As you know, over the past three weeks, the College has monitored, prepared, and taken action steps with respect to the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak. Certainly, federal, state and local health officials have made it clear that COVID-19 is a serious public health matter as it spreads through the general population.
To date, the College has been indeed fortunate that no student or employee personally has been impacted by the virus. Yet, students — as on the vast majority of college and university campuses — soon will depart for the traditional spring break. That reality has prompted the College to take the following actions:
- Although classes and activities through Friday, March 13 will continue as scheduled, Faculty and Learning Specialists are preparing contingencies that will be discussed with students prior to their departure for Spring Break to allow them to continue progressing in their coursework;
- Therefore, we are advising departing students to bring home class materials that may support the continuation of their studies should the situation demand that for as much as two weeks their courses be taught remotely;
- As the spread and response to the virus nationwide remains fluid, we are asking that students and families regularly check their email, Beacon’s website, and Facebook for updates on the College’s decisions regarding the timing of a return to campus at the close of Spring Break;
- In particular, the College will decide whether a delay on returning to campus for classes that are scheduled to commence on Monday, March 23 is necessary based on recommendations from Florida public health officials. The College will issue a statement on the decision by email, the website, and Facebook no later than Wednesday evening, March 18;
- At this time, the College anticipates that students will return as scheduled at the close of Break Week, but are making this announcement out of an abundance of caution. When students do return, we ask them to bring a supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for their personal use in their rooms and other personal spaces.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that Beacon is taking every precaution to protect students and employees prior to Spring Break. Our facilities and grounds staff have taken particular care to ensure that all hand sanitizer stations are refilled regularly and that common surfaces are disinfected.
Similarly, the College’s food service in the final days before Spring Break has suspended self-serve stations. Pre-packaged salads, fruits, and other items are now available. Students who are traveling Friday and Saturday are welcome to pre-order sandwiches and snacks for the travel home. Students may contact Dining Services directly tomorrow (Thursday), March 12 to place their order.
As always, as this situation evolves, our primary concern is for the welfare of our students and employees.