We have risen to the challenges placed before us since 1873. No mean feat. We now take on our newest challenge – a safe and healthy return to campus this fall in the midst of COVID-19.
We have taken our first steps back to normalcy, with many more steps to be taken on this path.
Last Updated: August 28, 2020
Earlier in the year, Drury established the Student Health and Public Safety Committee and the Coronavirus Task Force to drive the rapid implementation of The Panther Plan as we return to in-person learning. Each team engages directly with deans, department chairs, faculty and executive leaders to prepare our community for fall.
Among the many COVID-19 mitigation measures are delivering for fall 2020 are:
Any model we develop will include some risk of COVID-19 transmission, but together, we can minimize it.
A key requirement for reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission involves significantly reducing the number of close people-to-people and people-to-infected-surface encounters. To accomplish this we need everyone to do their part:
International students arriving from international destinations for the fall of 2020 will be expected to quarantine for 14 days in their residential location (on or off campus). This applies to all international students, regardless of COVID-19 testing status - no exceptions.
Likewise, domestic students traveling internationally will be expected to quarantine for 14 days before coming to a Drury campus, regardless of COVID-19 testing status. Again, there are no exceptions to this requirement.
Domestic students who have not traveled outside the country will not need to quarantine upon return to campus.
If a student is exposed to COVID-19 at some point in the semester, they will work with a health department official or a Drury contact tracing representative to determine if they will need to quarantine.
While in quarantine, students are expressly prohibited from leaving their assigned apartment or assigned residence hall room/bathroom for any reason other than medical appointments as directed by a physician. Additionally they are prohibited from participating in University co-curricular activities (athletic practices, rehearsals, student organization events, Greek activities, etc.).
If quarantining will prevent a student from attending in-person classes, they must contact their instructors to make arrangements to receive their assignments and turn in work until they are able to attend class in person.
A team will be in place to ensure all students who are quarantining receive delivery of food and other necessary items, as well as have the opportunity to socially connect with the broader Drury community.
We know each person plays an essential role in protecting our community and respecting the rights of all individuals. This fall, we will ask all students to sign the Drury University Community Health and Safety Pledge.
We can return to campus and protect each other by meeting the following conditions:
If you have been advised by a contact tracer that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or you have symptoms of COVID-19, immediately begin to self-isolate or quarantine.
Call the Panther Clinic at (417) 873-6300 to make an appointment Monday-Friday or utilize CoxHealth’s no-cost virtual visits in the evenings or on weekends. Testing is available Monday-Friday from 2:00-3:30 at the Panther Clinic on campus. They will be open from 9:00-2:00 each weekday for non-COVID-19 visits.
Follow the instructions from your health care provider to get tested as soon as you can. Students, inform your RA (if you live on campus) and professors you are self-isolating. Faculty and staff, inform your supervisor. Remain in self-isolation until you receive your test result.
If your test comes back positive, let your RA, professors and/or supervisor (depending on your campus role) know you have tested positive and complete the form at drury.edu/covid-result to confidentially report your positive test to aid in contact tracing. If you live on campus, food and necessities will be delivered to your room. A health department official or Drury contact tracing representative will contact you to assess potential community COVID-19 exposure and advise you on next steps.
A downloadable flow chart outlining this process is available in the resources section of this page.
In order to maximize our time together in the event that it is necessary to move classes online later in the semester, the semester has been slightly condensed and begins earlier than originally planned.
Classes start August 20, with new students moving in August 15-17 and returning students moving in August 17-19.
Both fall break and Thanksgiving break have been shortened by one day to allow for minimal in-class time after Thanksgiving. Finals week will be December 7-11, with commencement on December 12.
Full details on these dates can be found in the academic calendar.
A number of changes have been made to the classroom experience to ensure safety and to help facilitate in-person learning:
Class attendance policies will reflect the current situation. Students should contact their faculty to receive instructions on how to continue learning while in quarantine or self-isolation.
It is important students communicate early and often with their professors to ensure they can make up any work they may miss.
If a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they can make an appointment at the Panther Clinic or utilize CoxHealth’s virtual visits on demand using the code COVID for a no-cost consultation. The student should follow their directions regarding if they should be hospitalized or placed in self-isolation.
Students will self-isolate in their residence room for the recommended time, since all students have single occupancy rooms. We will deliver food and other necessities to their residence.
We will work directly with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department to conduct contact tracing to identify anyone this student may have come into prolonged contact with and notify them of their next steps.
All students will live in single rooms this fall. This will allow for better social distancing and gives private space where students can quarantine or self-isolate if needed. By assigning single rooms to all students, we are committed to enabling students to live safely on campus for the duration of the semester, even if there is ever a need for classes to move online.
To keep everyone safe, there will be a few additional guidelines our residents need to follow:
The Commons and CX will both be open this fall. The Commons will still have buffet-style dining, but Fresh Ideas staff members will serve the food instead of students serving themselves. Seating in the Commons will be available but limited to promote social distancing. Additional seating has been added in the FSC upper lobby and the patio outside of the Ballroom. Grab and go options will be available as well.
The CX will have carry out items, and Fresh Ideas is working on implementing delivery services. Seating will not be available inside Springfield Hall for dining.
We are happy to once again have visitors on Drury’s campus. The university offers two campus visit times per day for a limited number of attendees. So we can best accommodate our guests, we ask that guests pick a few dates that would be suitable for a visit when scheduling.
Please arrive at Bay Hall 10 minutes early. Upon arrival, all campus visitors will be greeted at the welcome desk, have their temperature taken and given a small bottle of hand sanitizer and visit guidelines. Perspective students will receive a Drury buff. If a person has a fever of 100.4 or greater, they will be asked to reschedule their visit.
For the health and safety of the Drury community, all campus visitors will be asked to comply with the following guidelines:
Per social distancing guidelines, we will discourage personal contact. Don’t worry, we won’t interpret the lack of handshake as rude.
Student organizations are a great way to connect with the Drury community and we encourage students to stay involved. As with all activities, student organization leaders will need to consider how to conduct their activities safely.
Enjoying the company of fellow Panthers is one of the best things about our Drury experience. While that will certainly look different until the pandemic subsides, we can still find ways to come together.
There are a few basic things to remember when making plans with friends, classmates and colleagues.
Even with these safety guidelines, there are plenty of fun things you can do to enjoy each other’s company in a lower risk way. Ideas include:
Community testing, also known as surveillance testing, is the ongoing sampling of a percentage of a population to infer how many people in the population likely have active cases of COVID-19. This will help us slow the spread of COVID-19 by allowing us to identify and isolate current cases, while also allowing us to know if its presence on our campus is growing.
Drury will test 20% of students, faculty and staff each week. Based on ongoing education from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in consultation with CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards – a member of our Board of Trustees – we decided this was an appropriate step for our campus at this time. If information or recommendations change, we will adjust the percentage of the Drury community we test accordingly.
Each week, Dean Julian, Provost Harville and HR Director Marilyn Harris will randomly select 20% of students, faculty and staff respectively to be tested. Selection is completely random so you may be selected more than once or you may never be selected at all. They will contact anyone selected for a test directly via email prior to your test date. Student tests will be conducted Monday of next week but then on Tuesdays moving forward, starting September 8. Faculty and staff will be tested on Fridays.
The email you will receive will contain instructions for the time and location of your test, as well as a form you need to complete and bring with you. Tests will be administered throughout a specified window of time on your selected day. Appointments are not needed.
On your test day, bring your completed form and a photo copy of both sides of your insurance card. If you do not have insurance, please bring a photo copy of your driver’s license. Once you check in, you will be directed to a medically-trained individual who will conduct a PCR throat swab test. After that, you are done!
Test results will typically be delivered within 48-72 hours. You do not need to quarantine while awaiting your results since this is asymptomatic community testing. We will email you your test results confidentially, whether negative or positive. If your test does come back positive, a contact tracer will reach out to you as well to instruct you on next steps and begin contact tracing.
This test will be at no cost to you. All of our community testing will be prescribed by a doctor and, as such, covered by your insurance. You will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance provider, displaying allowable amounts that will be covered by insurance. This is not a bill.
Regardless of the amount displayed on your EOB, you should not receive a bill from our lab. In the unlikely event that this does occur, however, please contact Marilyn Harris, our CHRO, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will correct the issue immediately.
If you do not have insurance, CARES Act funding will cover the cost of your test.
This plan is subject to change as new information and testing technology comes to light. As we mentioned in last week’s email, we are actively working with our partners to gain access to the SalivaDirect tests that have recently been approved by the FDA. Due to their efficacy and quick turnaround on results, Drury’s community testing plan may be amended once this or another similar testing method is available to us.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), providing emergency funds to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Drury University will receive a total of $120,724 under 18004(a)(2), the Strengthening Institutions Program section of the CARES Act.
Drury will provide funds to students who demonstrate financial need and wish to continue their education in the 2020-2021 academic year. To demonstrate financial need, students must be Pell eligible and owe a balance to the university from the Spring 2019 semester. Funds will be credited to their account on or before July 15, 2020.
COVID-19 tests will be offered through the Panther Clinic on campus. The clinic will be open 9:00-2:00 Monday through Friday for non-COVID-19 related appointments. From 2:00-3:30 each weekday, the Panther Clinic will see patients who have COVID-19 symptoms of or who have been directly exposed to COVID-19 to conduct tests. You must call them at (417) 873-6300 to make an appointment before your visit. CoxHealth virtual visits are still available any time and they can refer you to offsite testing.
With significant travel restrictions in place globally, we will not have study abroad experiences for the summer or fall of 2020.
Yes. Through our partnership with Burrell Behavioral Health, students can access behavioral health consultation services at no cost. Students also continue to have access to our two Drury mental health counselors.
The committee has been meeting three times a week and working on plans daily since late April in order to prepare for fall. The members are comprised of students, faculty and staff.
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