Troy officials discuss COVID-19 cases, online instruction plans

Published 2:37 pm Thursday, March 26, 2020

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Troy University officials said Thursday that both the student and faculty member with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are self-quarantined at their homes outside of Pike County.

“I’ve talked with the student and she seemed to be doing very well,” said Herbert Reeves, dean of student services. The student is located in Monroe County.

Dr. Lance Tatum, senior vice president of academic affairs, said the faculty member continues to teach his online courses from his Montgomery County residence.

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Both the student and faculty member self-reported their test results to the university this week, prompting officials to send a notice to students and staff as well as hold a press conference to answer questions on Thursday.

Reeves said neither the student nor the faculty member have been on campus since spring break began, but the student did return to Troy on March 16 and 17. Reeves did not have information about how the student or the faculty member contracted the virus.

Reeves said the Alabama Department of Public Health will investigate the cases “and make any determination if others are at risk of exposure to the virus.”

“We continue to ask our students on campus to shelter in plays and stay at home if they can,” he said.

Although Troy has cancelled its on-campus classes until at least April 6, some 430 students remain on campus in residence halls. Resident Advisors and campus staff are monitoring the students to discourage gatherings and reinforce social distancing guidelines as well as other ADPH health guidelines.

“All student activities have been shut down and our staff have a revised and modified work schedule,” Reeves said. “We’re doing everything we can do to reduce one-to-one contact.”

Tatum said on-line delivery of classes has been effective, due in part to the university’s history with providing online instruction. “We are well position to deliver content to students and, if necessary, well positioned to continue for a longer period of time.”

Tatum said university officials have not yet decided if on-campus classes would resume on April 7. “This is an extremely rapidly changing environment for us,” he said. “We are developing a contingency plan for all parts of the academic calendar.”