SC COVID-19 Response 03/12/20

Email sent March 12, 2020 at 6:00pm CST
Subject: Southwestern College COVID-19 Response
To: Main Campus Students, Main Campus Employees, and Remote Employees
From: Brad Andrews, President

Dear Southwestern College Community,

We are in regular communication, and working closely with, Cowley County Health Department as we continue to monitor the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have been tracking the situation as it has evolved over the past several weeks, while simultaneously reviewing and adjusting our response plan.

We are implementing mitigation precautions that are commensurate with our assessed level of community transmission and impact as provided by the CDC and KDHE. The current risk assessment level for Cowley County is minimal with the concern of possible escalation to the moderate risk level. At this time, there are no documented cases in Cowley County and there is no sustained community transmission in Kansas or Oklahoma. There have been a limited number of confirmed cases in Kansas.

Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 18

Given the assessment above, classes are not canceled but will be delayed, residence halls will reopen as planned, at the conclusion of spring break on Sunday, March 15. We will resume operations for the spring semester on March 16, however, classes for the spring semester will resume on Wednesday, March 18. On Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, faculty/staff will work to make preparations for those students who will require remote learning opportunities.

We continue to stay in close contact with our local, state, and national public health officials. Indeed, tomorrow morning our team has several meetings scheduled with local and state authorities. During these meetings, the latest data and public health recommendations are reviewed and applied to our campus community and our local community.

Instructions for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Students, faculty, and staff returning from travel in high-risk countries, or who have had exposure via close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patient(s), or who have traveled within a community in the US where active person-to-person disease spread is ongoing, must remain in a place of isolation for a period 14 days. Such individuals are required to contact student life before returning to campus.

Regarding specific campus events, athletic events, and travel, the risk associated with each event is being assessed under the advisement of public health officials and other authorities, such as the NAIA and KCAC. Any decisions made regarding cancelation will be immediately communicated to parties directly affected and posted to

Finally, we remain committed to balancing the health and safety of our community with efforts that minimize disruption to our students and their learning. There are many considerations at hand as we work to develop and adapt our plans for this semester. We stand ready to make appropriate modifications to our response plan as necessary. We will remain vigilant in our monitoring, engaged in our partnership with local health authorities, and will provide timely communications regarding any changes moving forward.

Please continue to monitor for updates.

We are prayerful for all those who are directly and indirectly affected by this illness, we will support each other, and we will carry on as Builders in ways that are appropriate and safe. 


Brad Andrews


Campus Remains Open

We are continuing all college operations and taking appropriate mitigation precautions as we continue to provide services to students, faculty, staff, and others in our community. We will assess event and activity schedules continuously as we move forward and make appropriate adjustments and cancellations. 

All Southwestern College Student Housing buildings (residence halls and apartments) and Dining venues will be open.

Students, do not return to campus if:

  • You are sick.
  • You have a chronic health condition that puts you at greater risk of the effects of COVID-19.
  • You have traveled internationally or domestically to areas with outbreaks, or have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If this is the case, please self-isolate or quarantine yourself for 14 days and call your healthcare provider for guidance.

If any of these apply, be sure to inform your instructors of your situation.

Faculty and staff are expected to report to work unless:

  • You have been advised to self-isolate or quarantine because of travel or potential exposure.
  • You have chronic health conditions or are in another at-risk group considered more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • You are sick.

Supervisors should exercise judgement and flexibility when considering requests for alternate work schedules or to telecommute, which includes requests from student employees and consideration of required staffing levels.

Precautions on Campus

The Cowley County Health Department is working with our office of student life to ensure our students have access to increased health screenings and a plan for case-by-case assessment and response should that be required. It is important that our community also know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic. We have also increased the frequency at which high-contact touch-points throughout our facilities will be cleaned. 


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41 main campus and 16 professional studies undergraduate majors, 27 minors, teacher certification in 13 areas, and 6 graduate programs.