COVID-19: Bellarmine community continues to thrive despite reduced face-to-face interactions

March 12, 2020

By now, we’ve all heard that Bellarmine has suspended face-to-face classes and activities until April 1 as a precaution to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Online classes are continuing on schedule, and face-to-face classes will resume via online modes on March 18.
But campus operations will continue, and faculty and staff will still offer the many services students rely on, even if they are moved online, over the phone or offered in a slightly different format. 
“We’re in this together, even if we’re not together in person” said Dr. Helen Grace Ryan, vice president of Student Affairs. “That close-knit, caring, compassionate campus life our students are accustomed to will remain. We’re quickly finding unique ways to keep the ties that bind our community together.”
In particular, she encouraged students to take advantage of the numerous ways campus provides to take good care of their minds, bodies and spirits. 
“These are trying times, but students should rest assured there is support for them here,” she said.  
Students experiencing stress or anxiety may contact the Counseling Center, which is staffed by licensed mental health professionals. While Our Lady of the Woods Chapel is closed and Mass is canceled, the Campus Ministry staff is available via phone or email for spiritual support. 
Dr. Alice Kimble, director of Bellarmine University Health Services, said any student, staff or faculty member that needs healthcare and should start with their local primary care provider if they have one. 
“Please note that you should call first; many clinics are using a ‘tele-health’ model and are prescribing over the phone,” she said. “Students that do not have a local primary care provider, please call the clinic before coming for next steps. We are also trying to offer health care over the phone when possible and we may not always be available in the clinic.” 
Students may also access Norton eCare for a free visit with a nurse practitioner. She encouraged students to go ahead and set up an account now so they will not have delays when they need an appointment.
“If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help,” she said. 
The Student Success Center will continue to provide academic support services and advising via email, telephone online appointments. 
The Career Development Center is also going virtual in numerous helpful ways.
“Students can still schedule a career advising appointment and we can meet via phone, email or Teams video/audio,” said Dr. Lilly Massa-McKinley, assistant vice president for Career Development and Strategic Partnerships. “We will increase appointment availability over the next several weeks and will provide targeted and direct communications to all students to support their job and internship search.” 
Students who receive permission to stay on campus during the remainder of March will also continue to have access to key services, including campus dining, public safety, the library and Residence Life support.

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