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Coronavirus Updates

This page includes the latest information on Lenoir-Rhyne University Coronavirus (COVID-19) communications.

An archive of all University Coronavirus Updates sent to students, faculty and staff is provided at the bottom of this page.

LR is committed to supporting our students, faculty and staff during these times of uncertainty and will continue to work through questions that arise as we adapt to this new reality.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with CDC guidelines on COVID-19: How to Protect Yourself and Others to limit the spread of Coronavirus.

Revised Fall 2020 Semester Calendar 

A revised fall calendar has been created in consultation with deans, representatives from the Asheville and Columbia campuses, athletics, the presidential task force, the SGA president, and members of the Cabinet. Our goals have been to implement best practices given the uncertainty of the virus and the prediction of another wave in late fall and early winter. 

The plan we have adopted is to start classes as scheduled on Monday, August 24, eliminate fall break and complete classes no later than Friday, November 20. Exams will be scheduled the week after Thanksgiving and will be given remotely or online. 

Ending classes before Thanksgiving week will prevent the concern of community spread, allow students time to travel home prior to the Thanksgiving rush, while also providing flexibility to complete the semester in December if we do get a disruption during the semester. 

We will also implement a revised class meeting time for fall so we can practice social distancing within our classroom environment. This format will facilitate a hybrid model for class delivery and should make any transition during the semester much easier. Please see the attached revisions to fall calendar, class and exam schedules. 

See also Class Periods, Meeting Times and Final Exam Schedule (PDF)

 Activity

Original Calendar

Revised Calendar

Move In

Aug 21 (Friday)

Aug 1-21 (Staggered)

Classes Begin

Aug 24 (Monday)

Aug 24 (Monday)

Homecoming

Oct 10 (Saturday)

Oct 10 (Saturday)

Fall Break

Oct 19-20 (Mon-Tues)

No Fall Break*

Last Day Classes

Dec 4 (Fri)

Nov 20 (Fri)

Reading Days

Dec 5-6 (Sat-Sun)

Nov 23-24 (Mon-Tues)

Thanksgiving Holiday

Nov 26-27 (Th-F)

Nov 25-27 (W-F)

Exams

Dec 7-10 (M-Th)

Nov 30 - Dec 3 (Mon-Thur) Online

Grades Due

Dec 11-14 (Fri-Mon)

Dec 4-7 (Fri-Mon)

End of Semester

Dec 11 (Fri)

Dec 11 (Fri)

Campus Closed

Dec 18-Jan 3

Dec 18 - Jan 3

University Opens

Jan 4 (Monday)

Jan 4 (Monday)

*LR university holiday on Monday October 19 will be moved to Wednesday November 25 

Return to Work

We will begin phasing in return-to-work plans for LR staff beginning Monday, July 6. We will stagger return to work implementation and some areas will have to develop creative and staggered work schedules to ensure social distancing. Staff should contact their supervisor for details.

Masks on Campus and Social Distancing

Beginning Monday, June 15, all faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear an appropriately sized mask when in the presence of others on the LR campus. While there will be some disposable masks available in campus buildings, faculty, staff and students and visitors should plan to provide their own.

In addition, all face-to-face interactions should practice our social distancing policy of having at least six feet of space in between people, while at the same time wearing a mask or approved face shield. Faculty and staff do not have to wear a mask when alone in their own offices.

We expect all faculty, staff and students to practice thorough hand washing at least five times daily while on campus. In addition, there will be hand sanitizing stations throughout campus.

In certain areas on campus we also will install Plexiglas shields to reduce the spread of germs. You will find these shields in the business office and library, for example.

While I understand that these policies will require a change in behavior, they are meant to minimize the chance of community spread of the coronavirus and to practice appropriate good hygiene behavior.

Travel

All LR-supported faculty, staff and student travel is suspended until further notice. The exception to this is student travel for clinical assignments, student teaching, internships, athletic teams, etc. Also necessary faculty and staff travel to our Columbia and Asheville campuses is permitted. Any exceptions to the travel ban should have the support of your supervisor and prior approval of the president. 

Campus Meetings

On-campus group meetings should be in Zoom or virtual format. We are discouraging on-campus, face-to-face meetings. If absolutely necessary, meetings should allow for six feet between any attendees and all will be required to wear a mask during these meetings. One-on-one meetings in offices are permitted as long as the six feet distance and mask wearing are implemented.

Buildings

The task force has assigned one person from every campus building to determine the social distancing measures that need to be addressed in that space. Each building is unique; therefore, the policies in every building also will be unique. Factors to consider include the number of visitors, shared workspaces, common areas and cleaning.

External Events Groups

At this time, we have suspended the hosting of any external events on the LR campus including, but not limited to, weddings, conferences, events, guest speakers, etc. We hope to continue as many events as possible through a virtual format to further reduce the likelihood of community spread.

Commencement

As mentioned previously, we plan to celebrate Commencement on each of our three campuses and aim to announce tentative dates shortly. The decision regarding the date will be driven by local and state guidelines on mass gatherings, but we are trying to schedule closer to the beginning of September and make this a celebration of our graduates as well as a celebration of the beginning of our new academic year.

As we work to make plans, we also must acknowledge that the situation may change and affect our plans. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust policies as needed. While there is much uncertainty, we do know that patience and flexibility will critical to our success.


Coronavirus University Communications


What You Can Do

Check emails daily for university updates and communications. As always, you can take the following precautions to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

  • Practice social distancing and staying about six feet away from others in social settings.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hands).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean devices such as phones and keyboards frequently.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Call your doctor’s office if you feel sick and ask about virtual appointment options or if in South Carolina, visit SCDHEC Free Virtual/Telehealth Visit. This will help prevent the spread of illness.
  • Get a flu shot, it’s not too late. During this time of year, respiratory illnesses in North Carolina and South Carolina are most likely due to infection with influenza or viruses that cause the common cold.
     

How to Protect Yourself & Others