UPDATED: 6:00 P.M. MARCH 16, 2020 – Added information from a statement from JSU announcing a change of operations.
Logan Irwin, Correspondent
A lot of new information and changes to the operations of Jacksonville State University have developed this past week in regards to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and around the globe.
As of Monday, March 16, The Alabama Department of Public Health has confirmed 29 cases of COVID-19 in the state. As for the United States, 3,487 people within 49 states have tested positive. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a world-wide pandemic, meaning that the virus will likely spread to all of the countries around the globe.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and ongoing JSU operations with the information we have obtained so far.
Will we have classes?
Classes will resume but will transition online to help coincide with JSU’s social distancing plan. Students should have received an email Thursday afternoon from The Office of the President with detailed information regarding how classes will function while the university is still participating in the social distancing plan.
Students are encouraged to contact their professor or email Online@JSU at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about their online classes.
The university has extended spring break by two days, beginning on Thursday, March 19 for all faculty, staff and students.
Have any JSU students tested positive for COVID-19?
No. As of 4:15 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020, no student has tested positive for the virus. However, a student has been tested for COVID-19 and the results came back negative, according to a university announcement on Monday.
What all is open on campus? What are the hours?
Student Health Center – Below are the current hours:
- Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Regular appointment and walk-in slots
- Friday, 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Regular appointment and walk-in slots
- Friday, 2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Walk-ins only for respiratory and flu/cold-like symptoms
- Saturday, 8 a.m. – noon: Walk-ins only for respiratory and flu/cold-like symptoms
University Housing – Remains open. For regular updates on university housing, visit http://www.jsu.edu/housing/index.html. However, all university housing – except the International House, Meehan Hall, Sparkman Hall and all on-campus apartments – will be closed during Spring Break.
Dining – JSU dining has modified their business hours
Gamecock Express – Will suspend operations after 7 p.m. on Monday, March 16.
Campus Bookstore – Will remain open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed for spring break.
Houston Cole Library – Will be open March 17-18, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will be closed during Spring Break. Library virtual reference chat will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20. All electronic resources currently available through the library’s web pages will remain remotely accessible through the duration of the semester.
Recreation and Fitness Center – Hours reduced to hours Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12-8 p.m. No intramurals or Rec Center classes will take place.
What campus events are cancelled?
All events sponsored by the university, both on and off campus, have been cancelled at this time. This includes athletic events, student organization meetings, campus visits, student clubs, performances, exhibits and trainings.
Are student workers still reporting to work? Will they still be paid?
Student workers will continue to report to work as they usually would, and will still be paid. Should a student worker become unable to or wish not to report to work, they should contact their supervisor for more information.
When will we return to classes?
Jacksonville State administration stated in an email on Thursday, March 12, that they will be closely monitoring the situation in the coming weeks and will make a decision on April 3 as to whether or not in-person classes will resume or if online classes will continue for the rest of the semester.
What will happen with spring SGA elections?
Students should have received an email on Friday, March 13 with information pertaining to spring SGA elections being transitioned entirely online. Applications must be submitted online no later than Monday, March 30 at 4:30 p.m. if they have not already been submitted on paper.
Has priority registration changed?
Yes. Below are the new times for priority registration for the summer and fall semesters:
March 17 – Seniors, 96+ hours earned, 8 a.m.
March 17 – Juniors, 64+ hours earned, 12 p.m.
March 18 – Sophomores, 32+ hours earned, 8 a.m.
March 18 – Freshmen, 12 p.m.
Have any stores closed or changed their business hours?
Red Threads (Jacksonville) – Closed until further notice via their Facebook page. The online store will remain accessible for the time being.
Walmart – Stores across the nation have cut their 24 hour policy and have reduced their hours from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice.
Johnson’s (Jacksonville) – Online ordering has been suspended until further notice due to issues with keeping the store stocked and many products selling out quicker than they can be replaced.
How can I remain healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak?
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching your face and those around you who have a cough or are sneezing.
- Do not go into work or around others if you feel ill.
- Focus on practicing good hygiene, drinking lots of water and getting enough rest to stay well.
- Sanitize your cell phone.
- Don’t panic.
- Continue to check your “My JSU” email account for COVID-19 updates from the university.
- For more information on how to stay safe and healthy, visit http://www.jsu.edu/coronavirus/students/index.html.