antibodies; or
- Proof of negative COVID-19 test results which was taken within 10 days of your scheduled move-in day (for residents) or the start of classes (for non-residents).
Limestone University expects all students to be tested for COVID-19. Individuals should obtain a test shortly before their return to campus, by a method of their choosing. Testing may be obtained through community-based testing sites (many at no charge), commercial providers, or a primary care physician.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the Department of Student Success for guidance.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 after coming to campus and/or beginning face-to-face classes, Limestone’s response actions will include health monitoring, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, as well as a heightened disinfection of classrooms and other necessary areas.
Limestone University remains confident in its plan to reopen. Our Crisis Response Team has worked diligently to develop our plan that embodies best practices in risk mitigation and provides clear indicators of when and how to adapt to changing conditions. We will be re-evaluating our plan regularly to create the safest possible conditions in which to study, work, and live together at Limestone.
Our plan to mitigate risk and limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the local community will succeed only if every student, faculty, and staff member commits to appropriate public health behavior both on and off-campus.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
If you have questions regarding the necessary COVID-19 testing, please send an email covidresponse [at] limestone.edu.
LETTER FROM THE LIMESTONE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT:
“It’s Going To Be A Great Year, But An Unusual Fall”
July 13, 2020
Your pursuit of a degree at Limestone is important. Limestone University transforms students’ lives. Your time in college will influence not only your future career, but also the communities you help and future generations of your families. There are risks of bringing students, faculty, and staff together for the fall. However, the risks are manageable, acceptable, and lower than many other environments and occupation. We will not lose the educational future of your generation from a lack of risk management and planning.
We are doing things to reduce the risk on campus, but Limestone is not an island. The risks of our community, state, and nation will intrude. Limestone has been safer than most places and can continue to be so. However, I do not want confidence in our ability to manage risk and reopen to create the illusion that you are immune to the state of the planet. It is important to stay aware, acknowledge, and manage your risk.
- The virus is widespread and will be present. That means it will be present at different times on our campus and in our community. Our challenge is to reduce and manage the risk to you and our community.
- While social distancing helps, you will come within six feet of another person on a college campus. Claims to the contrary are not a credible promise.
- Risk management is relative. Six feet is safer than four feet, but still riskier than seven feet or self-isolation. Going to work, going to school, and going in public involves accepting those risks. The CDC guidance encourages six feet distance where practical but acknowledges it will not always be practical or expected.
- Many people with COVID are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms. Point in time testing does not prove a community is safe and will not effectively catch all asymptomatic cases. An effective response to COVID requires symptom awareness and contact tracing response for those with symptoms to find those without.
The Limestone University campus crisis response teams and various task forces and working groups, as well as cabinet, have been developing plans to reopen with improved safety, cleanliness, and social distancing in the fall. However, you manage your risk by being informed about the risk and modifying your behavior to reduce the risk.
- Your risk management starts with your awareness of how to protect yourself - wash your hands and protect your face, engage in social distancing, and maintain a conscious awareness of your circle of contacts.
- The use of our health center, athletic training center, and strength and conditioning rooms will help monitor symptoms and identify those students who are symptomatic. However, each student must focus on their own health and behavior.
- Face coverings are recommended by CDC and will be expected on campus both in buildings and when in close contact with others. Every student will receive a reusable mask with a Limestone logo. Faculty are going to be provided with face shields to wear while lecturing in class. The good news is that many different types of wardrobe options are emerging that allow flexible face coverings including masks, scarves, neck buffs, and shields. Consider your choices for enhancing your fall wardrobe.
- Faculty and staff will monitor their own symptoms and model risk management behavior. Everyone in the community needs to be respectful of the actions others are taking through this journey.
- The biggest fear for colleges is the potential for large gatherings. Examples in the media reference lecture halls, residence halls, and events with hundreds of people. Fortunately, at Limestone University we have no large classes. Many of our student housing choices were already as safe as private apartment complexes.
- Within the residence halls, the athletic teams, and even some classes, you will create contacts. When you have a roommate, you establish a household. That will be true of some team activities. The good news is that you can dine with someone already in your network and be within six feet of each other without creating new contacts. Your responsibility is to recognize that every contact increases potential exposure. Athletic teams create a structure with well-defined contacts and lower risk. Time in practice and training is safer than unstructured time with multiple unknown contacts.
How will Limestone respond when someone tests positive and move to prevent an outbreak?
- We have doctor’s orders in place to obtain a COVID test when someone has symptoms. Anyone who tests positive will quarantine following guidance from CDC and the doctors. If they can safely travel, they will be allowed to go home for the quarantine. If not, we have plans for quarantine housing and meal delivery.
- Contact identification begins immediately. The person being tested will identify their contact network. Those individuals will be notified to self-isolate until test results are confirmed. If someone in your contact circle tests positive, you will be tested as well. We will test and trace until any spread is fully identified and contained.
- You will need to know your contacts. For contact tracing purposes, a traceable contact involves 15 minutes of contact within six feet in the past 48 hours. How many contacts do you create during a 48-hour period? When someone tests positive, they are expected to identify defined contacts.
- Campus offices can manage risk through the length of visits and the distance maintained during conversations. Offices are sufficiently private to allow a relatively safe space for interaction.
- Density of classrooms will be lowered. The faculty will have safe space at the front.
- In our classrooms, every student should be aware of who is nearest to them. Perhaps you choose to sit by a roommate or teammate to keep your contact list from growing.
- Some students are choosing a hybrid schedule with some online courses instead of a full face-to-face schedule. With our years of experience in online education, students can choose the level of residency at Limestone.
Awareness and acceptance of the responsibility of risk management by each individual is the key to campus safety. It is going to be a great year, but an unusual fall semester! Thank you for choosing Limestone University!
Dr. Darrell Parker
President, Limestone University
Limestone University Makes Changes To 2020 Fall Semester Calendar
June 19, 2020
Due to the unique challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Limestone University has made changes to the academic calendar. The changes support our efforts to minimize exposure and the probability of infection spread on campus by reducing travel during breaks. Please see the graphic below for details.
Limestone University To Resume Campus Instruction For Fall 2020 Semester
June 2, 2020
Limestone releases policy on CARES ACT
May 21, 2020
To view the policy, click the button below.
COVID-19 REMITTANCE INFO
April 27, 2020
Dear Limestone Students,
With many of you moving out of the residence halls due to COVID19, and our transition to online learning for the remainder of the spring semester 2020, Limestone has been evaluating the Cares Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Aid as well as pro-rated remittances for room and board fees.
We wanted to reach out to you with this information as soon as possible since it may have a financial impact upon you. We thank you for your patience as we had to develop a plan satisfactory for Federal guidelines and in compliance with the Department of Education regulations.
CARES ACT HIGHER ED EMERGENCY RELIEF AID
Limestone University will be distributing Cares Act, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to eligible students that have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operation due to COVID19. Students must meet Title IV eligibility requirements to receive these funds, and Limestone must follow Federal Regulations and guidance in making eligibility and funding determinations. Award amounts will be determined based on expected family contribution (FASFA results) and COVID19 related expenses. Eligible students will receive an email from the Business Office regarding eligibility and your award amount by May 1.
To receive these funds students must go to the portal and complete the Cares Act, Higher Education Emergency Relief Certification Agreement. This is required to process your funding. Please use link below:
Students who already have a BankMobile disbursement account set up will receive their funds via direct deposit. All other students will receive a paper check by postal mail. Do not misinterpret that receiving this Cares Act HEERF award means that your student account has a $0 balance, all these funds will be disbursed directly to the student. However, you can use this money to a make a payment to your student account if you see fit or have a balance. Otherwise, please use this award for necessary expenses you have related to the COVID-19 disruptions.
Students enrolled in exclusively online programs are not eligible to receive these funds by Federal mandate, and you will not receive any correspondence regarding Cares Act, Higher Education Relief Funds.
ROOM AND BOARD REMITTANCES
Limestone will be providing pro-rated remittances for room and board fees. We took great care to develop a formula for the pro-rated remittances to ensure that as many needs as possible of the student community were taken into consideration.
With that in mind, we will proceed with pro-rated room and board remittances for residential students who have moved out of Limestone residence halls as of March 30, 2020. The remittance will be specific to each student and will be determined as follows:
- We will offer a pro-rated remittance of room and board fees using a move-out date of March 30, 2020, for ALL students, regardless of the day that they departed campus. The formula will be based on individual student federal, state, and institutional aid. If you are a recipient of a grant/scholarship aid that covers 100% of your charges (regardless of the source), your institutional aid will be proportionately reduced, and a refund will not be issued. If you receive funds from the U.S. Veteran's Administration (VA), the VA may require adjustments to the amount of funds received before Limestone can issue a refund.
- Students that moved out after March 30th your actual move out date will be used.
- Any Room and Board remittance will first be applied to any outstanding amount owed by the student to the institution and to any loss of deposit due to room damage. Room damages will be assessed by Residential Life staff beginning May 1, 2020 (this was date chosen to protect our staff from any potential virus on surfaces), and students whose rooms have damage that wasn't noted during the check-in process will be notified. Students can expect to receive these credits or remittances by June 30, 2020. Students will receive an email from the Business Office providing the amount and how the Room/Board Credit/Remittance will be distributed by May 8.
- After the remittance is applied to outstanding balances, students may choose how they want the remaining amount applied:
- a) reduce their loan amount by this remittance;
- b) apply the amount to their Limestone Fall 2020 charges;
- c) donate some or all of the amount to the Student Emergency Fund to help others who are facing unusual hardship as a result of COVID-19; or
d) request a check.
OTHER DECISIONS TO AID STUDENTS
In addition to the pro-rated remittance for room and board fees, Limestone will take several other important steps to help our students:
- Finance Charges: We will suspend all finance charges applied to student accounts for late payments beginning April 1, 2020. This is to help alleviate the financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought to families and individuals, including students who lost track of their account status with all of the disruptions caused by the virus.
Limestone has temporarily removed student account holds, therefore, students are free to reserve SUMMER 2020 and FALL 2020 classes and make Housing request, regardless of your student balance.
- Our Business Office and Limestone Administration will be sending two separate emails with information pertaining to: 1) CARES ACT HEERF Award 2) Room and Board Remittance. Please make sure you check your Limestone Email account, as this is where these two emails will be sent.
- Please make sure to complete your Cares Act, Higher Education Emergency Relief Certification Agreement. This is required to process your request for funding.
- If you have not already moved out of housing, please check for a email titled, Schedule your Campus Housing move out, from Jessica Goins. This email has a link to schedule your move out thorough the Navigate system. If you have any questions concerning moving out, please contact Jessica Goins. Also, if you have moved out but did not leave the key, please mail it back so you will not be charged for it.
Please contact Reggie Browning, Vice-President of Finance and Administration, with any questions: rbrowning [at] Limestone.edu or 864-488-4522.Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.
Exceptions to Grading System Policy due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Spring Semester 2020
Limestone University will continue to follow its Grading System policy as provided in the Academic Catalog with the following exceptions, which are based on verifiable COVID-related restrictions and impediments to academic success.
- Day Campus students who earn letter grades of “D” or “F” in any course as a result of COVID-related restrictions and impediments to academic success may petition to convert them to “WP”.
Please consider that decisions may impact federal and state (i.e. South Carolina) financial aid and athletic eligibility due to GPA, “credit hours attempted”, and “credit hours earned” criteria. Advice from faculty advisors, athletic representatives, and Financial Aid personnel should be sought before beginning the petition process.
A letter grade of “D” will allow students to fulfill “credit hours attempted” and “credit hours earned” but can lower term and cumulative GPAs. Lower GPAs may negatively impact financial aid and/or athletic eligibility.
A letter grade of “F” will allow student to fulfill “credit hours attempted” but will not count as “credit hours earned” and will lower both term and cumulative GPAs. Lower GPAs and low “credit hours earned” may negatively impact financial aid and/or athletic eligibility.
A “WP” designation will be recorded on transcripts but will have no impact on GPA. This designation will allow courses to be counted as “credit hours attempted” but not “credit hours earned.”
Timeline and Process:
Students must petition for these changes by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020, and will be required to provide verification of impacts of COVID-related restrictions and impediments on declining academic performance. Because of a Grade Appeal process exists, students can utilize that form to petition (http://limestonecollege.formstack.com/forms/grade_appeal). Evidence to support appeals can be uploaded when submitting this form.
[Note that the 30-day appeal window provided for traditional grade appeals does not apply in COVID-related cases.]
When considering grade options, remember that courses taken online this summer (i.e. Terms 3 and 4) can count towards “credit hours attempted” and “credit hours earned”. Tuition costs for the summer have been significantly reduced and students may be eligible for financial aid to cover costs. If the course taken this spring is not offered in Terms 3 and 4, please consider taking another class that will satisfy academic progress. The “WP”-designated course can be retaken for a grade during the academic year
VIDEO MESSAGE FROM OUR PROVOST, DR. MONICA BALOGA
April 21, 2020
Limestone University Online & Evening Program (Evening site locations)
March 30, 2020
Starting tomorrow, March 31, 2020, all Limestone University 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 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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University’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 University 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 University 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 University 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!
Dr. Darrell Parker
Limestone University Students Will Continue Remote Learning For Remainder Of Semester
March 18, 2020
Limestone University 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 University 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 University’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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University’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 University is actively working to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and guests. The University 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 University’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 University 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 University 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:
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 University’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 University 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.
The CDC also has a webpage that offers an important resource for any updates and alerts related to travel:
Please review the information below for additional guidance from Limestone University:
Limestone requests that you inform The University 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 University 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 University’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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these 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.
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 University will continue to monitor the threat of the Coronavirus. Please check back to this webpage often for any additional communication.
Dr. Monica Baloga, Provost
Robert Overton, Dean of Student Life
Sandy Green, RN, Director of Health Services