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There have been no cases of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) at UMass Dartmouth.

March 19 Message from Chancellor Johnson

COVID-19 Banner

UMass Dartmouth, utilizing guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, has acted to protect the safety of the community with as few interruptions to academic achievement as possible. The University is not closed, but please review the following policy changes that affect learning, working, housing, events, and travel.

  • All face-to-face courses will be delivered online for the remainder of the semester.
  • Residence Halls will not admit students without prior written approval for the remainder of the semester.
  • Employees who have jobs that are suitable for working remotely are encouraged to work from home for the remainder of the semester.
  • All events are cancelled through May 31.
  • University-sponsored international and domestic travel using public transportation has been suspended until further notice.

For questions and concerns, please email corona.virus@umassd.edu

Recent events in managing the COVID-19 emergency have brought many concerns and questions for students about academic continuity. The University academic staff want to assure you that we are committed to continue to support your academic success.

To assist students as UMass Dartmouth moves instruction to online formats, student support services will be fully available through phone, email communications and Zoom, as necessary. The following summaries inform students of how they may access academic services. If you do not find the information you need in this summary, using your UMassD email account, please send questions and concerns to academic.support@umassd.edu.

For those students who have a critical educational need for access to on-campus facilities at UMass Dartmouth, a faculty member may request access for those students to use labs, studios or other specialized facilities. Please read more on this issue in the Access to Campus Facilities for Educational Purposes guide.

This is a stressful time and everyone at UMass Dartmouth wants to ensure you are able to finish the semester strongly. Please review some tips and activities to help you through these difficult times and know that all Offices in Student Affairs are available for you.

As of Tuesday, March 24, only students with extenuating circumstances that have been approved through a petition process are permitted to remain in housing. Those who petitioned to remain in housing during our virtual learning period have received a decision regarding their petition, and the housing portal is closed at this time. Should a student have a new extenuating circumstance and need to speak with someone from Housing and Residential Education about on-campus housing, they should contact housing@umassd.edu. All emails will be responded to within one business day. Students who were unable to return to collect their belongings from their residence hall room by Monday, March 23, 2020 must discuss alternate arrangements with the staff in Housing and Residential Education. All student needs were and continue to be addressed on a case by case basis.

UMass Dartmouth has canceled the remainder of the 2020 spring athletics season. Additionally, all non-traditional activities for fall programs are also canceled. This decision applies to both traditional and non-traditional programs for the remainder of the semester. These steps are being taken out of an abundance of caution to protect the long-term health and well-being of our communities.

The NCAA released a statement on Friday regarding eligibility waivers for affected student-athletes. Coaches will work with the compliance office to provide information to student-athletes on this matter.

Your contributions to the UMass Dartmouth Athletic family are immeasurable, and this action does not change that. Please read the statement by Director of Athletics Amanda Van Voorhis.

The decision affects 10 spring programs:

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse
  • Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
  • Men’s Tennis
  • Men’s Golf
  • Equestrian
  • Sailing

Consistent with the overall goal of decreasing the risk of spreading the virus, undergraduate student employees who are either living on campus (because they have been approved through Housing and Residential Education) or who can otherwise get to campus may continue to work and submit hours. However, undergraduate student employees who, for any reason cannot work will not be paid—departments will use their best efforts to allow undergraduate students to make up hours upon their return.

Although many undergraduate jobs are not appropriate for remote work arrangements, there is no prohibition against such arrangements. Undergraduate student employees must have prior approval and their work and work hours must be carefully monitored by their supervisor.

Graduate student employees, research assistants, teaching assistants, studio assistants, clinical assistants, and graduate assistants who can get to campus or otherwise work from home may continue to work. Graduate student employees should work with their faculty supervisor to make appropriate arrangements necessary to continue their work.

Please note: Student Employment positions are considered non-permanent, thus ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The UMass System issued a press release on March 27, 2020, confirming that adjustments will be made for spring housing, dining, and parking charges. Please review the information below about adjustments to your student account due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Frequently Asked Questions - Adjustments

In an effort to proactively minimize the risk of community transmission on campus and to respond appropriately to this emergency, UMass system has implemented a two-phase continuity plan.

All face-to-face classes are suspended and all courses will be delivered through an online modality for the remainder of the semester. All instruction, ​when feasible, will occur remotely using web, video, and teleconferencing tools that are currently available via myCourses, and are already being used in many classes.

Technical support and services are available to faculty. Faculty should work with their chairpersons, dean’s office, and CITS to learn more about online delivery through myCourses. Faculty are discouraged from utilizing campus facilities for course delivery at this time.

We recognize that virtual instruction may not be suitable or appropriate for a small number of courses such as laboratory or studio sessions. Such courses should be identified by course instructors and Chairpersons with options developed for students to complete essential activities. These will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis to ensure degree progression, especially for graduating seniors. Please visit the page below for an in-depth guide on instructional continuity.

Instructional Continuity Resource Guide

For those students who have a critical educational need for access to on-campus facilities at UMass Dartmouth, a faculty member may request access for those students to use labs, studios or other specialized facilities. Please read more on this issue in the Access to Campus Facilities for Educational Purposes guide.

Library Resources

As you work to transition your courses to an online format, there are electronic resources available to support your instruction in an online environment. At present, the Library is open (M-F, 7:30AM-5PM) and subject librarians, while working remotely, are reachable via chat, email, and Zoom. Find library resources and support for teaching online.

If you need a particular resource for your course that does not appear to be available in digital form, please submit an Emergency Library Materials Request form and the Library will try to get what is needed as quickly as possible.

Open Textbook Library

Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. The library currently includes 703 textbooks. The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network.

Cengage Unlimited

Cengage is providing students and faculty the option to use their online homework platforms at no charge for the rest of the term. Cengage is offering UMass Dartmouth students complete and free access to Cengage Unlimited, which will give them access to their entire catalog of eBooks and online homework platforms.

If you are interested in Cengage's offer, for the remainder of this term, please contact Casey Harkins, Account Executive at Cengage (contact information below). Once you have made arrangements with Cengage, go to myCourses and select the (Cengage) Partner Context to connect your course to publisher materials. Quizzes, homework, and test modules live on the Publisher web site. Students are connected through myCourses to access publisher materials. All graded content is sent back into the myCourses gradebook. Technical support is provided to students by Cengage, not CITS.

Casey Harkins, M.Ed - Account Executive – Boston, MA - 518.248.2043 - casey.harkins@cengage.com - Customer Service: 800.354.9706

In compliance with Governor Baker's March 23 order that further increases social distancing guidelines, all on-campus research activity has ceased until noon on April 7.

Only a small number of approved critical personnel will be on campus to feed and care for animals and manage equipment that would be damaged without regular maintenance. The Office of Research Administration has begun compiling a list of critical personnel and is working with Human Resources for approval. If researchers have equipment that cannot be shut down safely until April 7, please contact ORA and your department chair immediately. No one other than approved critical personnel should be on campus for research activities during this time.

After April 7, a return to limited on-campus research activities will begin using approved plans that have been submitted. For those working on or supervising on externally funded projects, please assign comparable, appropriate work that can be done remotely for grants over the next two weeks. If this is not possible, please contact ORA to discuss options for documenting vacation.

Employees who have jobs that are suitable for working remotely are encouraged to work from home for the remainder of the semester.

UMass Dartmouth is not closed for business.

Department heads, in consultation with division heads, will determine which staff members have work that is suitable for a remote work arrangement. Staff members, who, because of their job requirements cannot work remotely, will continue to report to campus as usual.

Staff members who work remotely will be available during regular business hours through now-familiar technology, including video conferencing. However, even with the best technology, communication will be more limited; managers and staff members must develop clear expectations to ensure that we are all as productive as possible during these challenging times. All staff members, regardless of their work location, will be paid their regular salary; no special codes or forms will be required. There will be continued flexibility to allow the use of paid leave to meet those responsibilities and will work with those who, for any reason, may have exhausted their available paid leave.

For helpful information on working remotely, visit the CITS guide Be Prepared: Technology Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Working Remotely.

If you do report to campus, it is also important to keep frequently touched surfaces clean. Use commercially available wipes or other disinfectants, but do not bring industrial cleaners or solvents to work. Some products, while safe when used by themselves, can be very dangerous when mixed with other products. The Center for Disease Control (CD) has issued comprehensive Steps to Prevent Illness with additional information. Remember that if you are feeling sick - stay home and immediately contact your primary care doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.

Staff Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the UMassD Dartmouth Receiving Department has taken certain safety measures as recommended by the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Central Receiving will still be open Monday through Friday, but hours of operation will be limited from 8:00 am-12:00 noon. Deliveries will only be made on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays unless there are rush or perishable packages. To minimize contact, each department will be contacted by phone or email to schedule deliveries when offices can be emptied. If any departments are expecting large orders that need freight shipment and or the use of a forklift, please inform the shipping company that those deliveries will only be accepted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays before noon. If a freight company is unable to work with this schedule, have them contact Central Receiving to schedule shipment.

What can I do to protect myself?

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Stay home if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing and call ahead before you seek medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose withaa tissue or the crook of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Getting a flu shot if you have not already done so.

What if I or someone in my household develops flu-like symptoms?

Stay home and immediately contact your primary care doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.

How will I know if I have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19?

You will be contacted by public health officials as they perform their contact investigations.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)?

Due to the need for social distancing, coursework will be delivered online and many staff will be working remotely. These challenging times are only made more difficult with the loss of in-person interactions. Below, please find resources on possible activities for you and your family as well as wellness tips. It is important to take care of yourself and others during the days and weeks ahead.

Activities & Wellbeing Guide

All upcoming University-sponsored international and domestic travel using public transportation has been suspended until further notice.

The University strongly discourages individuals from personal traveling using public transportation, but if you do choose to travel, log your trip, no matter if it is domestic or abroad, in our travel registry system Terra Dotta. This allows the University to attempt to help you in the event your location experiences worsening conditions.

Please review CDC Travel information here and remember, do not travel if you are sick.

How will I know if I have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19?

You will be contacted by public health officials as they perform their contact investigations.

I am returning from Europe or Seattle, Washington, what do I need to do?

Individuals returning from countries or areas in the United States with widespread sustained ongoing transmission of COVID-19 will be required to stay home for 14 days, practice social distancing and monitor their health for signs and symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath

I have just returned from a cruise. Do I need to do anything special?

If you were on a cruise in the past 14 days, the CDC recommends:

  • Monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States
  • If a case of COVID-19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, stay home during these 14 days and practice social distancing.
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