warning All campus visitors will be asked to bring and wear a mask. In addition, any person entering St. Thomas University’s campus will undergo an infrared temperature screening.
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Coronavirus FAQs & Important Terms

Please find important terms and FAQs about how St. Thomas University is responding to the Coronavirus below.

Glossary of Important Terms

Coronavirus 2 COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans. The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting allows employees to work at home, on the road or in a satellite location for all or part of their workweek

Higher Risk for COVID-19

According to the CDC, early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

Social Distancing

Social distancing is a public health safety intervention used to reduce the likelihood of transmitting communicable disease. Social distancing involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing requirements in the workplace, and following proper personal hygiene practices. Follow the following social distancing guidelines.

Isolation

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Quarantine

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. If you have recently returned from a Level 3 or Level 2 travel notice country, or have come in contact with someone returning from a Level 3 or Level 2 travel notice country, you should engage in a 14-day self-quarantine to ensure you are not contagious.

FAQs - General Information

Have any cases of coronavirus been reported at STU?

No cases of Coronavirus2 (COVID-19) have been reported at STU.

Is the campus open?

Yes, campus is open. Anybody who is visiting campus will be required to wear a face mask and will have their temperature taken.

How is the campus preparing for the virus?

Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, St. Thomas University classroom courses for the main university campus and the Law School transitioned to remote online learning and will remain online for through Summer 2020. 

In addition, starting on Monday, March 23, 2020,  St. Thomas University transitioned to temporary remote work for as many roles as possible. Effective Monday, May 11, staff are needed to return to work on campus.  If an employee feels that they are not able to return to campus for work because of a medical condition or other personal circumstances, they must complete the short term telecommunicating agreement and coordinate with your supervisor and HR to receive approval.  Faculty will remain telecommuting, consistent with our online learning.

  • Mass will continue as scheduled through Youtube Live. Please join us at the following link. 
  • Library and other campus services will be transitioned online. Facilities, including the library building, will be closed. For more information click here.
  • Admissions will now be conducting interviews and visits virtually.
  • You can set up a virtual visit with a medical doctor for FREE by downloading the Baptist CARE on Demand app. Please use code CARE19 (no insurance required). Link here: https://baptisthealth.net/en/lp/pages/care-on-demand.aspx
  • If you would like to schedule a therapy session with Maria or Nanet, you can schedule a Zoom session. Please e-mail Maria at Mgaravito@stu.edu with your availability or contact Maria Bedoya via the app to schedule an appointment. Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm (last appointment at 4 pm).
  • Spring Commencement has been moved to December 11, 2020.
  • All Summer classes will be moved to remote online learning.
  • All residence halls are closed until Fall 2020.

How is the campus being cleaned?

St. Thomas University and the Physical Plant Department are committed to ensuring a clean and safe work environment for students, faculty, and staff. Although on-ground classes will be closed the Physical Plant Department will use this time as an opportunity to double our efforts and maintain a clean work environment. This includes but is not limited to: increased frequency in custodial staff sanitizing all vertical and horizontal surfaces throughout the campus, cleaning wall and partitions, and terminally disinfecting classrooms and ensuring they are locked afterward. This will be done with a commercial grade Antibacterial and Antiviral disinfectant that kills Influenza A and Hong Kong viruses.

The products being used is Peroxy II fbc and Foamy Q & A. In addition to this, tasks such as high/low dusting will become more of a focal point. Facilities will make it a priority to change all air filters throughout the campus so we can eliminate as much dust and Aspergillus as possible. Again, we are striving to deliver a clean and safe work environment and for all students, faculty, and staff. If there are any questions in regard to the response plan please contact STU’s Associate Vice President, Eric Wilkymacky, Operations Manager, Christopher Tarrant or Custodial Supervisor, Louis Mass.

Lastly, STU has increased the number of times and ways that it is cleaning all of our most frequented areas including our library, Bobcat Café, student center and classrooms, and we encourage all faculty and staff to keep their offices and areas clean and wipe down surfaces at least twice a day with products that contain at least 70% alcohol. 

How can I report a potential case?

For questions about testing or reporting cases, please contact the Miami-Dade Florida Health Department- 305-324-2400 from 8 to 5 p.m

Can I still be seen by our on-campus clinic?

The on-campus clinic is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. An appointment is required.  Appointments can be made at 305-474-6921 or STUprimarycare@baptisthealth.net.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or other minor ailments, Baptist Health is offering free virtual visits with our doctors online available 24/7 who can assess your condition and determine the best course of action.  Download the  Baptist Health Care On Demand telehealth app and use code CARE19.  Learn more at https://go.baptisthealthcareondemand.net/care19/.

 

FAQs - Students

Will all summer classes be online?
Yes, out of an abundance of caution, and following all protocols established by the Governor and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we have decided to move all our courses for the Main University and Law School online for Summer 2020. This will ensure proper social distancing and we will be able to return renewed and reinvigorated for Fall 2020.

Do I need to come to campus for class?

All classes, including those that were originally on-ground classes, will be converted to online classes beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. You do not need to come to campus.  Please be on the lookout for more information from your professor on your future assignments.

My professor said I have to come to class. What do I do?

STU has ceased face-to-face instruction. All faculty are hosting classes through Canva and Zoom. Please check your email as well as your message board for individual course instruction.

Are labs canceled?

New innovative software will be deployed that allows us to conduct our labs virtually. Students who have labs will be contacted directly.

I do not have reliable internet access at home. What do I do?

If you do not have a computer or internet access at home, please contact Richard McNab

Do I need to move out of my dorm?

Yes, all residence halls are closed until Fall 2020. 

I’m a student. What should I do before returning to campus after the two weeks if I have returned recently from China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Italy or Iran (or been in close contact with someone who has arrived recently from one of those countries)?

If you are a student or member of our faculty staff that is returning from a Level 3 or Level 2 travel notice country or have come in contact with someone returning from a Level 3 or Level 2 travel notice country, do not return to campus. You are required to engage in a 14-day self-quarantine off-campus. Students, faculty, and staff who have arrived or will be returning from a CDC Warning Level 2 or 3 travel notice area, whether studying abroad, teaching, conducting research, or on spring break, should complete the following STU Post Travel Registration form to share self-quarantine plans with the university: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/STU-COVID19.

Travelers returning from Level 2 or 3 travel notice areas must not return to campus until they can demonstrate that they show no symptoms associated with COVID-19 — cough, fever, shortness of breath — for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/reentering the United States.

Do student employees need to report to work?

The transition to a remote working environment includes the suspension of Campus Employment and Federal Work-Study. Federal Work-Study students will be paid for the remaining scheduled hours for the semester even though they are unable to complete the work requirement. Student employees with Campus Employment will be paid for all hours worked through today only.

What’s happening with commencement?

Spring 2020 Commencement has been moved to December 11, 2020.

What is STU doing about dissertation and thesis defenses during this time?

All thesis defenses will be conducted via Zoom.

I am having technical issues with logging into my online course. What do I do?

For any technical issues please reach out to the universities 24/7 OIT Help Desk at 628-6610 or 1-888-691-5073.  On-campus, you can just dial 6610. You can also email the Help Desk at helpdesk@stu.edu.

In addition, you can reach Canvas at +1-844-833-3119

FAQs - Faculty & Staff

I’m faculty/staff. What should I do before returning to campus if I have returned recently from China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Italy or Iran (or been in close contact with someone who has arrived recently from one of those countries)?

If you are a student or member of our faculty staff that is returning from a Level 3 or Level 2 travel notice country, or have come in contact with someone returning from a Level 3 or Level 2 travel notice country, do not return to campus. You are required to engage in a 14-day self-quarantine off-campus. Students, faculty, and staff who have arrived or will be returning from a CDC Warning Level 2 or 3 travel notice area, whether studying abroad, teaching, conducting research, or on spring break, should complete the following STU Post Travel Registration form to share self-quarantine plans with the university: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/STU-COVID19.

Travelers returning from Level 2 or 3 travel notice areas must not return to campus until they can demonstrate that they show no symptoms associated with COVID-19 — cough, fever, shortness of breath — for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/reentering the United States.

Do employees need to report to work?

Effective Monday, May 11, staff are needed to return to work on campus.  If an employee feels that they are not able to return to campus for work because of a medical condition or other personal circumstances, they must complete the short term telecommunicating agreement and coordinate with your supervisor and HR to receive approval.  Faculty will remain telecommuting, consistent with our online learning.

I teach a class. How do I convert a face-to-face course to remote instruction?

Currently, our university instructional designers are working with all professors to transition their courses online. Please reach out to our Online and Distance Learning team.

I am having technical issues with teaching an online course. What do I do?

For any technical issues please reach out to the universities 24/7 OIT Help Desk at 628-6610 or 1-888-691-5073.  On campus, you can just dial 6610. You can also email the Help Desk at helpdesk@stu.edu.

In addition, you can directly contact Canvas at: +1-833-219-5094

FAQs - Prevention & Containment

Are there any precautions I can take to stay healthy?

Here are some tips from the World Health Organization on how to stay healthy:

  • Maintain a distance of at least three feet from any individual with respiratory symptoms.
  • Refrain from touching the mouth and nose.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or uses an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially if you touch your mouth and nose and other potentially contaminated surfaces.
  • Reduce as much as possible the time spent in close contact with people who might be ill.
  • Reduce as much as possible the time spent in crowded settings.
  • Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows.

Travel

Are STU students and employees still abroad?

No STU students or employees are abroad on university-sponsored travel.

What is the status of student, faculty and staff travel?

In accordance with the CDC guidelines of social distancing, all university-sponsored travel is canceled. For local travel to other institutions, please consult directly with your supervisor who will obtain clearance from members of our Senior Staff.

Study Abroad

What is the status of the university’s study abroad programs?

All study abroad programs through the summer have been canceled through Fall 2020.

Events

Will university events continue to take place?

All on-campus events have been canceled or will be moved to virtual gatherings.

Athletics

Are sporting events still being held?

NAIA Sun Conference Commissioner Dustin Wilke announced that all Sun Conference competition will be suspended through Friday, March 27, 2020.  This suspension goes into effect immediately for all sports and includes both conference and non-conference competition. Our Administration will continue to work with the Sun Conference to monitor the situation and determine practice schedules

FAQs- Graduation

What is the purpose of this year’s special December 2020 Commencement Ceremony?
STU is postponing our May 2020 Commencement Ceremony until December 2020. So, this special December commencement ceremony is specifically for would-be May 2020 Commencement Participants.

I am a slated to graduate in December, can I participate?
Since we are postponing our May graduation until December, only those who were eligible to participate in May commencement (December 2019 and May 2020) will be allowed to participate in the December 2020. The reason for the December commencement ceremony is our Fernandez Family Center will not able to accommodate all those graduates, and our December graduates. All December 2020 graduates will follow regular protocol and participate in May 2021 Commencement.

Can I get a refund on my cap and gown?
For both our Graduation Online Conferral and the December 2020 graduation you will be asked to use your cap and gown. If you will not be participating in both of these events you can contact Herff Jones, the cap and gown provider, directly. The best way to contact Herff Jones is by emailing our representative Debbie McInerney at hjcollegefl@aol.com

How can I confirm my participation in the December Commencement Ceremony?
You will be receiving an email from the Office of the Registrar to confirm your participation for our December 2020 Commencement over the summer.

How will I be able to participate in the special May Degree Conferral Ceremony?
You will be receiving details about the virtual ceremony and how you can participate in this special event.

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