COVID-19 Updates for Students - March 14

Mar. 14, 2020

COVID-19 Updates for Students - March 14

The following message from Webster University's COVID-19 Task Force was distributed to students on March 14, 2020. A similar message was sent to update faculty and staff.

To all Webster University students: 

We realize this has been a stressful time for all. With government announcements coming several times a day, travel being interrupted, businesses temporarily closing, and the fear that our friends and loved ones may be susceptible to coronavirus, we understand that the changes the University has implemented has added to the stress. We appreciate your understanding and your patience in these difficult and unprecedented times, and your ability to adapt to our new environment has been noticed and appreciated.

Webster University’s COVID-19 Task Force has been meeting daily for the past week to track these changes, review feedback from the community and explore ways to further enhance the safety of all members of our community while also preserving our educational mission. In addition, the administration and various units began planning and communicating about the need to prepare for such changes beginning in January.

Also, as a note to those who are only now seeing these messages, on March 11, the University announced a move to online classes for almost all programs until April 6. You can read more about that here.

We are instituting new policies and operational changes on the Webster Groves campus and at several international campuses.

Webster Groves Operations

On the Webster Groves campus:

  • In order to access some buildings and laboratories, all students, faculty and staff will be asked to carry their Webster ID’s with them. This will reduce the number of non-Webster residents from accessing these buildings, thus reducing the chances of encountering someone with COVID-19.
    • A message was posted Friday about the new Library access changes, which includes new operating hours.
    • Access to the University Center, including the Fitness Center and pool will be restricted to Webster students, faculty and staff to further reduce exposure to COVID-19.
    • As other spaces are added to this policy, they will be noted on the University’s COVID-19 page.
  • The hours and operations of Marletto’s have changed. From Monday through Friday, Marletto’s will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. On weekends, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All meals will now automatically be served in to-go containers and all customers will be urged to leave the main dining hall in order to enhance the effectiveness of the social-distancing policy. All food will be served by staff using implements. Food items that could be touched will be limited.
  • The Cyber Café hours will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All other food-service areas on campus will close.

International Campus Updates

There have been changes at Webster’s international campuses:

  • At the request of the government in Thailand, all major events have been canceled there, including Webster’s commencement ceremony. Classes continue to be taught in person there, but faculty and staff have been told to prepare to move to remote operations if the government issues stronger guidelines.
  • All of Webster’s European locations are currently teaching online for limited periods. Greece’s in-person classes are tentatively expected to resume March 26. Geneva will tentatively be online through April 9, The Netherlands through April 6, and Vienna through April 3. These dates could change, depending on the fluidity of the crisis in those respective countries.

This is a rapidly evolving crisis. Future changes could occur swiftly. New policies or other important announcements will continue to be shared via Webster.edu e-mail; therefore, it is important that ALLstudents, faculty and staff check their Webster accounts daily. If you are having issues accessing your e-mail from your computer or your phone, you should immediately contact the IT Service Desk at 314-246-5995 or e-mail them at support@webster.edu and ask for help resolving the issue. We also urge everyone in the community to log in to connections.webster.edu, click on the “Webster Alerts” graphic in the middle of the page and make sure your most current cell phone information has been added.

Travel Restrictions and Registration

We would like to remind the community about the current travel restrictions that were put in place earlier this week, including the request that all students, faculty and staff who are traveling – regardless of whether the trip is for personal reasons or business – fill out a travel form so that the University is aware of where members of the community have visited. Those policies and the form can be found on the COVID-19 page here. The University needs this information as it determines who must self-quarantine as part of the social distancing policy.

To Our Students...

We understand that these changes are occurring at an incredibly fast pace, but we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this international health crisis. We believe that these policies will significantly reduce our exposure to COVID-19 and keep our community and our loved ones safer as a result.  We also hope these precautions will help enable your continued connections to one another and to the support resources throughout the Webster network. Our unified goal is to maintain your educational experience as best as possible through this challenging crisis.

- The COVID-19 Task Force

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