The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. Such exposure or infection has been known to result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death.
While Franciscan University is taking reasonable measures consistent with guidance from the CDC and local health officials to manage the risk of COVID-19, it is important for students and parents to understand that the University cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and infections on campus. With COVID-19 transmission continuing throughout Ohio and nationally, it is possible that some students will be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections while engaging in campus activities, including attending classes, living on campus, eating in the dining halls, attending activities, and participating in sports and recreation during the upcoming academic year, and that infections will result. Students who attend Franciscan University this upcoming academic year must appreciate, understand, and accept that these risks cannot be eliminated.
For these reasons, we need our students to accept responsibility for their own health and safety by following CDC and local health guidance and University policy regarding social distancing, hand-washing, face coverings and other measures students can personally take to mitigate the risk of exposure and transmission of this disease. COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease even if all the above safety precautions are followed. Students can never be completely shielded from all risk of exposure or illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections. Students who have an underlying condition that makes them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and other infections should contact Student Academic Support Services to discuss accommodations.
While we hope all of our students will be able to engage fully in our programs, students who are suspected or confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection may be required by the University to quarantine or isolate if recommended by guidance from local health officials or as required by a medical provider. Such quarantine or isolation may require the student to leave campus and not participate in certain programs and activities during the period of the quarantine or isolation.
As more information is gathered and known, Franciscan University may modify its health and safety practices outlined above. It is the student’s responsibility to keep apprised of these changes to protect themselves and the University community.
These plans are being developed in consultation with local health officials, with state and local health guidelines, and other guidance from authoritative sources.