Bellarmine University / Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

We must help students now, in this time of urgent need. To do so, we are postponing our annual Day of Giving and launching an immediate campaign. We are calling it Knights Helping Knights—because that is what we do. Learn more by clicking the link below.


From the President’s iPhone, March 19, 2020

Letter from the President

Dear members of the Bellarmine community,

I am writing to you today to update you on some important decisions.  These obviously are not decisions we wanted to make, but the national situation regarding COVID-19 has changed significantly in the last 24 to 36 hours.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation rapidly evolves, we have made several very difficult decisions:

Online courses, which began March 18, will continue for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. Academic Affairs is working with faculty to plan delivery of final exams.

To support the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated social distancing guidanceresidence halls will close to students on Saturday, March 21 at 3 p.m. Details regarding hardship requests are below, but we will work on the premise that our students should be at home unless it is a risk to personal safety.

All university events through May 15, including Senior Week activities, have been canceled or postponed. 

Commencement, scheduled for May 9, will be postponed. The graduation regalia distribution event scheduled for April 9 is canceled. We will be in touch with the Bellarmine Society and graduate students to seek guidance on our Commencement in late summer. We hope to announce the new dates for Commencement activities by the end of this week. Official graduation dates and availability of official final transcripts will not be affected by the postponement.

I know these precautions will be met with frustration and sadness, and believe me, everyone in the faculty and administration shares these feelings. We are sorry we will not be able to deliver the meaningful experiences that are normally part of the spring semester.  It may be especially difficult to understand why we are taking what seem like radical steps when right now, the effects of COVID-19 aren’t readily apparent in our city, and when people the age of our traditional student population don’t seem to be severely affected. 

But this virus is real. It is unlike anything any of us has experienced in our lifetimes. We don’t know everything about it, but we do know that its incubation period is about 14 days. I suspect that very soon its effects will be all too apparent.

One of our faculty experts, Dr. Karen Golemboski, has answered a number of questions related to COVID-19. You can read more from Dr. Golemboski here

At present, no member of the Bellarmine community has tested positive for COVID-19. These changes are intended to protect the community and slow the rate at which the virus is spreading, while maintaining the integrity of our academic offerings.

We will continue to update our coronavirus information page with the latest information for you, including up-to-date info on how to access campus services. You may also email questions@bellarmine.edu if you’re having trouble finding an answer to your question. We’ve set up that address specifically in response to this situation.

Use technology to keep in touch. We may not be together physically, but we are all in this together. As always, we are here to support you through this difficult and unprecedented time.

Please take care,
Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.
President

Using the links below, we have also provided detailed information specific to current students, prospective students, faculty and staff members, and parents that should answer some of your questions.

What health precautions can I take?

We continue to encourage members of the University community to take precautions and exercise good health practices.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick. Do not attend class or work.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. The university is engaging in enhanced cleaning of common areas.

Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Hand-sanitizer is readily available for use in common spaces across campus for your health and convenience.

The U.S. State Department has advised citizens – particularly those with underlying health conditions – to avoid traveling on cruise ships.

What if I feel sick?

If you feel sick, stay home and seek healthcare services as needed. Take care of yourself and stay home until at least 24 hours after any fever ends.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you have recently traveled to a country with a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 and are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider and Student Health Services. Do not visit your provider until you have first contacted them, as they may need to make special arrangements for your visit. Bellarmine students can also take advantage of Norton eCare Visits over the Internet.

If you have questions about the virus, please contact Student Health Services by email or at 502.272.8313. 

Students who are experiencing anxiety about COVID-19 can contact the Counseling Center. Faculty or staff can engage the university’s employee assistance program; details are available on One Bellarmine.

Information for current students

UPDATED 3/26/20

Online Courses

Online courses, which began March 18, will continue for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, including final exams. Professors and instructors will communicate with students via email about their plans to deliver courses remotely. They will also communicate about internships and clinicals. Our intent is to ensure that our students' academic progress is not impeded, although clinical hours could be delayed until the summer term if our partners instruct students to stay home.

Student Support Communication Flow for Online Courses: Faculty should be your first point of contact for support in your online classes. Faculty should do their best to determine whether an issue is either technical/technological, or academic, and direct you appropriately, as outlined below.

Technical/technology issues should be referred to the Technology Support Center (TSC), at tsc@bellarmine.edu, or 502.272.8301.

Academic-related issues should be referred to the Student Success Center (SSC). The SSC will further direct or recommend additional resources as needed. Students can reach the SSC via phone at 502.272.7400, or email at studentsuccess@bellarmine.edu. Students will also be able to seek support online, via live chat, through the Bellarmine Online Learning Support group in Microsoft Teams.

Internet Resources and Documents for Students

Pass/Fail and Withdrawal Policy Updates

Email from Dr. Gore: COVID-19 Pass/Fail and Withdrawal Policy Updates to Support Students

Residence Halls and Campus Services

To support the CDC’s updated social distancing guidance, residence halls will close to students on Saturday, March 21 at 3 p.m.  

Residential students who need to return to collect personal belongings should sign up for a check-out time here. Move out times have now been extended to May 17. If you would like to change your current checkout date, please email Residence Life at reslife@belllarmine.edu. We encourage you to follow the guidance of local/state public health officials on travel. Move out operations will follow social distancing and other prescribed cautionary practices. 

Student Affairs staff members will be in touch with you to discuss how we can leverage resources to help you transition off campus if possible. There are a number of opportunities that developed over the weekend: Emergency Aid to help you get home and Enterprise allowing 18 year-olds to rent a car, among other opportunities. Charter Communications, which operates Spectrum cable, is also offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use. 

Food Services: Limited service will be available to students who remain on campus after March 21, with the primary service being boxed meals available for pick-up from the Palio.

SuRF: The SuRF will remain closed until further notice.

Campus shuttles: Campus shuttles have been suspended as of March 13. 

Library: The Library Building is closed starting Tuesday March 24, 2020, but Library staff and services are still available to support you! Contact the library via email at askus@bellarmine.edu, AskUs web form or connect in Teams using the Bellarmine Online Learning Support Channel. You may also contact us directly through our staff directory. The library’s eBooks, online journals and streaming media are all available from the library home page. Not sure where to start? Check out our subject guides or course guides. The library is working to make additional resources available. Library items currently checked out will have due dates extended. Materials may be returned once the campus re-opens and fines will be waived.

Staying Connected Virtually: Here are a few ways to get together outside of virtual classes.

Student Concern Reporting: If you have any Title IX or student concerns, our coordinators are available to help. Contact our Title IX coordinators or complete Student Concern Report.

Student Emergency Fund

For students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of these sudden changes, support may be available through the student emergency aid fund

Commencement

A Message to Our Senior Students from President Donovan

Commencement, scheduled for May 9, will be postponed. The graduation regalia distribution event scheduled for April 9 is now canceled, with more information available soon. We will be in touch with the Bellarmine Society and graduate students to seek guidance on our Commencement later this year. We hope to announce the new dates for Commencement activities by the end of this week. Official graduation dates and availability of official final transcripts will not be affected by the postponement.

When/where can I pick up my diploma? We are discussing a diploma distribution plan but are unable to announce anything definite until an end date has been determined for social distancing.

Do I need to fill out a new Intent to Walk form (or fill one out now if I haven’t already)? Not yet. We will ask for new RSVPs from all graduation candidates once a new ceremony date has been announced. We appreciate your patience as we work through these details.  

Internships and Student Workers

Internships: Please see section below titled Information on Internships

Student employees: Student workers are still eligible to earn their full financial award.

Through April 3, student workers should continue to work on the EPIC training modules available on Moodle and logging those hours. You can earn up to 24 hours through the modules. You will need to clock in and clock out using the timekeeping system as normal.

Beginning April 6-30, you will need to clock in/out based on your regular work schedule. Depending on your role and what you are able to do remotely, your supervisor may assign work for you to complete during your normal work study hours. If the workload if too great or if you are unable to complete assigned work for any reason, communicate that to your supervisor and continue to log your hours as usual.

Please keep in mind that student workers cannot exceed their scheduled awards. Contact your supervisor if you have any questions.

Career Development Center Online Services
EPIC Toolbox Information

Registration and Financial Aid

Registration: Summer/Fall 2020 course registration will continue as scheduled beginning on Monday, March 16. The Registrar’s Office will be available to assist via email at registrar@bellarmine.edu. Advising is available through your faculty advisor or through the Student Success Center. More info: Registration Information page.

Student Success Center: The SSC will continue to provide academic support services and academic advising. Please email studentsuccess@bellarmine.edu or call 502.272.7400 for more information. Academic Advising will continue via phone or email. Please sign-up for an appointment and contact your advisor with additional questions. Registration will continue as scheduled. Tutoring and writing support will be conducted online. Students can sign-up for appointments via TutorTrac.

Financial Aid: The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance allowing schools the flexibility to implement alternate course delivery. For questions about financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 502.272.7300 or finaid@bellarmine.edu. Any university-related financial implications attributed to this interruption of campus life will be reviewed and acted upon once the University knows the full extent of this temporary suspension. The University will communicate with students regarding all matters including financial questions as the situation unfolds.

Assistance and Services

Knights Pantry: The Pantry will be open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. or by appointment through studentaffairs@bellarmine.edu. If you live in Louisville area and would like to utilize another food bank, please visit the Dare to Care site

Shuttle: A Kroger (Highlands) and CVS Shopping Shuttle will be offered this week in order to provide access to groceries and prescriptions. We encourage you to take advantage of the shuttle if you do not have transportation and may need anything over the next few weeks. Please meet in front of Petrik if you need the shuttle on the following days this week: Wednesday 6:30 p.m. and Friday 10:30 a.m. For more information call 502.272.7777.

Counseling Center Services: The Counseling Center will remain available for consultation and crisis management by calling our main line 502.272.8480 during normal business hours. Bellarmine students may also access our online resources at any point, which includes TAO (Therapist Assisted Online treatment). TAO has interactive treatment modules for Anxiety, Depression and other emotional/interpersonal issues.

Student FAQ: Online Accommodations

Travel and Athletics

Travel: University-related travel is strongly discouraged during this period and will need to be approved on a case-to-case basis. Please have those conversations with your advisor.

Athletics: All winter and spring NCAA sports have been suspended.

Information for prospective students and families

The university's undergraduate and graduate admission offices and the financial aid office will remain in operation and are available by phone. In-person visits are suspended until May 15. Admission and financial aid processes for the summer and fall semesters are continuing on schedule. Every student who has applied for admission for summer or fall should have received an email from their admission counselor. For information about admissions, visit our Undergraduate Admission site, Graduate Admission site or explore Bellarmine now on our visit site.

Information for current parents and families

The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. Our decision to temporarily close the university was made with that priority in mind. We will announce the details of our alternate course delivery as soon as possible, to assure that your student continues to make progress toward graduation on schedule whenever possible. If you have questions, contact parents@bellarmine.edu.

Information for international students

During this period of global upheaval, Bellarmine recognizes that international students may face special anxiety and concerns about the effect of COVID-19 outside the U.S. Unfortunately, because of how quickly the situation changes, travel itself is becoming more difficult and anyone traveling outside the U.S cannot guarantee that they will be able to return. Homeland Security has announced that F and J visa holders will be considered to be maintaining their student status while they complete the semester remotely, whether or not they are in the United States. You must notify International Support if you desire to travel outside the U.S. All Bellarmine students studying abroad have been asked to return home due to the Department of State’s Level 3 worldwide travel advisory.

The Department of Homeland Security has given universities permission to allow temporary remote learning. If you have any concerns about your classes, clinicals, internships, travel, the situation in your home country, or other questions, please contact International Support.

Information on internships

With Bellarmine’s on-campus experience ending for the semester, internships for academic credit will cease all in-person work at an employer’s site. Our students’ health and safety remain our priority and we want to send a clear message that students should go home to be with their families and adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. The expectation is that students will be able to work directly with their faculty sponsors and internship supervisors to fulfill course and internship requirements. The Career Development Center has guidelines for the completion of internships for academic credit to consider during this period. To talk through internship options, contact your faculty sponsor. For questions about health professions clinical internships, contact your clinical faculty sponsor or department chair.

Information for Student Teaching/Professional Semester Candidates

Professional semester candidates are expected to complete the required assignments and assessments of the professional semester. These assessments have been adapted to demonstrate student knowledge, skills, and dispositions in an online environment. Each candidate should work closely with their university supervisor and the field placement coordinator in the development and submission of this work. Questions about course requirements should be directed to the field placement coordinator or department chair.

Information for faculty and staff

Campus Services and Office Hours

Limited campus services will be available after Saturday, March 21, including boxed meals available for pick-up from the Palio. Café Ogle and the bookstores are closed.

Effective March 17, academic and administrative buildings will lock at 6 p.m. and will require swipe-card access. If you need assistance after hours and you have authorization to access a building, please contact Public Safety at 502.272.7777.

Starting Monday, March 16, most employees should work from home unless their on-campus presence is designated essential by their vice president. It is critical for all employees to monitor email and phone calls daily, as we will continue to share updates via email. It’s also crucial for every employee to enter time worked promptly and accurately and for supervisors to approve time promptly. Bellarmine’s pay practices will continue as usual (see link below for additional information). Whether you are on leave due to your own COVID-19 illness, your child is out of school/childcare due to school/childcare closure, or the campus officially closes, you will be paid.

Health-sensitive staff deemed essential (anyone age 60 or older and/or those with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure or other chronic major medical conditions) or those caring for health-sensitive relatives should seek guidance from Human Resources.

Library: In lieu of our regular library instruction, we can create a courseguide/libguide for your course or embed a reference librarian in your Moodle course as an easy point of contact for students. If you are interested in any of these, please contact us at askus@bellarmine.edu.

24/7 Care for Your Health with Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand allows you to see a board-certified doctor – for non-emergency care – in minutes from your smartphone or computer. Behavioral health services are also now available by appointment with Doctor on Demand. For the same cost as an in-office behavioral health visit, behavioral health professionals can help with depression, stress, anxiety, trauma and other behavioral health concerns. Visit DoctorOnDemand.com.

Doctor on Demand Instructions

Travel

University-related travel is strongly discouraged during this period and will need to be approved on a case-to-case basis by your vice president.

Human Resources

If you have questions about your work, contact your supervisor. If you have questions about university benefits, contact Human Resources at 502.272.8435. We will provide follow-up communication to answer additional questions that we anticipate you will have.

COVID-19 FAQ from Humana

Preparing for Remote Work

Faculty Support Communication Flow for Online Courses: All the faculty support channels established over the past few days will remain in place for the foreseeable future. In addition to emailing Adam Elias at aelias2@bellarmine.edu, this includes the COVID-19 Faculty Support channel in Microsoft Teams, which faculty are strongly encouraged to utilize for quicker and crowd-sourced assistance.

Phones: Forwarding office phones to other numbers and sending voicemail to email, learn how on One.Bellarmine.

Office365 and Microsoft Teams: This remote working platform gives you access to Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other tools, as well as Microsoft Teams, which can be used to conduct group chats or videoconferences. These tools also help to keep our information private and safe. Here is a link to a lot of great, short videos on using Teams.

Library Learning Express: a number of Microsoft software training options are provided for programs that we use including: Office 365, OneDrive, as well as older versions of Excel, Outlook, and Word as well as the Windows 10 operating system 

More IT-specific resources: Knowledge Base and TSC on One.Bellarmine

Faculty FAQ: Online Accommodations

Timecard Information for Employees and Supervisors

Us Against COVID 19: Tips for Supervisors

Information about university events

Most university events and facility rentals are being postponed until after May 15 for the health and safety of all participants. Outside organizations who have reserved space on Bellarmine's campus during this period should call 502.272.8406 to discuss arrangements.

Key campus contact information