Information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dear Moore Community:
Over the past few weeks, I have written to you with periodic updates about Moore’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and the efforts of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) to prepare for various scenarios in the event of a widespread outbreak.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has presented institutions like ours with a unique and unprecedented challenge—and we have remained vigilant and up to date as that challenge has affected our region, as well as our country and the world at large. The close quarters we keep as classmates and colleagues in a college setting can unfortunately contribute to the spread of the virus, and we have heard from many experts that eliminating large gatherings and creating social distance are important steps to help prevent the spread of the disease. As we grow increasingly connected in this hyper-global century, it is more important than ever to take care of each other, to watch out for each other and to ensure each other’s well-being. This is a tried and tested Moore value, and I am deeply proud to see the many ways that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends have conducted themselves in service to this value over the last few weeks, especially in the wake of such uncertainty. I want to thank the members of the ERT, the Moore Boards of Trustees and Managers, and all staff and faculty who have contributed and provided exceptional leadership during this time.
As my updates have repeatedly mentioned, the health and safety of our community is always our top priority, as well as the successful completion of our students’ spring semester. We are committed to these priorities, as well as contributing to the health and greater good of our society—indeed, that is what higher education is all about.
In addition to the one-week extension of spring break, I am writing to inform you that under the advisement of the ERT and Moore’s Boards of Trustees and Managers, the College will transition to remote and alternative learning methods, beginning Monday, March 23, which will continue through the end of the spring semester.
Students will be asked to return to campus during a pre-assigned date and time to collect their belongings from our residence halls, between Monday, March 16 and Saturday, March 21. Our Student Affairs staff will be in touch with each student shortly to work out the details of their respective time allotment. Both Sage and Sodexo staff will be available during the moving process, to assist Student Affairs staff with ensuring a smooth schedule. More information about logistics is forthcoming, and I want to thank these teams for jumping into action and creating a plan that accounts for everyone’s needs and personal safety.
During the week of March 16–20, as previously reported, full-time and part-time/adjunct faculty will participate in Faculty In-Service training sessions. Over the past few years, thanks to Academic Affairs, Academic Services and Connelly Library staff, under the leadership of Dean Phillips, we have already put many measures and platforms into place to prepare us for such an undertaking. The sessions next week will focus on helping Faculty sharpen their skills and understanding of these platforms and methodologies, to ensure the continuity of best pedagogical practices as we educate our students remotely. We will provide both remote and on-campus opportunities next week for faculty to meet, workshop, present and prepare. I want to thank our academic leadership as well as the Faculty Forum and Moore Federation of Teachers for immediately rising to the challenge and working so beautifully to collaborate in a way that keeps our faculty informed and ready, and that takes our students’ best interests into account. Faculty can expect to receive further information about these sessions before Monday.
Staff will continue to report to campus during normal business hours from now until further notice. If you have not done so already, please take time in the next few days to review previously sent messages and instructions for working remotely, should the need arise, and to talk to your supervisor about any needs you might have regarding remote work. In addition, please review the previously sent updates to our Sick Time Policy, which include staying in good communication with your direct supervisor and Human Resources.
Per our email earlier this week, we have already canceled or postponed all internal and public events of 30+ attendees through March 31. Out of necessity, and in continued adherence to CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, this policy will extend through the end of the semester. The ERT and Senior Administration, with guidance from Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, are working on potential virtual solutions for as many events as possible, especially for our Seniors, who typically have so much to look forward to at the end of the spring semester. We will do everything we can to attend to this special time for them and to ensure that their senior year is as special as possible.
To our wonderful students and your families: We do not make this decision lightly. We know that you are here to have the most memorable and satisfying college experience possible. We know, also, that you are serious artists and designers who care about completing your work and making the most of your time here at Moore. An art and design education is a rare life experience; it provides unmatched opportunities for growth, connection, opportunity and camaraderie. Above all else, it is a once-in-a-lifetime gift to have the time and resources to practice one’s craft and to follow one’s passion.
We know, as well, because we have heard from you and because we work so closely with you, that many will have valid concerns and questions about what comes next. We know very well that some of you will face unexpected hardships in the wake of this change. I say to you, from the bottom of my heart and with the utmost confidence: Our faculty and staff are here for you. We pledge to continue to provide you with the best educational experience possible throughout the rest of this semester. We are committed to assisting students in completing the semester as seamlessly as possible, and to ensuring that graduating students can do so on time and without delay or interruption.
Many details are still being finalized, so we ask for your patience as we work through this process and tackle each issue and concern. There will be ongoing communications as more details unfold, and we will do everything we can to make sure that any questions or needs are addressed as quickly as possible, as we traverse these unchartered waters together. I am absolutely certain that we will get through this challenging time as a community and come out on the other side with creative solutions and inspiring stories to share.
For those with immediate questions, we have developed a FAQ about this change, which you can access on the Moore website at this link. There, you will find answers to pressing concerns regarding housing, dining services, associated costs, academic services and more. For any questions that the FAQ might not address, please reach out to Alysson Cwyk, Chief of Staff, at email@example.com or 215.667.6818. We are continuing to post updates online at moore.edu/coronavirus and we will continue to be in touch.
As members of our community prepare for Spring Break and the possibility of upcoming travel plans, please take time to review up-to-date recommendations available on the CDC website. We also recommend that you follow State Department guidelines, which currently advise avoiding travel to affected areas, including China, Iran, South Korea, Japan and Italy.
In general, the College strongly recommends avoiding nonessential personal travel outside of the U.S. at this time. Any individual who returns to Philadelphia after international travel to one of the countries listed above will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days; this includes students, faculty and staff. As the situation is dynamic and evolving, please note that additional requirements and restrictions may be imposed by state/federal authorities in the future.
- All students who become ill with flu-like symptoms should consult Student Health Services.
- All staff and faculty who become ill with flu-like symptoms should notify their respective supervisor and Human Resources, and should seek medical assistance through a primary care physician.
Here’s what you can do to keep yourself and others healthy and well:
1. If you are a student and experience a fever or other flu-like symptoms, call Student Health Services to speak to our nurse (215.965.4032). If you are faculty or staff, stay home and contact your supervisor, Human Resources and Primary Care provider.
2. If traveling and feeling unwell, seek medical care. International SOS or your health insurance can be a good source of information regarding accessing care.
3. Get a flu vaccine: They are available by walk-in at local pharmacies. Seasonal Influenza occurrence in Philadelphia remains high and vaccination is the best preventive measure.
4. Use good hand hygiene: Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, taking care to wash between your fingers and thumbs, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
5. Limit the spread of germs and illness: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow. Refrain from touching your face, especially your mouth, eyes and nose. Avoid shaking hands and avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, cups, vapes/JUULs, etc.
We also understand that members of our community may be anxious or overwhelmed by these developments, and especially so if they have loved ones abroad in affected areas. As always, if students, faculty or staff wish to speak with someone about their concerns, the following resources are available:
Mental Health Counselor appointments (for students only), available Monday through Friday, 11 am – 7 pm each day. Mental Health Counselors can be reached at the following numbers and email addresses:
- Guardian Insurance’s Confidential Employer Assistance Program (for staff and faculty)
Please visit the following links for more information and prevention tips:
- CDC Coronavirus Factsheet & FAQ
- CDC Website: Coronavirus General Information
- CDC Website: Coronavirus Prevention & Treatment Page
- City of Philadelphia Website: Coronavirus Information
- Pennsylvania Department of Health Website: Coronavirus Information
We will continue to stay in communication with any updates as they arise.