Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Update - 3/18/2020

We are facing challenging and unprecedented days and I am confident that we will see the Lord’s hand as we work through this situation. As a leadership team, we continue to be proactive in our response to meet this crisis and desire to ensure the continuity of education as well as the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. While we had hoped to resume classes on April 6, the situation has continued to broaden and we have been listening to and following guidance put forth by local, state, and federal agencies. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all face to face instruction for the remainder of the semester. Our desire is to minimize repeated disruption as the situation continues to evolve, to focus on the educational needs of our students, and to ensure we are keeping our students, faculty/staff and greater community safe.

In these challenging times, I am reminded of Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV), “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” As we move into this strange space, may we collectively come to the Lord in prayer for wisdom, understanding, and peace. I ask for your continued support as we strive together during this difficult time.

Trusting Him,

Phil Boom

 

3/17/2020

We are continuing to evaluate the College’s current educational plans in light of Gov. Kim Reynolds State of Public Health Disaster Emergency announcement. In the proclamation from the governor, section three, part E, “mass gatherings: social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.”

Our current plan to extend spring break by one-week, March 16-20, and begin online instruction March 23 until at least April 3 meets the standards of this proclamation. However, we realize that the situation is fluid, and we will keep you updated on any changes in our approach to the crisis. We will continue to update our FAQ as information changes.

On behalf of the Emmaus Bible College Administration,

Phil Boom

 

3/12/2020

While cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have increased in Iowa, as of March 12 there are no reported cases on the Emmaus Bible College campus, in Dubuque, or Dubuque County. However, we continue to take seriously the health and welfare of our campus community as well as the Dubuque community. Therefore, as an administration we have made the decision to suspend on-campus face-to-face instruction through at least April 3. We will extend spring break by one-week, March 16-20, to allow time for our faculty to transition to online instruction. We will begin online instruction on March 23 until at least April 3. We plan to resume regular classes on April 6. The situation is evolving and we will keep you updated of any changes to this plan. 

We understand that this presents challenges for many of you and there will be many questions. We are working diligently to provide answers to many of your questions as we work out the details of this evolving situation. See FAQ for initial answers. Check back for updates. 

Students as you return to campus from planned spring break activities, we ask that you retrieve your study materials and needed personal items, then plan to return home if possible. However, our residence halls will be open for those for whom remaining at home is not a possibility. If your situation requires you to remain on campus please fill out the housing application form provided. If you have additional questions please contact Hannah Leavitt. 

We will have additional details in the next few days. Please be sure to diligently check your campus email accounts.

On behalf of the Emmaus Bible College Administration,

Phil Boom

 

3/10/2020

As we continue to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) we want to keep you updated on where we are as a campus community. There have been no confirmed cases involving faculty, staff, or students of Emmaus, however we want to ensure a proactive approach to maintain the health and safety of our community. Therefore, we are asking all students, faculty, and staff to register any international travel, whether for personal or college-initiated programs. Please provide the international cities, countries, and airports visited or planned to visit during the spring semester. Additionally, please register all cruise ship travel in the last 14 days or upcoming. Please use this online travel registration form.

In alignment with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health any student, faculty, or staff member who has traveled to a Level 3 country where there is extensive community transmission of COVID-19 (China, Iran, South Korea, Italy) should self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the United States and before returning to campus. Additionally, if you have been on a cruise ship in the past 14 days, the CDC recommends that you monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S. If your ship had any confirmed COVID-19 cases you are asked to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing before returning to campus.

Affected students should contact the student life office at studentlife@emmaus.edu and their professors to discuss class options away from campus. Employees should contact their supervisors for further instructions.

If you need to self-isolate the CDC recommends the following:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period.

  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.

  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.

  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).

Again, many of the same preventative measures you would undertake for the Influenza (flu) apply to the COVID-19. Also, remember that influenza is still circulating on campus in our communities and we encourage you with the following:

  • stay away from people who are sick to avoid exposure

  • cover coughs and sneezes

  • frequent handwashing with soap and water

  • clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated

  • stay home or isolated when sick (students notify the ResLife staff if you are sick)

Please visit the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health websites for the latest information regarding the COVID-19. For Emmaus community questions related to COVID-19 you can email studentlife@emmaus.edu

Health Care Providers in Dubuque:

(Please check with your health insurance provider for coverage information)

UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital

350 N Grandview Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001

(563) 582-1881

Mercy Medical Center

250 Mercy Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001

E.R. open 24hrs - (563) 589-8000

Unity Point Urgent Care West

2255 John F Kennedy Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001

Closes 8PM - (563) 589-4960

Unity Point Urgent Care East

1550 University Ave Open

Closes 8PM - (563) 589-4960

Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

There are no known cases on our campus. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, there have been 614 cases in Iowa as of April 2, 2020.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the Center for Disease Control:

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are sickest.
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. There have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

If you are a student that has been given special permission to remain on campus and develop a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, please notify a member of the ResLife team and call your local health provider to report your arrival for an evaluation for COVID-19. If you are an employee or other community member, call your primary care provider for further instructions.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s handwashing recommendations.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

The CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

In addition to the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) provides guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.

In alignment with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health any student, faculty, or staff member who has traveled to a Level 3 country where there is extensive community transmission of COVID-19 (China, Iran, South Korea, Italy) should self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the United States and before returning to campus. Additionally, if you have been on a cruise ship in the past 14 days, the CDC recommends that you monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S. If your ship had any confirmed COVID-19 cases you are asked to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing before returning to campus. Affected students should contact the student life office at studentlife@emmaus.edu. Employees should contact their supervisors for further instructions.

If a student that has been given special permission to remain on campus is diagnosed with COVID-19, that student will be isolated or hospitalized as required.  Any close contacts of that case will be quarantined separately on campus. These students will be provided with appropriate housing, food, and monitoring during this designated time while being able to continue with the virtual teaching established for all students.  Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the isolation instructions of their primary care provider and not return to campus until given clearance by their medical provider.

If you need to self-isolate the CDC recommends the following:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).

In alignment with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health any student, faculty, or staff member who has traveled to a Level 3 country where there is extensive community transmission of COVID-19 (China, Iran, South Korea, Italy) should self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the United States and before returning to campus. Additionally, if you have been on a cruise ship in the past 14 days, the CDC recommends that you monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S. If your ship had any confirmed COVID-19 cases you are asked to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing before returning to campus. Affected students should contact the student life office at studentlife@emmaus.edu and their professors to discuss class options away from campus. Employees should contact their supervisors for further instructions.

Students we ask you to begin moving out of the residence halls in the same way you would for summer break. We ask that you use the rest of this extra spring break week to complete that process, through Sunday March 22 at 5pm. Once you arrive on campus, we ask that you stay no more than 24hrs, using this time to pack-up and place items in storage if needed. Students unable to return to move-out in this time frame will need to make an appointment with Hannah Leavitt to schedule a move-out time at a later date, preferably prior to May 10. We are asking students not to return to campus after March 22 unless you have prior approval through the ResLife Office or until further notice.  

Upon arrival please check-in with the ResLife staff who will be located in the lower commons 9:00am - 5:00pm. They will give you more information on check-out procedures, and can help give directions on storage options. To help offset some costs incurred by the disruption, storage costs will be waived for this summer and is first come, first serve until we are full. However each item/box will require a label and storage sticker. Please ensure you check-out with a member of the ResLife team prior to your departure; The RDs and available RAs will have check-out forms and storage stickers/contracts available. We ask that you pack and move expeditiously and practice social distancing with others who may also be moving out. Students who do not practice social distancing will be asked to leave campus. 

If you need to request an exception to remain in campus housing past 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, please complete the housing exception request form before noon on Sunday, March 22.  All requests will be reviewed by Hannah Leavitt, Director of Residence Life and Dean Chavez, with decisions communicated daily. In order to stay on campus for the rest of the Spring semester (March 22 - May 10), you must meet one of the following initial criteria (International students, MK’s, approved on-campus employment, NICC student, or internship/student teaching). Students employed off-campus will not be approved for campus housing at this time. 

If you meet the above criteria and to remain in on-campus housing, you must complete the housing exception form by Sunday, March 22. If you do not complete this form, it is assumed you will depart campus by March 22. For approved students, the situation may require that you leave and return. (e.g. NICC students and student teachers whose schools are suspended for 3-4 weeks).  

We will continue to provide meals to students living in the residence halls until further notice.

Emmaus Bible College provides many tools and technologies that will support this adjustment in teaching delivery mode. Each faculty member will be responsible for determining how to best craft their materials to ensure student success. Academic and Informational Technology staff will be working alongside faculty during this transition period. Faculty will contact their students with additional information about how to proceed with virtual class sessions and course assignments.

Participating students will be notified as soon as updates are available. Please contact your trip leader for additional information.

 

Students should be prepared to access their course materials with a basic computer or mobile device with internet connectivity, speakers and microphone or a headset with a microphone. Some faculty may require a web camera. Faculty will inform students of the specific technology requirements prior to the first day of class, March 23.

We will update students as information becomes available. Students can also check the UD and NICC websites for more information.

We will be issuing refunds for room and board. If you are not on campus for the final eight weeks of the semester, a credit equal to 8 of the 17-week semester of your room and board fees will be issued. This amount will be applied to your student account with the college. If you continue to reside on campus for an amount of time different than the 8 weeks, a prorated credit equal to the number of weeks you reside will be applied to your student account.

Refunds will be issued as follows:

  • Credit to any unpaid balance, which will lower your amount due to the college.

If your current balance has been paid in full:

  • If you are returning next semester, you can apply the credit to next year.
  • Check issued refund.

Due to many different student circumstances (such as, some students remaining, others here for the 2nd spring break week, resident assistants, etc.), we anticipate at least a full week to determine the refund amount per student. Please check Empower after that time to view your adjusted balance.

At this time we have received permission from our accreditor, ABHE, to waive the requirements for SLT and Chapel for the semester. We believe wholeheartedly in Christian service as a demonstration of the gospel and a life well lived in service to Christ. However, with the disruption in our current situation, we endeavor to not increase your workload at this time. We would encourage thoughtful Christian service in your area and in guidance from health officials to vulnerable populations.   

Regarding chapel, we are very much committed to spiritual growth and encouragement.  While chapel sessions are not required for the remainder of the semester, we are committed to providing an avenue of spiritual engagement. We are developing some opportunities for you to be encouraged by God's word as a community and to engage in encouraging each other throughout this semester. 

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Spring Concert, Spring Banquet, and the Year-End Retreat. We certainly share in the disappointment, especially for our seniors for whom these special occasions will be missed. "Baccalaureate and Commencement have both been postponed at this time. We do not have a new date identified at this time, but we will update this page as soon as we know more. Our prayer is that we will be able to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates in some way."

ESU is working diligently from afar and will be providing opportunities for community engagement throughout this semester. Be sure to check ESU's social media platforms. 

In order to continue to provide support and continuity, we are working on a means of continuing counseling services with little to no disruption. Below you will find some of the strategies that we are using to meet this important need in our community. 

  • If you are in the state of Iowa: Heath Munson is working to set up telehealth services so we will be able to communicate via secure video conferencing software.
  • If you are in another state: Please contact Heath Munson via email or phone if you're interested in continuing/starting services. Telehealth rules vary from state to state so he will be able to identify what is needed before proceeding on a case by case basis.

Please use ebcstudentcounseling.clientsecure.me/home to schedule appointments or contact Heath Munson at hmunson@emmaus.edu or extension 1115 with questions or concerns. Heath will be in touch with those currently scheduled to confirm appointments and the means of the appointment.

This can be an anxious time with a lot of uncertainty. Talk to supports (parents, pastors, mentors, friends) and reach out to Heath. If you'd like to talk and don't see time on the schedule, please let Heath know and he will find time to touch base.

Emmaus Bible College has made the decision to close aspects of Pollard Fieldhouse until further notice, as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
As such, the following areas will be closed: Fitness Center and Weight Room are closed to Staff, Students, and Members until further notice.

  • Main Gym is closed to staff, students, and members until further notice.
  • Auxiliary Gym is closed to staff, students, and members until further notice.
  • Intramural Closet and Equipment access are closed to staff, students, and members until further notice.
  • Athletic laundry room and varsity equipment is closed to staff, students, and members until further notice.

Educating and equipping learners to impact the world for Christ.

 2570 Asbury Road
   Dubuque, IA 52001

 (563) 588-8000

 info@emmaus.edu