AUM - Coronavirus Update | AUM

AUM - Coronavirus Update

News from AUM:  Coronavirus

 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Auburn University at Montgomery adapts to governor’s stay-at-home order

In keeping with the stay-at-home order issued by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Auburn University at Montgomery will restrict access to most campus buildings and limit remaining on-campus staff to those who provide critical infrastructure support.

All campus facilities, with the exception of the Taylor Center, will be locked with access restricted to only those individuals authorized to enter. Employees who need to collect items from their offices and do not have key access to their building should contact their department heads or supervisors or AUM Police at 334-244-3424. Employees should be able to present their AUM identification to campus police.

The governor’s stay-at-home order, issued on Friday, April 3, will take effect on Saturday, April 4, at 5 p.m., and remain in place until at least April 30. The order states that individuals should remain at home unless they are performing “essential activities.”

Exceptions to the stay-at-home order include:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies, including food and consumer goods needed to maintain daily routines, safety and sanitation, as well as supplies needed to work from home, pharmaceutical or medical supplies, fuel and materials for distance learning or educational purposes
  • Obtaining or providing necessary services, including distance learning and other educational activities, medical or dental assistance and services necessary to the safety and health of a person or pet.
  • Attending religious services that involve fewer than 10 participants and provide for a consistent 6-foot distance between attendees, as well as drive-in worship services that require attendees to remain in vehicles and observe 6-foot social distancing
  • Taking care of others, which includes providing care for a person or pet in another household, donating blood or transporting a family, friend or pet
  • Working at “essential businesses and operations,” which includes security, payroll or inventory management, as well as activities that allow people to work or shop remotely from their home and obtain items through delivery or curbside pickup
  • Engaging in outdoor activities as long as the activity involves fewer than 10 people who maintain a consistent 6-foot distance from others
  • Seeking shelter if required by employment in delivery of an “essential service of business” or if a residence is unsafe or at-risk of becoming unsafe
  • Traveling as required by law, including court order or transportation of a child in accordance with a custody agreement
  • Visiting family members

While the majority of AUM’s employees will continue to work remotely, several units will continue to address operational needs with rotations of personnel or limited numbers of staff members on-site. These units include AUM Police, Admissions, Facilities, Financial Aid, Honors Program, Housing & Residence Life, Housekeeping, Information Technology Services, Mailroom, Registrar and the Student Health Clinic. Dining Services will maintain operating hours Monday-Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to serve campus housing residents, while mail services will operate Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon. Warhawk Transit operations are suspended indefinitely.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

A message to our student body

Warhawk Family:

What a week for the Warhawks!

I would like to congratulate all AUM students for successfully making it through our first week of distance learning. When we began the semester just 73 days ago, none of us expected to be finishing the semester scattered across the country and completely reliant on Blackboard, Zoom, FaceTime, and social media to connect us.

This week, I have had the opportunity to speak with students who have remained on campus, students who have moved back to tend to their families in places like Mobile and Birmingham, students who are in cities with "shelter in place" ordinances, and even students who are unexpectedly stuck out of the country. Each interaction has instilled in me a great sense of pride in our Warhawk family. I see students making decisions that promote public safety, deepen our sense of community, and shine a light of positivity into our world.

I also want to thank you all for your tremendous patience and understanding during this challenging time. AUM leaders are involved in nearly non-stop daily meetings focused on meeting the challenges that we are facing and crafting the most student-friendly solutions that are possible. For instance, it was heartbreaking to announce yesterday that our spring Commencement ceremony will be postponed, but we are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with plans to make sure that every graduate has the opportunity on August 15 to walk across the stage and to invite their loved ones to share in that special moment.

In fact, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the ways that we can celebrate together once we are all back on campus. While I do not know everything that the future holds, I do know that it involves a giant party once socialization is safe without a 6-foot buffer zone - an opportunity for us to get together again and celebrate our resilience and the ways that we worked hard to finish Spring 2020 strong.  

As we continue to respond to new public health updates, I want to assure you that AUM's top priority is your health and safety. Our faculty, staff, and administration have worked overtime to establish creative ways to make major adjustments, allowing almost all of our student support services to be delivered online and significantly reducing the risk that anyone would face during this historic pandemic.

As new developments emerge, please visit AUM's COVID-19 resource page for coronavirus-related updates across a wide range of relevant topics, as well as a Student FAQ section that we're continuing to populate with information.

Campus remains open, but with classes moving online many of you have decided to stay home. To that end, all of our academic and support services are, to the extent possible, available virtually. I encourage you to continue to utilize the  Warhawk Help Portal for any questions that you have. The Warhawk Help Portal is your one-stop shop for any inquiry related to campus changes.

As we think about beginning the weekend and creating sustainable practices to help our community during this time of social-distancing and growing anxiety, I want to encourage you to take a few, or all, of these practical steps to enrich your relationships and strengthen your community.

STAY CONNECTED. Use social media frequently to help others see you. Your friends and peers want to know how you are doing, so keep those social media platforms sparking. Now is a great time to share stories of creativity, frustration, and all of the realness associated with our present situation.

RAISE AWARENESS. There are a lot of needs in our communities right now. There are food shortages, personal protective gear shortages, financial strains, and more. Our world is full of organizations that are doing wonderful things to help those in need and those organizations will all benefit from your help raising awareness. When you see an organization that is doing amazing work, we'd love for you to share it and help raise awareness of how others can support them and be inspired by their example.

SHOW SOME LOVE. Send a kind email to a professor or advisor or anyone else at AUM that has been helpful and supportive during this time. When you notice someone going the extra mile, you'll make their day by letting them know that you appreciate their thoughtfulness and hard work. Many of the same concerns you are currently wrestling with are also shared by your professors, advisors and others who are working to assist you.

INCREASE YOUR ACADEMIC FOCUS. In light of all the distractions around us, it will take an extra measure of purpose to perform well academically. Engage with your faculty in virtual office hours. Schedule an appointment for online tutoring through the Warhawk Academic Success Center or Instructional Support Lab. Create virtual study groups to prepare for exams. Above all, we want you to be mindful of the academic resources that are still available for you to utilize this semester.  

BE SENSITIVE. Social distancing and quarantining can often create a sense of dread. Think about people in your life that could use a little voice-to-voice contact. Maybe it's someone who is isolated because they are in a high-risk demographic, maybe it's just someone you haven't seen in a while. Never underestimate the profound impact that you can have by simply calling someone and telling them, "You've been on my mind and I just wanted to hear your voice."

At AUM, our goal is for you to become the kind of leader that our world needs. We want you to be changed by the educational process in ways that make you a strong, wise, and compassionate leader. The stories that I have seen emerge this week make it clear that our students truly are the MIGHTY Warhawks. I'm grateful for the ways that you have all brought your best to this situation and made Warhawk Nation more like Warhawk Family.

Go Warhawks,

Josh Roberts
Dean of Students, Diversity & Inclusion


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Update: Commencement ceremony plans, summer course delivery, as well as temporary changes to grading and course withdrawal date

Dear Auburn University at Montgomery Family:

Over the last few weeks, we have been confronted by an extraordinary set of circumstances that have impacted -- and continue to cause upheaval for -- our campus, city, state, and nation. Meeting the immense challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic requires adjustments to be made.

We have modified the manner in which we provide course instruction and deliver campus services. We have curtailed activities and observed the social distancing practices recommended by public health officials. After much deliberation, we will institute additional changes that are necessary under the present circumstances.

We will provide all of our summer courses via remote delivery. While we had hoped the public safety concerns connected to COVID-19 would pass quickly, we believe this decision best safeguards the well-being of our students and employees. Registration for summer courses begins this week, and we are offering a Summer Incentive Scholarship Program for first-time AUM undergraduate and graduate students.

We will delay our Spring 2020 commencement ceremony, an important and unavoidable step for the health of our community. While our spring Class of 2020 will earn their degrees in May and become AUM alumni, the formal celebration of their success will be observed on Saturday, August 15. We delayed this decision as long as possible in the hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic would show signs of subsiding and that we would be able to gather for our university's most special occasion at our usual time. 

Of all the decisions that we've had to make during this difficult period, this one has been the most heartbreaking. This spring semester should be about our graduates completing their degrees and celebrating years of hard work with professors, family, and friends. However, this change is necessary in light of public health guidance regarding the avoidance of large gatherings. We will share information about how our graduates will receive their diplomas as soon as we have it, as well as a schedule for the August celebration. We hope that the timing of this decision will allow graduates, as well as their families and loved ones, time to plan accordingly.

We understand that this decision may add to the stress and uncertainty many of you are undoubtedly experiencing. That is why we have made some temporary adjustments to our academic policies. AUM's Office of the Provost has examined grading options for students and faculty, as well as course withdrawal dates, and developed the following initiatives:

AUM will extend the deadline for students to drop a course with a "W" to Friday, April 24. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors to understand how withdrawal might affect academic progression.

AUM will also offer a temporary expansion of pass/fail options. Once letter grades have been entered for Spring 2020 courses by the faculty, students will have the opportunity to request conversion of any passing grade to an "S" and any failing grade to a "U." This temporary change will not impact how faculty members assign grades in their classes, but it will offer students the option to request a possible change after reviewing their final grades. S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grades are not included in grade point average determinations and do not impact students' GPA for "Satisfactory Academic Progress," an important measure for continued financial aid.

Please visit our COVID-19 resource page and find additional details about the expansion of pass/fail options in the Student and Employee FAQ sections.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our everyday routines, but some things remain durable in this moment. Our faculty and staff remain committed to helping AUM students achieve success. And our soon-to-be graduates will build on the legacy of their predecessors by utilizing their education and talents to make their communities stronger through their work as educators, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, researchers and more.

I remain immensely proud of AUM's students, faculty, and staff during a period that presents a formidable but not insurmountable test for all of us. We will pass it because we are the Mighty Warhawks.

Sincerely,

Carl A. Stockton, Ph.D.
Chancellor


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

AUM Counseling Expert provides tips to maintain your mental health during Coronavirus outbreak

As changes continue to take place altering daily routines, travel, academic studies, and interactions with others due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), there will be thoughts of fear, moments of panic and uncertainty, and periods of anxiety.

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) students, faculty, staff, or anyone, can safeguard their mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak and quarantine periods by properly managing strong emotions, anxiety and feelings of helplessness, said Greta Chambless, director of AUM Counseling and Health Promotion Services (CHPS).

“It’s key to know during these uncertain times the importance of self-care and educating others about mental health to help breakdown stigmas associated with mental illness,” Chambless said. “Students especially can benefit from proper self-care because it helps to improve their mental health in addition to their personal and academic lives.”

To maintain your mental health and well-being during this period, Chambless recommends the following six self-care approaches:

  • Slow down, be mindful, and breathe. This is a great time to reduce the fast pace of daily life. Enjoy more quality time with family and more time with self. Embrace today and don’t focus too much on the future.
  • Engage in self-care and be kind to yourself. Participate in hobbies, stress relieving activities, and anything that brings you joy and relaxation while following recommended “social distancing” guidelines to observe a 6-foot buffer zone between individuals.
  • Reduce time on social media, news exposure, and communicating with others about this pandemic. Information found in the media can increase fear and anxiety. Continually talking about COVID-19 with others can keep you stuck in worry, anxiety, and fear.
  • Stay connected with your support system. Check in with friends and family through phone, text messages, Facetime, Skype, etc. Should you need support from professionals, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
  • Remain flexible. This is an uncertain time for everyone. Do the best you can and take it day-by-day. Recognize that you may experience a variety of emotions, but this is normal and okay. Feel free to acknowledge your emotions but without judgment.
  • Stay positive and do not give in to fear. You can choose to remain optimistic, practice gratitude, show love to yourself and others, and continue to create happiness in your life. 

About AUM Counseling and Health Promotion Services

AUM’s Counseling and Health Promotion Services office is staffed by licensed counselors and provides free confidential counseling services to all current students in a safe, nonjudgmental and confidential space. The office offers crisis interventions, individual counseling, group counseling, assessments, and referrals to students. Services also include free consultation, outreach, educational programs and trainings for students, faculty, and staff.

 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

AUM employee reports positive test for COVID-19

An Auburn University at Montgomery employee has reported testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The employee has observed self-isolation at home since reporting potential exposure. We wish them the best in their recovery process.

AUM has notified those employees who may have been exposed to the employee through workplace interaction. Those individuals have been asked to observe a 14-day self-quarantine.

The employee was last on campus March 16 and is not believed to have had contact with any students or with employees beyond those who have been contacted directly by the university.

The Alabama Department of Public Health does not currently recommend additional measures beyond those described, but AUM will continue to monitor the situation and will advise appropriate individuals or groups accordingly should that change. 

For more information about COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 web page and FAQ sections for students and employees.


Monday, March 23, 2020

A message to our faculty and staff:  AUM community appreciates your efforts

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I know that, for all of you, these are particularly uncertain times as we adjust processes and amend policies in responding to the challenges COVID-19 presents to our campus, community, state, nation, and world. Each day brings new information about how to mitigate the spread of the virus, which in turn necessitates change at a far more accelerated pace than we may be accustomed to in academia.

Please know that your efforts, as faculty and staff, are greatly appreciated. Many of you worked during your spring break to help prepare our students for the transition to remote learning while also balancing care for your own families as public schools announced closures and "social distancing" became a facet of our daily lives.

Our students also face considerable uncertainty as we collectively navigate challenging and rapidly changing circumstances. While we have tried to proactively address the items that are top of mind for our students, they may express unanticipated concerns or needs to their professors and staff members. Please encourage your students to direct these matters to our online Warhawk Help portal, and to utilize the FAQ section of our COVID-19 web presence.

With this being our first week back from spring break and our first experiment with a different operational and instructional model, it is expected that some of our processes will have rocky beginnings until we have an opportunity to test and refine them. These experiences represent learning opportunities for all of us and will help us become more effective in serving the needs of our students.

Each of our decisions during this uncertain time has been guided by the imperative of preserving the health and well-being of our campus community. Beyond that, we are focused on delivering - with as minimal disruption as possible - the high-quality educational experience and campus services our students have come to expect.

We do not yet know whether the COVID-19 will allow for a return to normalcy in short order or whether the changes we have made in response represent a new normal for an extended period. I can, however, say this with complete certainty: There is no doubt about who we are as a campus community. 

Our faculty and staff are strong, compassionate, student-focused, creative, resourceful, and resilient. We will work together to ensure the needs of our campus community are met.

I want to thank each of you again for going the extra mile to help our students and the AUM family during this time of uncertainty. I firmly believe we will get past all of this.

Please continue to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your fellow AUM Warhawks during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

 

Carl A. Stockton, Ph.D.
Chancellor


Friday, March 20, 2020

Update regarding AUM student housing

As mentioned in an earlier email, Auburn University at Montgomery will offer remote course delivery rather than face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the spring semester.

Based on guidance from public health officials regarding COVID-19, AUM encourages students not to return to campus residence halls. However, residence halls will remain open for those students who have a need for housing.

Those students who do not plan to return to campus housing this semester are encouraged to make arrangements to collect personal belongings and return room keys the week of March 23. Student accounts will be credited for the remainder of the semester once room keys have been returned.

Please complete our housing intent form to help us ensure that we meet the needs of our resident students and effectively assist those who wish to collect their belongings.

For additional questions, please contact Housing & Residence Life by email or call 334-244-3296.

AUM will continue to keep the campus community informed of new developments as details become available. Visit our COVID-19 resource page for all announcements pertaining to course delivery and campus operations.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Auburn University at Montgomery will continue remote course delivery through end of spring semester

In the interest of safeguarding students, faculty and staff, Auburn University at Montgomery's plan to deliver course instruction remotely rather than face to face will be extended through the end of the spring 2020 semester.

AUM had initially planned to begin the transition to remote course delivery on Monday, March 23, on the first scheduled class day after spring break, and return to in-person instruction after April 10. The university has modified its plan in accordance with guidance provided by public health officials on mitigating the community spread of COVID-19.

"The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our No. 1 priority," AUM Chancellor Carl A. Stockton said. "We have continued to monitor developments with COVID-19, and have planned for a variety of scenarios. As circumstances change, we will be prepared to change with them."

While no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have involved AUM students or employees, public health officials have encouraged individuals to engage in social distancing, maintaining a buffer zone of at least 6-feet, and exercising careful hygiene to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve

AUM encourages students not to return to campus. However, residence halls will remain open for students who have a need for housing.

The university is maintaining campus-based staff in key operational units, including AUM Police, Admissions, Facilities, Financial Aid, Housing & Residence Life, Information Technology Services, Library, the Office of Global Initiatives, Online and Digital Learning, the Office of the Registrar, Student Health Services, the Warhawk Academic Success Center and Warhawk Transit.

While normal on-campus dining has been suspended, the university will continue to offer an array of pre-packaged foods and beverages for on-campus resident students. Students with specific needs or questions are encouraged to utilize the university's Warhawk Help Portal.

Earlier this month, AUM canceled or postponed all campus events through April 10 and encouraged employees to work remotely. Those protocols will remain in place. No decisions have been made yet regarding the university's spring commencement ceremony, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, May 9.

"Our faculty and staff have demonstrated remarkable dedication and resourcefulness in adjusting to a unique and fluid situation," Stockton said. "We will do everything possible to minimize disruptions for our students as they continue their coursework, and we will continue to provide the high level of support and service they have come to expect."

AUM will continue to keep the campus community informed of new developments as details become available. Visit our COVID-19 resource page for all announcements pertaining to course delivery and campus operations.


 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Transition to alternate operating model

Auburn University at Montgomery has transitioned to an alternate operating model. At this time, AUM continues to conduct full university operations. Supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to help minimize the spread of illness. Where possible, remote working is encouraged.   

Where remote work is not operationally feasible, supervisors are encouraged to work with employees to establish flexible schedules that may allow those employees to come to work for all or part of their regular work hours.

All current employees will continue to be paid at their regular rate of pay through the spring term, even if they are unable to perform their normal job responsibilities. 

Please see below for guidance, which is relevant while we are in alternate operating mode.

Administrative/Professional (A&P) and Faculty (Exempt) Employees

Full-time A&P and Faculty employees will be paid 40 hours per week. 

Part-time A&P and Faculty employees will be paid based on their FTE, as they are today.

University Staff (Non-Exempt) Employees

Full-time Staff employees will be ensured payment of 40 hours per week, and any additional appropriate compensation for hours worked over 40 in the workweek.  All Staff employees who are working will continue to clock in using Kronos, whether working on campus or remotely, to ensure proper payment of overtime and any relevant differential pay (shift differential, lead pay, etc.). 

Part-time Staff employees will be ensured payment of the average of hours that were worked for biweekly pay periods 2-5 (January 5 - February 29, 2020). All Staff employees who are working will continue to clock in using Kronos, whether working on campus or remotely, to ensure proper payment of overtime and any relevant differential pay (shift differential, lead pay, etc.).

Temporary Employment Services Employees (TES) and Student Employees

All TES and Student employees will be ensured payment during this time, and will be paid an average of hours that were worked for biweekly pay periods 2-5 (January 5 - February 29, 2020). All TES and student employees who are working will continue to clock in using Kronos, whether working on campus or remotely, to ensure proper payment of overtime and any relevant differential pay (shift differential, lead pay, etc.).  

Guidance for clocking in from home will be communicated shortly. Additionally timekeepers will receive guidance about payroll processing responsibilities in the coming days.

Note that this guidance may change as we consider the University's response to this pandemic. We will evaluate employment options beyond spring term based on information at that time. Visit AUM's COVID-19 resource page for new developments.


Monday, March 16, 2020

University finalizes temporary adjustments to business operations

While most Auburn University at Montgomery employees will be encouraged to work remotely between now and April 10, the university will remain open and attentive to the needs of current students, faculty, staff, and prospective students.

Several units will maintain campus-based staffing to provide ongoing service. These units include:

Each of these units will have at least one staff member present daily and will adhere to social distancing and other guidelines recommended by public health officials to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Campus trash will continue to be picked up daily, while all housing common areas and core administrative and academic buildings will be cleaned daily. The university mailroom will maintain hours Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Students with specific questions or needs are encouraged to utilize our online Warhawk Help portal. Employees with questions may reach out to their supervisors. We will continue to provide new information as it becomes available, via email, AUM social media accounts, and our COVID-19 resources web page. Please continue to monitor each of these touch points on a regular basis.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Message from Dr. Carl Stockton, Chancellor of Auburn University at Montgomery - University finalizing plan to modify operations

Based on Alabama Department of Public Health updates on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within Alabama and Montgomery County, Auburn University at Montgomery will temporarily modify its business operations in order to safeguard staff and faculty as much as possible while also continuing to serve the needs of its students.

 

Senior university leaders will finalize an updated operational plan on Monday. All AUM employees who can perform their work assignments remotely will be asked to do so as soon as possible, but no later than the close of business on Monday, March 16. 

 

We are focused on preserving the most essential functions of the university with the minimum possible number of campus-based personnel to maintain recommended public health practices of "social distancing." This model is expected to be in effect through Friday, April 10, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

 

Final determinations on assigned work locations for employees (on-campus vs. remote) will be made by supervisors based on each employee's assigned job responsibilities and whether they support a critical element of university operations. Supervisors should communicate as soon as possible with employees in their units to discuss arrangements. 

 

We will continue to provide new information as it becomes available, via email, AUM social media accounts, and our  COVID-19 resources web page . Please continue to monitor each of these touch points on a regular basis. As conditions change, we will be prepared to adapt to them.

 

This is not an easy time for our campus, our state or our nation. Please know that I appreciate the patience, dedication, resourcefulness, and resilience of our amazing AUM staff and faculty. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do.

 

Carl A. Stockton, Ph.D.

Chancellor


Friday, March 13, 2020

Message to students from Dr. Josh Roberts, Dean of Students, Diversity and Inclusion

Warhawk Family –

I want to provide a series of updates regarding the Auburn University at Montgomery community and the COVID-19 virus. This is a challenging time. We are simultaneously making decisions in the best interest of public health and the safety of the AUM community, as well as grieving the loss of experiences that we were looking forward to sharing together – moments ranging from community and campus events, student organization activities, Spring Break travel, athletic events, class presentations, group projects and more. 

Please know that we are dedicated to making decisions that put safety first and strike the appropriate balance in proactively addressing the realities surrounding us without unnecessarily complicating AUM’s mission to provide education.

AUM campus leaders are diligently deliberating on the best protocols to adopt during this global emergency. These protocols are being developed in consultation with public health officials, Auburn University administrators, networks of experts, medical providers, and governmental officials. Many decisions can only be made once full campus operations are restored, and many more decisions will be made by campus service departments through the next few days.

We expect to provide more detailed information on changes to campus operations beginning next week.

In the meantime, I would like to share with you some updates:

WARHAWK HELP PORTAL

On Monday, a new Warhawk Help portal will launch on your MyAUM homepage.  This portal will serve as your one-stop shop to ask any questions regarding the changes to AUM’s normal operations and any student support services that you may need. This user-friendly portal will allow you to select from a wide variety of categories and submit any question that you may have regarding the effect of AUM’s COVID-19 precautions and any needs you may have. We ask that, beginning on Monday morning, all inquiries regarding campus changes and student needs be directed to the Warhawk Help Portal. This system is designed to expedite the university’s ability to meet your needs as quickly as possible.

HOUSING AND RESIDENCE LIFE

While campus activities will be postponed or canceled during this time, we believe that it is important to allow AUM students the opportunity to utilize the resources that they have, including campus housing facilities. While we are pleased that we are not closing our residence halls, we anticipate adopting a series of additional rules designed to promote social distancing practices and maximize public health. Such rules will include changes to the campus visitor polices and alterations to the authorized capacities of university common spaces.

CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

Campus Dining Services will begin adopting additional precautionary practices to ensure food safety. This will include a temporary suspension of traditional dining services and a significant increase in the availability of pre-packaged food and bottled beverages available throughout campus. In an effort to serve students, all prices on bottled and pre-packaged items will be discounted or sold at cost.

WARHAWK TRANSIT

Warhawk Transit will operate Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Warhawk Transit will also be restricting rider capacity at below the maximum levels in order to ensure additional space between all passengers.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS & CAMPUS ACTIVITIES

All campus activities will be postponed or canceled until at least April 10. We know that this complicates a wide variety of organization activities including elections. Student organization sponsors and officers will be receiving information about accommodations that can be made to help student organization functions return quickly and with minimal interruption once full campus operations resume.

WELLNESS CENTER

The Wellness Center will remain closed during this time. It is our desire to limit access to high-risk environments that may lead to significant increases in public infection rates.

HEALTH CONCERNS / POTENTIAL COVID-19 CASES

Student Health Services will maintain regular hours of operation during Spring Break and throughout the period in which AUM is utilizing remote instruction. All students (or campus employees) who suspect exposure are asked to call Student Health Services at 334-244-3281. Any student contacting Student Health Services will be asked a series of questions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students who meet the criteria for COVID-19 will be asked to present to Student Health Services. The student will be examined and if determined to meet criteria, will be referred to the Alabama Department of Public Health to undergo testing and receive care. While AUM will take every possible step to minimize the potential for COVID-19 to affect students, faculty and staff, it is important for you to know the facts about how healthcare professionals are handling potential cases.

If a student does not feel well enough to present to the clinic, a Student Health Services staff member will be made available to go to the student’s room and evaluate. At any time, a student who has difficulty breathing should be triaged to the closest emergency department. 

Any student who is determined to be a likely case of infection or a confirmed case, but does not meet the criteria for admission to a local hospital, will be isolated from other students and assisted with care by a staff member who has personal protective equipment. 

----

We appreciate your flexibility and commitment to safety during this time. Our desire is to protect students, faculty, and staff and avoid unnecessary risks. Our goal remains, as always, to be a model of safety, compassionate care, and innovation.

We believe in your future, and all of these decisions are designed to put students first and meet your needs.

Thank you in advance for your patience, cooperation, and partnership. 

Kindly,

Josh Roberts

Dean of Students, Diversity & Inclusion

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Alabama Department of Public Health confirms COVID-19 case in Montgomery County

On Friday, March 13, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported one confirmed case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Alabama. ADPH reported that one Montgomery County resident,  who had traveled outside the state and returned, was tested on Thursday. The test result came back as positive Friday morning.

Updates on confirmed cases within Alabama will be available on the ADPH website: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

 

Gulf South Conference suspends all athletic activities

The Gulf South Conference, the NCAA Division II league in which Auburn University at Montgomery is a member, has suspended all athletic activities to help safeguard student-athletes, coaches, support staff and spectators.

Learn more: https://aumathletics.com/news/2020/3/13/baseball-gulf-south-conference-suspends-all-athletic-activity.aspx

 

March 12, 2020 - AUM moves to online classes effective Monday, March 23.

Auburn University at Montgomery will temporarily move from in-person instruction to remote delivery of course content. The change in course delivery will become effective on Monday, March 23, after AUM’s spring break, and will remain in effect until Friday, April 10, unless circumstances dictate an extension.  AUM faculty will contact students on steps they should take to continue their academic coursework. Our goal is to resume in-person instruction as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

While no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Alabama as of this announcement, we believe this decision is necessary to safeguard our students, faculty and staff.  Based on information available from epidemiologists and public health authorities, the best course of action is to try to limit potential exposure through “social distancing” in order to protect members of the campus community.

We encourage AUM students to make wise decisions regarding their health and safety. They may choose to go home during spring break and continue their studies online from there through April 10. Our residence halls will remain open, and no student is required to leave. The Wellness Center and normal dining operations will be closed between March 14 and April 10. Alternate dining options will be available. Additional information on dining and residence halls will be forthcoming to students.

There may be a few challenges associated with the temporary transition from campus-based, face-to-face instruction to alternative delivery formats. We are doing everything possible to minimize disruptions to university operations and maintain a high-quality educational experience for our students. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this transitional period.

  • AUM will maintain normal business operations. All employees, other than full-time faculty and instructors, will be required to report to campus. Please check with your supervisor as to the plan for your unit. 
  • Effective March 14, all campus events scheduled through April 10 will be canceled or postponed unless otherwise authorized by the Office of the Chancellor.  A process for requesting exceptions is being established, and additional guidance will soon be provided to clubs, organizations and academic units.
  • The AUM Student Health Clinic will remain open. Area hospital partners have informed us that all COVID-19 testing in the Montgomery area will be administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health. If anyone in the AUM community believes they have been exposed to the virus, they are advised to contact ADPH at 334-293-6400 to coordinate a time for testing. At this time, the AUM Student Health Clinic does not have the ability to provide COVID-19 testing. However, we will share details if those capabilities change.
  • At this time, all university-sponsored domestic and international travel for faculty and staff is suspended unless otherwise approved by the Chancellor.
  • AUM Athletics is in communication with the NCAA and the Gulf South Conference and expects to receive additional information in the near future regarding regular season sports schedules.

See Chancellor's Message to Students here.

 

March 9, 2020 - Coronavirus information session to be held Tuesday, March 10.

AUM Student Health Services will host a coronavirus (COVID-19) information session on Tuesday, March 10 from 5 - 6 p.m. in Taylor Center 221.  The session will include an overview of travel precautions, prevention methods, and how to identify the difference between the flu and COVID-19. A Q&A session will follow.  The session is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and student organization leaders.

 

March 4, 2020 - University suspends sponsored international travel

Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-2019), Auburn University at Montgomery will temporarily suspend all sponsored international travel for faculty and staff.

All future sponsored international travel for the purposes of conducting Auburn University at Montgomery business will require the approval of the Office of the Chancellor until the suspension is lifted. Last week, AUM announced the suspension of all study abroad activities to protect the safety of students and and faculty.

According to the World Health Organization, as of March 3, COVID-2019 cases have been reported in more than 70 countries. While there are no known cases of the virus in Alabama at this time, the CDC reports that cases have been been confirmed in 12 states -- Georgia, Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

AUM will continue to closely monitor updates and follow guidance from the CDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of State.

As a reminder, with spring break approaching, AUM strongly advises all students, faculty or staff planning personal international travel to closely monitor COVID-2019 alerts and precautions at all layovers and final destinations. Travelers are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that informs U.S. citizens and nationals of safety conditions in destination countries and provides information in the case of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies. No matter where you plan to travel internationally, those plans may be disrupted or altered by changing conditions connected to the spread of COVID-2019.

 

March 3, 2020 - Updated Guidance from Scott Harris, M.D., M.P.H., Alabama State Health Officer

Scott Harris_0.jpgThe situation continues to evolve rapidly.  The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is asking that all universities and colleges implement their plans to mitigate and control the spread of disease on their campuses.  Students and staff returning from Level 3 or Level 2 countries with active community transmission may have been exposed to COVID-19 and ADPH recommends students and staff self-monitor for 14 days after leaving the affected area.  In addition, citizens can call 211 for answers to common questions beginning on or after March 3, 2020.  

The best way to prevent illness it to limit exposure to potentially ill persons.  All students and staff should use "respiratory etiquette" and practice the following preventative actions:

  1. Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve.
  2. Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans.
  3. Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  4. Separate sick students and staff from others until they can go home.  If masks are available, mask the person who is ill.
  5. Encourage flu vaccine for those who have not received it this season to reduce illnesses and absences on campus.
  6. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  7. Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
  8. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

 

February 28, 2020 - University suspends study abroad trips due to coronavirus concerns

In response to the spread of novel coronavirus, Auburn University at Montgomery will suspend future study abroad activities in the interest of prioritizing student and faculty safety.

While there are no known cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Alabama at this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an outbreak of the disease has spread throughout China and to more than 50 other countries and territories, including the United States. While the State Department has not issued travel restrictions for countries other than China due to coronavirus, restrictions could take effect for additional countries.

AUM will continue to closely monitor updates and follow guidance from such agencies as the CDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of State.

AUM strongly advises all students, faculty or staff planning international travel for spring break or the summer to closely monitor COVID-2019 alerts and precautions at all layovers and final destinations. Travelers are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that informs U.S. citizens and nationals of safety conditions in destination countries and provides information in the case of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies. No matter where you plan to travel internationally, those plans may be disrupted or altered by changing conditions connected to the spread of COVID-2019.

AUM encourages members of the campus community to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory diseases by following the guidelines offered by the CDC. These tips include:

  • Obtain a flu vaccine if you have not already done so
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discarding the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow or shoulder rather than your hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, before eating, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using household cleaning sprays or wipes
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness

AUM Student Health Services has provided additional information on novel coronavirus, as well as additional tips and best practices here:  ADPH Coronavirus Guidance February 2020.pdf. Located in Irma B. Moore Hall Room 102, Student Health Services offers a primary care clinic for AUM students. Services include health screenings, physical examinations, immunizations and laboratory testing.

AUM will provide updates as new information becomes available.

 

About Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
 

What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance. 

Symptoms and transmission:

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

International travel:

The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Wuhan, China. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the airport. AUM strongly advises all students, faculty or staff planning international travel for spring break or the summer, including study abroad opportunities, to closely monitor COVID-2019 alerts and precautions at all layovers and final destinations. Travelers are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that informs U.S. citizens and nationals of safety conditions in destination countries and provides information in the case of natural disasters, civil unrest or other emergencies. No matter where you plan to travel internationally, those plans may be disrupted or altered by changing conditions connected to the spread of COVID-2019.

If you must travel:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their health care provider.

Treatment:

People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. (source: CDC)

Prevention:

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.

Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:

If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days you:

  • Traveled to Wuhan, or
  • Visited an affected region in China, or
  • Had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China and had respiratory symptoms.

You should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. 
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick. Please do not get on public transportation or just arrive at the campus health service. Call instead (334) 244-3281.
  • In the event that symptoms occur at night or on weekends, please go to the nearest urgent care facility or emergency room, or call your healthcare provider for more information.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

What is the campus health service doing about 2019-nCoV?

Currently, AUM is monitoring the situation as it develops and will provide updates as necessary.  A

Campus Health Resources

A primary care clinic is available for AUM students at Student Health Services in Irma B. Moore Hall Room 102. Students can receive care from a certified registered nurse practitioner for a nominal co-payment. Services include health screenings, physical examinations and laboratory testing.