Spring 2020 COVID-19 Webpage (archived)

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 all of Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters. For the most part, currently-listed summer courses will be delivered online. There are a few courses that cannot easily be translated to an online environment and have been cancelled. Students in those sections have already been notified. 

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. Housing will only be available for students who are experiencing an undue hardship in completing their academic coursework and must live on campus due to personal safety and wellness concerns. 

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

Commencement, originally scheduled for May 9, has been postponed. The rescheduled commencement ceremony will be December 19, 2020, in Freedom Hall for students who complete degree requirements in Summer and Fall 2019; Spring and Summer 2020; and Fall 2020. Students who complete degree requirements at the end of this spring semester will still have an April 30, 2020 degree date posted on their transcripts. We will communicate with you about the availability of your diploma at a later date.

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. 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.

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

We will continue to update this 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.

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.

Confirmed Case of COVID-19

April 7, 2020

Dear Bellarmine Community,

I wanted to inform you that we have received notification of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 within our university community. The person affected is in stable condition and self-isolating at home. This individual has not been to campus since March 12, so the case poses no imminent danger of exposure to our wider campus community. We will not share any information about this individual’s identity out of respect for their privacy, but, of course, we wish them a swift and full recovery.

As the number of cases grow in our region, it is reasonable to conclude others within our community also may contract the virus. In the future, we will not update you about individual cases unless potential exposure to campus warrants it.

This case affirms the absolute necessity to continue following protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, including frequent hand-washing, social distancing and leaving home only when it’s essential. Now, more than ever, our collective health depends on everyone’s individual actions. We truly are in this together.

Your safety and health remain our highest priority. Our administration continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, and updates are posted on this page. 

We ask Bellarmine students, faculty and staff members to self-report COVID-19 confirmations, pending tests and exposures to me through my email: mkimble@bellarmine.edu. If you experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, please seek advice by calling your health care provider.

Thank you all for your continued compassion, grace and understanding during this trying time.

Stay safe and healthy,
Alice Kimble RN, BSN, MS, PhD
Director of Health Services

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.

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.

Summer Course and Housing Information

Summer 2020 Courses, Registration and Internships

Bellarmine has decided to move the currently-listed summer courses online. There are a few courses that cannot easily be translated to an online environment and those have been cancelled. Students in those sections have already been notified.

The registrar will adjust existing course listings to reflect their online status.

What are your next steps?

Students already registered for summer courses: If you intend to remain enrolled in your summer courses, you do not need to take any action.

Students not registered for summer courses: Review our summer course schedule to see if there are classes you’re interested in taking online. Our Financial Aid website includes information about summer courses and we will follow up with you soon on our efforts to make these courses as affordable as possible.

Summer internships: If you plan to pursue an internship for academic credit this summer, it must be a remote experience that does not require you to be in-person for your work (this does not pertain to health professions clinicals). There are many employers who offer remote internships and the Career Center is available to assist you in this search process. The Summer Internship Scholarship is still available to students who have completed BU299 (or a course equivalent), and there is an online section of BU299 in May.

Summer 2020 Campus Housing

Summer housing will only be available for students who are experiencing an undue hardship in completing their academic coursework and must live on campus due to personal safety and wellness concerns. All students will have single room accommodations for $50 per week. Please note that food service, if available, will be limited.

To submit your application for summer housing, please log into your housing portal and select apply for the Summer 2020 term. Please email Residence Life at reslife@bellarmine.edu if you have any questions.

If you have any questions about summer courses, or other issues related to Bellarmine’s response to COVID-19, you can email questions@bellarmine.edu.  

Information for current students

UPDATED 4/30/20

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

Online Courses

Online courses, which began March 18, will continue for the rest of the spring and summer semesters, 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.

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.


A Message to Our Senior Students from President Donovan

The rescheduled commencement ceremony will be December 19, 2020, in Freedom Hall for students who complete degree requirements in Summer and Fall 2019; Spring and Summer 2020; and Fall 2020. The exact ceremony time will be announced later.
While we know it’s not what you initially planned, it will be a momentous occasion. We will celebrate your tremendous accomplishments in the face of adversity. You will have your cap and gown, pictures with classmates, and the joyous feeling of a job well done.  
Students who complete degree requirements at the end of this spring semester will still have an April 30, 2020 degree date posted on their transcripts. We will communicate with you about the availability of your diploma at a later date.
The Registrar’s Office will reach out in October to ask you to RSVP for the new ceremony. In the coming months, we’ll release additional information as our plans are solidified.    

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. 

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. The inability to work remotely will not affect your financial aid award; please also note that Federal Work-study employees are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

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 further notice. 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 effects of COVID-19. We want to offer our support and guidance especially during this difficult time. If you have any concerns about your classes, clinicals, internships, travel, the situation in your home country, or other questions, please contact International Support.

In response to the crisis, Homeland Security is temporarily considering students to be maintaining status while completing courses remotely. There is no requirement that international students remain in the U.S. while classes remain entirely remote.

Travel for the purpose of education is generally considered "essential travel," and when Bellarmine resumes in-person classes, students should be entitled to return with a valid visa and I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students). However, earlier this spring President Trump instituted travel restrictions for anyone present within the last 14 days in China, Iran, Ireland, the U.K., and the Schengen Area. "Essential travel" is not included in the exceptions listed in the president's order and students will be subject to the travel restrictions until they are lifted. 

We advise all students to consider the risks of legal or practical barriers to travel (such as limited flight options or further travel restrictions) before choosing to depart the U.S. You must notify International Support if you are planning to travel outside the U.S.

U.S. embassies around the world are currently closed except for emergencies, making new visas difficult to obtain. However, President Trump's April 22 executive order limiting immigration does not include F-1 or J-1 students, who are considered nonimmigrants according to U.S. laws. New students applying for admission to Bellarmine should contact their Admissions counselor or International Support, especially if you do not already have a valid visa. 

All Bellarmine students studying abroad have been asked to return home due to the Department of State's Level 4 worldwide travel advisory. All study abroad opportunities for the summer have been canceled.  

Information on internships

Bellarmine will continue its policy of remote internships for academic credit during the summer 2020 term.  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


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 31 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