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Provost Virtual Instruction Memorandum

Move to Essential and Non-Essential Employees and Campus Operations:

See links below and contact your supervisor and/or the Office of Human Resources at 601-877-6188 for more information.

1. Alternate Work Location (AWL) Policy –…

2. University Local Telework Guidelines –…

3. Request for Alternate Work Location (AWL) Arrangement Form –…

4. Alternate Work Location Agreement –…

Vicksburg Expansion Center Closed

Faculty Resources


We recognize that this is a rapidly evolving situation and have begun implementing contingency plans for university operations. As always, our top priority remains the health and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and community.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this novel (new) coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Source: CDC

The virus is thought to be transmitted from person-to-person in close contact (about 6 feet). The virus may be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and produces respiratory droplets that infect a nearby person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic; however, some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. Source: CDC

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Source: CDC

If you are sick with fever and a cough or having difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms.

Students with symptoms should call the Campus Health Services Center at (601) 877-6460 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday). Contact Campus Emergency Services after hours and on weekends by calling (601) 877-3000.

University employees should contact your healthcare provider. The University has developed policy direction for alternative work arrangements, isolation/quarantine, institutional closure and emergency furloughs related to a pandemic and communicable diseases.

At this time, there is no vaccine that prevents COVID-19 infection. You can reduce your risk of contracting respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid personal contact with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Recognize the symptoms of this illness which may include a high fever, cough, difficulty breathing, similar to what you may feel with the flu or a bad cold.
  • Seek care and immediately notify the Office of Health and Disability Services at the Campus Health Center or your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Source: CDC

Yes. On March 12th, the first case in Mississippi was confirmed in a patient in Forrest County (Hattiesburg).

State public health officials are doing everything possible to limit and slow the spread of the infection and will continue to communicate with the public and community to ensure everyone is equipped with up-to-date knowledge. For more information, visit the Mississippi State Department of Health website.

Your medical records and other health information provided to healthcare plans, doctors, hospitals and other providers are private. Your personal health information is protected under federal HIPAA laws. If you test positive for COVID-19, the local health department will contact you and initiate an investigation. The results of the investigations will determine next steps for limiting the exposure risk to others. This could include quarantining a floor in a residence hall or recommendations for a wider scope of quarantine and/or deep cleaning if the case originated in a campus facility or other area.

No, the University is not closed. As this situation evolves, we will continue to evaluate our University operations as we closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community. We will be in touch with the community as there are new developments.

Except in a few special cases (i.e. International Students, etc.), the University is continually encouraging students who desire to retrieve their personal belongings and return to their respective homes or permanent residence to do so. An organized process and to help manage traffic congestion for those returning to retrieve items, begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020, through 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020. If you are unable to retrieve your belongings at this time, please contact the office for assistance in scheduling another time.

Students with medical conditions should plan to go home, if at all possible, for the break, since it will be difficult for us to maintain an appropriate level of care. See the Office of Residence Life memo here.

Students living on campus in residence halls will be receiving more communication from the Office of Residence Life staff so please follow the directions in those communications. Please note, we are strongly encouraging all residential students, who have the ability, to not return to campus this semester. Students should understand this is not a requirement. All student handbook and residence life policies remain in effect.

Students with medical conditions should plan to go home, if at all possible, for the break, since it will be difficult for us to maintain an appropriate level of care. See the Office of Residence Life memo here.

  • Complete the Student Self-Reporting Portal. The link was emailed to all students accounts and posted on social media.
  • An Alcorn staff member will contact you to discuss your situation.
  • There will be limited dining options and modified cafeteria hours available for students.

This is the best way for us to keep the campus community safe. Additional information can be found on the Alcorn COVID-19 website

The campus is open during this time.

Classes and instruction, including final exams will be offered using virtual means for the remainder of the semester. The semester will resume on Monday March 23rd with classes online.

  • The University’s Facilities Management staff cleans and disinfects all communal bathrooms, surfaces and buildings daily. We have also ordered additional cleaning supplies for the campus.We have also placed hand sanitizer stations across campus and the Facilities staff has refilled them. Dispensers are near main entrances and/or nearby elevators. Please do not remove or damage the stations or the contents. Facilities staff are cleaning with disinfectant products in alignment with best practices from the Mississippi State Department of Health, in addition to increased cleaning of handrails, doorknobs, and other high touch areas. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their own personal hygiene and disinfectant supplies.

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, we are implementing social distancing and other restrictions. No new events should be planned and events with 10 or more participants should be cancelled or postponed. The NCAA and SWAC has cancelled the rest of the winter and spring seasons. We have cancelled probates, convocations, etc. as well.

  • Individuals are strongly encouraged to use social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Large gatherings on campus will immediately be dispersed and those present will be subject to university policies. In addition to increasing physical space of at least six feet between individuals, some of the other ways to implement social distancing include staggering work schedules, decreasing social contacts (e.g., limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.), and limiting large work-related gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, after-work functions).

With a limited number of exceptions, our current travel restrictions are as follows:

  • All domestic and international University-sponsored travel is suspended.
  • Athletic travel and large events are suspended.
  • We are requesting that all individuals who travel for personal reasons from areas where there is a sustained outbreak to self-report and self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. This protocol applies to students, faculty, staff, and community.
  • According to the Mississippi State Department of Health in conjunction with the CDC, people with preexisting health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, etc. are at higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection. They recommend that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from public places.

A number of local K-12 school districts have announced they will be closing for extended spring break starting Monday, March 16. This creates a substantial challenge for employees with children.

As always, employees must notify their supervisor as soon as possible if they plan to be away from work. If you are unsure as to whether you can report for work, please discuss with your supervisor. While COVID-19 protocols are in place at Alcorn, employees are asked to refrain from bringing their children to work.

  • The University is open. While the university implements its COVID-19 plans, managers and supervisors are encouraged to exercise normal protocols, to the extent possible, in order to maintain standard operations. Employees who feel they are unable to report to work should contact their supervisor as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements.

Employees who are not feeling well (but able to work) or believe they may have coronavirus symptoms, should not come to campus and call their health care provider if their condition worsens. Employees who are returning from areas with confirmed cases will need to self-report and self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Please call your direct supervisor in advance. When sick, employees should follow normal call out procedures in their various offices. Employees should also submit leave pre-approval forms and record their sick time in Banner per normal practices.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Call your healthcare provider before showing up to their office so that they can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

  • Regardless of your status on campus, students can reach out to the Office of Counseling Services by calling (601) 877-6230 or via email at [email protected]. Office staff will connect you to any additional resources you may need.