April 3, 2020, 8:10 p.m.
This information is being released in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
To Our Shepherd University Community:
Today, Governor Jim Justice announced that the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia (specifically Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson Counties) is the location of the first West Virginia COVID-19 cluster. This is due to the rapidly increasing numbers of individuals who have tested positive in a short time span.
In January, Shepherd University formed a Campus Health Task Force to track the forecasted pandemic by actively pursuing every possible method to prepare, mitigate, respond to, and recover from this event. A few weeks ago, the Shepherd University COVID-19 website was created. It can be found at www.shepherd.edu/COVID-19. All pandemic information as it relates to our campus community is on this site and is updated frequently with the latest recommendations.
The purpose of this important communication is to continue the ongoing priority of preserving the health and safety of each and every member of the Shepherd University campus community. This is the single most important duty of the leadership of Shepherd.
As the numbers of positive COVID-19 tests are increasing, the practice of social distancing is absolutely critical. Adhering to the CDC Guidelines, Shepherd University has transitioned all courses to distance learning; fewer than 80 residential students remain on campus; messages through email and social media have been sent; and staff and faculty have been encouraged to work from home when possible. Students who do remain in our residence halls are in individual rooms spread over three different buildings.
At this time, we do not have any confirmed reports of staff who have tested positive. Students who have tested positive are commuter students and are being advised by local health departments.
Accurate and up to date information is critical at this time. Please consider reviewing the information found on these important websites:
WV Department of Health and Human Services: www.coronavirus.wv.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
Shepherd University COVID-19: https://www.shepherd.edu/covid-19/helpful-links-2
Your health and wellbeing are our highest priority. Please follow the advice of the CDC by practicing social distancing, wash your hands, stay home, self-quarantine if you have been exposed to the virus even if you are not experiencing symptoms.
This communication is part of a federally required safety notification related to COVID-19. Please monitor your emails and our website for up-to-date information.
Holly Morgan Frye
Chair, Campus Health Task Force
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and
Director of Community Relations
Shepherd University Police Department