The SMWC COVID-19 Task Force is working on behalf of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College to provide information to its constituents about how the institution is handling the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
April 3, 2020
The COVID-19 Taskforce continues to monitor the on-going situation in the Wabash Valley. At this time, Saint Mary-of-the Woods College plans to resume on-ground operations on Monday, May 4, 2020. All non-essential employees are asked to continue working remotely as the College works to serve the needs of students.
We ask that all students, faculty and staff please continue to follow the guidance from local and state entities asking everyone to stay home to lessen the spread of the virus. The health, safety and well-being of the College community is our top priority.
Take care of yourself and your families.
March 27, 2020
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is vigilantly monitoring and responding to information about COVID-19. The College is following Governor Eric Holcomb’s executive order instructing our communities to stay-at-home to halt the spread of COVID-19 which began March 25, until April 7.
While the institution may not be physically accessible, we want to emphasize the College remains open and active. Students are moving forward with their online courses. The College has worked effectively to make sure faculty and staff are equipped to work remotely. Prospective students and their families continue to express interest in The Woods.
We appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding and cooperation as we work through concerns in this new environment. You are encouraged to communicate via the normal channels of email, phone, chats etc.
The health, safety and well-being of the College community is our top priority. Take care of yourself and your families.
Today, the College was alerted that an individual working in the SMWC Health Center, operated by Union Hospital, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although this individual is not an employee of the College, they do have a connection to our community. Learn more…
March 25, 2020: SMWC Events 2020 and COVID-19
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak. While the College remains hopeful that Commencement, Ring Day and Reunion activities will continue, we are following the guidance of our federal, state and local governments. We will have more information in the coming weeks and all updates will be shared as soon as we are able. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time with your health and safety in mind.
Today, Governor Eric Holcomb joined a growing number of public officials instructing our communities to stay-at-home in order to halt the spread of COVID-19. Beginning Wednesday, March 25 through April 7, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will comply with the order to keep people home as much as possible and minimize the person-to-person contact that has fueled this global pandemic. Learn more…
Against the backdrop of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMWC continues to evaluate the safety of our students. Today, we are taking several important steps to help safeguard the health of our SMWC community.
- SMWC will extend online education through the end of the semester. Without the possibility of returning to the physical classroom, all students will move out of Le Fer Residence Hall by noon on March 30. Students will follow the regular move-out process and schedule a move-out time using this form to reserve your specific time. Students who need to stay after this time period are required to communicate to Student Life via this form to request a waiver.
- In addition, all College travel is canceled through the remainder of the semester. This includes the study abroad trips to France, Greece and Ireland.
- The leadership of the institution is mindful of the importance of time-honored traditions including Ring Day and Commencement. As the situation continues to evolve, final decisions on whether to hold Ring Day and Commencement ceremonies will be made.
Thank you for your patience while additional adjustments may be necessary.
We care about our college community and want to keep you informed. Below are some tips to consider and information about upcoming events. Learn more…
SMWC is on schedule to begin online classes tomorrow, March 18, 2020, for our campus-based students. We recognize the change from face-to-face to online instruction has disrupted your plans and expectations. We thank you for your patience and look forward to delivering a new learning experience. Learn more…
SMWC has released new guidance covering frequently asked questions, building restrictions, meetings and internet access. Learn more…
As of March 18 – April 3, 2020, SMWC will transition our academic curriculum to an online only format. We ask that everyone continue to check email and monitor the college website for updates as this situation continues to evolve.
Classes on March 16-17 will be canceled to prepare for online instruction. The College will remain open. To prepare for the potential for completely online instruction, faculty will shift to online on March 18, 2020. The Faculty Resource Center is prepared to assist with this process.
All athletic events are canceled through April 3, 2020.
Residential Housing/Services will continue to remain open providing all services until a directive from public health officials states otherwise. Effective immediately, residential floors will be restricted to SMWC residential/commuter students only for the remainder of the semester. Commuter students should follow normal policies and procedures for access.
O’Shaughnessy Dining Hall
O’Shaughnessy will continue to be open for student, faculty and staff dining. The Sisters of Providence will be limiting their access to the area.
College Sponsored Travel
Effective immediately, all College sponsored travel requires vice president approval even if previously approved. Each vice president will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
Travel and Symptoms Form
In following best practices for protecting public health related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), SMWC is asking students, faculty and staff to complete this voluntary form indicating where they’ve traveled or if they have exhibited symptoms related to COVID-19. The travel registry is the College’s official means for sharing urgent health, safety and security related information.
Sisters of Providence
For questions concerning the Sisters of Providence and their response, contact 812-535-3131.
With our commitment to the health and wellness of the Woods community including the Sister of Providence, the College is postponing the Ring Ceremony, originally scheduled for March 21. Read more…
We are closely monitoring the recommendations by the CDC, the Indiana Department of Health and the World Health Organization. Here is important information as it relates to various College constituents:
- At this time, SMWC will remain open and all classes will continue as scheduled on campus and online
- Students who are in clinicals, internships, student teaching, practica or other experiential learning environments may be impacted and should anticipate communication and guidance by department
- For residential students, the College is implementing a no-guest policy on residential floors
It is imperative that the College minimize the possibility of transmission and limit the possibility of “community spread” through new actions on our campus. While we have thus far not experienced any SWMC-associated cases of COVID-19, we are taking a proactive approach to preventing the spread of the virus and are asking individuals to take the following measures to reduce the potential spread: Read more…
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is actively monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). SMWC convened a task force of college administrators and healthcare experts to respond to guidelines and implement recommendations made by government and public health agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more…
Consistent with travel warnings from the CDC, SMWC recommends travelers avoid China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong and Japan. All SMWC related and personal travel to these countries is discouraged. Please register your international travel – personal or college related travel – using the SMWC Travel Registry. The travel registry is the college’s official means for sharing urgent health, safety and security related information. While there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., no cases have been confirmed in Indiana. Beyond these travel restrictions, there is currently no recommendation for the general U.S. public to take additional precautions.
We encourage you to build in as much flexibility as possible into your plans as travel disruptions are possible. Please consider purchasing trip insurance in case last-minute changes or cancellations are needed. Be aware that if you travel internationally you may have difficulty returning to the United States.
Additional information from the SMWC COVID-19 Task Force
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus 2019 or 2019-nCoV) is a new type of coronavirus causing respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus has spread to other countries including the United States.
What are the symptoms?
COVID-19 can cause mild flu-like symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, may appear 2-14 days after exposure. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately and avoid contact with others.
How is COVID-19 spread?
It can spread from person-to-person and by coming in contact with infected surfaces and objects.
- Person-to-person. The virus can be transmitted between people in close proximity with one another. 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.
- Infected surfaces or objects. A person can get COVID-19 by contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose and eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- 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
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
- 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
- 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)
The CDC recommends the implementation of social distancing measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.”
Cleaning and disinfecting
Our primary concern remains to keep our community as safe as possible. Cleaning of surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 virus and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings. SMWC has completed several rounds of deep cleaning and disinfecting in all classrooms, public spaces, restrooms, computer labs and student common spaces. Facilities will continue to focus on these high traffic areas daily. There are approximately 55 hand-sanitizing stations on campus. Everyone is encouraged to use them if time does not allow hand washing with soap. In addition, classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizer.
SMWC Health Services Clinic
The SMWC Health Services Clinic is affiliated with Union Health and is up-to-date on the latest information about signs and symptoms of the virus. On campus, individuals experiencing flu-like illness (fever with cough or shortness of breath), are strongly encouraged to seek medical attention at the clinic or with a personal health care provider.