Monday, March 16, 2020: Message to USIU-Africa Parents and Guardians Regarding University Closure
As we continue to monitor the news of Coronavirus and its effects in the region and more importantly, in the country, USIU-Africa would like to assure you that the health of our students and the campus community at large will always be our top priority. Following three confirmed cases in the country, the government issued a directive to close all universities by March 20, 2020 in attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
The Campus will close to students on March 20, 2020. However, all classes will continue online and students can access their assignments through the learning portal, Blackboard. We have put in place channels to continually communicate to students regarding the spread of the virus, with an emphasis on hygiene, safe food practices, frequent hand washing and the maintenance of general cleanliness. Additionally, we have a Taskforce in place that is monitoring the situation, as well as implementing awareness campaigns, training and precautionary measures to ensure that the safety of our students is not compromised.
However, we would also like to request your help in certain areas to ensure their safety:
• The students’ learning portal, Blackboard, will be updated regularly with teaching materials. During the closure, students will log in to the portal to access their assignments and lectures.
• Due to the sudden nature of the announcement by the Government, we understand that some of our international students may have a hard time travelling back home, especially for those students who come from places that have confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and are under travel bans. The University will support such students to ensure that they stay safe and secure, even as the students make arrangements to travel back home.
• Until closure, each student, staff and faculty entering the campus will undergo a mandatory sanitization procedure to minimize the risk of infection.
• Until closure, students who live at home suffering from respiratory infections such as coughs, fevers, sore throat, and shortness of breath must see a health specialist for an appropriate diagnosis to be made. We have encouraged our community to take necessary measures and avoid coming to campus should they exhibit flu-like symptoms.
• In the event that a student falls ill on campus, until closure, they will be attended to at the University Health Services. Should the symptoms be considered serious, the student will be isolated and you will be given a call requesting you to pick up your dependent immediately. Please treat all calls from the University as an emergency and make arrangements to pick up your dependent in the shortest time possible.
• All students, staff and faculty members are advised to practice etiquette when sneezing or coughing, social distancing and avoid physical contact, such as handshakes, hugging and kissing. Ensure that this is also carried out at home.
• All sports fixtures, meetings, trips and events have been cancelled until further notice. We also discourage any nonessential travel, both domestically and internationally, especially to countries that have reported cases of the Coronavirus. If you decide to travel, we will require the student to declare the destination of travel, the duration and the reason for travel. The student may have to undergo a self-quarantine of 14 days before reporting back to the University. The government has also put in place a travel ban that restricts unnecessary travel for the next 30 days.
• USIU-Africa encourages minimal guests during this period. All visitors to the campus will be required to declare whether they have traveled in the recent past.
Because the situation is currently dynamic, we shall keep you continuously informed regarding the situation, as well as its impact on the university community, and the measures we are putting in place to ensure the safety of our community.
For further assistance, contact the University Health Services Department on 0730116759 or extension 760/761/762/763 or 0780 334668 or email@example.com .
Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza