ABILENE, TX – Abilene Christian University is joining the growing list of schools that are taking preventive action in response to the possibility of a local coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, the university announced their decision to extend their Spring Break until March 20th and move to online-only classes for their main campus until April 19th.
There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Abilene, but Mayor Anthony Williams announced on Thursday that three Abilene residents would be self-quarantined. As of this morning, no one has tested positive for the virus.
The full statement released by Abilene Christian University:
"Abilene Christian University's senior leadership has planned extensively over the past two weeks in response to global health concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). They have chosen to extend Spring Break through the week of March 16-20, 2020, and will move to online-only classes on the main campus from March 23 through April 9. While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the ACU campus, or in Abilene, this decision was made due to the unpredictability of the virus and its rapid spread.
Faculty will use March 16-20 to prepare for online course delivery and will receive more detailed information today from the Provost’s Office. Staff should consult with supervisors about their work schedules and opportunities for working remotely. Residence halls and dining operations will reopen March 14 to accommodate students who need those services.
Intercollegiate athletics schedules and events will be determined in consultation with the NCAA. Student-athletes should consult directly with their coach. Other university events will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
“The health and well-being of our campus community is our highest priority. We take this responsibility seriously, so we believe these steps are necessary,” said Dr. Phil Schubert, ACU president.
Students, faculty, and staff who have been traveling over Spring Break are asked to complete this confidential form prior to their arrival, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All university-sponsored travel – domestic and international – will be suspended through March 31 and evaluated thereafter. We are in the process of returning Study Abroad groups to the U.S. and are communicating directly with them and their parents on specifics of their travel.
We understand this announcement may spark many questions. We’ve attempted to answer the most frequently asked questions on this document.
We ask the ACU community to continue to pray for those who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the medical professionals who are providing care to them. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to check their campus email and acu.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and information."