LU Coronavirus/ COVID-19 Updates

LU Transitioned March 17 to Remote Work Until Further Notice.

Get the latest information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and on how LU is working to keep our campus and community prepared.

Larkin University is responding to the current worldwide outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now become a world-wide pandemic. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

In the first half of March the epidemic has progressed in the state of Florida and currently we are facing an escalating coronavirus pandemic. The health of Larkin Community, our students and employees is and must be our top priority and all emergency policies implemented had been assuming that there comes the day when also our Community will be affected. In the first week of April LU Administration informed the community that two of our third year PharmD students have been tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). None of the students have been on campus in the three weeks prior to getting tested and the suspected exposure to the virus occurred after this date. It is also important to state that neither case was healthcare or practice site related.  Both students had only mild symptoms and are recovered already. On May 7th one employee reported that he has been tested positively, showing mild symptoms and being quarantined at home. This employee was March 31 the last time on campus, over four weeks prior to the potential date of infection. As such, there is no indicated risk to our campus community related to these first cases. LU understands that confirmed cases within our community are concerning. The University has planned for this eventuality and implemented numerous measures designed to manage risk and protect overall health, including strictly limiting the number of people on campus to essential individuals to maintain basic operations and support the remote delivery in order to reduce the potential of virus spread. The President’s Council decided to implement additional measures designed to promote social distancing, which experts say is central to preventing the spread of disease. This aligns Larkin University with the decision made by the Florida Board of Governors for the State University System. Larkin University moved all face to face classes to virtual instruction using online tools beginning Tuesday, March 17 and classes remain virtual through at least April 17. LU also transitioned to remote work on Tuesday March 17 until further notice, proceeding on the assumption that the virus will spread more broadly and eventually reach our campus.

Larkin University is instituting virtual instruction and other procedures described below to decrease the number of instances that require community members to gather in large groups or spend extended periods of time in close proximity with each other. These measures will being taken to help ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, and to decrease any potential impacts on the larger community.

Our number one goal during this crisis is to ensure the health and safety of our students and community. We’ll continue to work with you and our faculty and staff to mitigate the impact of these necessary public health decisions.

Biomed students got instructions and training on Monday, March 16, and virtual classes started Tuesday, March 17.

For P1 and P2 pharmacy students spring break was kept as scheduled and virtual classes started Monday 23. P3 students on their rotations need to follow the guidelines and arrangements made at their rotation site.

We understand students’ concerns about how your academic work will be evaluated under these circumstances. The Dean of your respective college contacted all of their students with detailed instructions how assessment will be organized and explores with their faculty colleagues measures to mitigate your grading concerns, which we do appreciate and with which we certainly empathize.

Remote work started Tuesday March 17 and will last until further notice. This measure followed our move to virtual instruction. Certain employees are required to be on campus, as we are continuing to support our academic and research enterprise as well as other university functions during this time.

During this unusual time, it is imperative that supervisors work with each member of their team to confirm the remote work assignment, provide guidance for remote work, and set expectations.

What does this mean?:

•  All employees, on-site and working remotely, are expected to fulfill their duties and work hours.

• All employees are to remain connected to secured systems during normal working hours and following all university policies related to access, data security, and data confidentiality. The University increased the lines available for VPN access to 250, so all employees should be available to access all data from home.

• All classes and courses will be taught via virtual instruction and the University makes every effort that your professors will be providing the full spectrum of services you are used to via online/virtual delivery. IT support is available during normal business hours, please call Dr. Marchado via tel 305-760-7525 if you need any assistance, he will try to solve your issue via teamviewer and if not possible set up an appointment time when you would met at the University.

• The University is working on going virtual also in other areas like counselling and tutoring. Please continue to monitor your email for regular updates from your Departments or Colleges.

• The office of the Registrar, financial services, and admissions will continue to provide their full spectrum of services, all emails and phone lines are expected to work during business hours and appointments will be set up virtually.

The Library and all classrooms, study rooms and lounges will be closed for general access. Access will be granted by facilities management only to smaller groups of less than 5 people and only for essential meetings approved by either the College deans or the Office of the president. However, Library services will be provided virtually, please call or email Dr. Argov with any requests. She will be happy to assist.

The building will be open 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday and Security will be on campus only 9am-5pm. Only individuals with approval from the president and provided with an access code are allowed to be in the building outside those hours.. 

The building will be closed on weekends. Only individual with approval from the president and provided with an access code are allowed to be in the building.

All routing forms that typically need signatures (Credit care purchase/Purchase order/Vacation requests etc) can be signed electronically via a scanned signature and can be submitted via email.

• Essential research infrastructure will be maintained. Research work in the research or educational lab can only continue if not more than 5 people are present at the same time in the same room. Students that wish to continue to work on their research need to sign a waiver that they are aware that they are not required to come to the University and do so on their own risk and will follow the guidelines for social distances and COVID-19 prevention strictly.

Depending upon the nature of your research, consider prioritizing work that can only be carried out at LU, and put off work amenable to remote support, such as data analysis. Stockpiling results and data now that could be analyzed remotely in the future is a potential option that might create future flexibility.

Under no circumstances are researchers to take materials other than laptops, data storage devices, etc., offsite (e.g., to their homes).  Ensure that no data or files with patient or participant identifying information is compromised and HIPAA and IRB regulations are followed.

• If employees are in roles that do not traditionally accommodate remote work, supervisors are expected to assign other work, projects or professional development that can be performed remotely. Human Resources will assist in identifying alternative work assignments for these employees.

• During this period of remote work, employees will avoid travel and are asked to practice social distancing. All travel restrictions are still in place for all university-related travel. In addition LU recommends to reduce private travel to an essential minimum and not to use public transport or mass travel.

• Employees who are not able to do their work from home because the work requires their physical presence on campus, will work closely with their supervisors to devise a suitable solution that supports social distancing. Supervisors are expected to assign alternative or additional work. Human Resources will assist in identifying alternative work assignments for these employees.

• New hires expected to start March 30 will be contacted by HR and their departments to discuss each case individually.

• The university cleaning crew will maintain the current high frequency for cleaning the building so that at all times if somebody needs to come in the building will be clean and as free of germs as possible.

All activities including those organized by student organizations are suspended until May 31.

This is a dynamic situation; Larkin University continues to monitor the coronavirus situation very closely; the university is focused on how this developing situation might impacts events.

Commencement exercises cannot be held as planned on May 20. As Lions we take this as a challenge to o give our Class of 2020 the celebration they deserve and to give our University community the chance to adequately celebrate with our graduates and their families. LU is pleased to announce that we will have a commencement ceremony at the Dodge Center in Pembroke Pines August 27, 2020. Although we see this as a realistic possibility, nobody at this point can predict the situation in August and therefore a back-up date was negotiated for October 19, 2020. Our team is enthusiastically working with the new dates, so that it will be an exciting event to remember. Stay tuned and be surprised!

Class of 2020: Please note that postponing of the ceremony does not impact your degree conferral at all, you will be a PharmD or MBS in the moment you fulfill all required pre-requisites and got cleared by the University, independent on when the ceremony will take place.

Any changes to the above schedule will be announced latest by May 31. It is important that you continue to stay alert to updates on our webpage https://www.ularkin.org/coronavirus-disease-2019/

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions.  And read frequently your emails from LU and look at our webpage https://www.ularkin.org/coronavirus-disease-2019/ where all updates will be posted.

COVID-19 spreads through the air via coughing and sneezing. Flu-like symptoms, including include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing, are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure.

University-sponsored international travel is prohibited for graduate students, faculty, and staff until further notice.  When we consider it safe for travel to international locations to resume, we will issue further guidance.

Anyone who has traveled in the past 14 days internationally is required to immediately self-report to Human Resources (Faculty and staff to Frida Musila) or Student services (all students to Johnathan May (COP) or Marti Echols (COBS), and is required to monitor their health for 14 days following their date of return to the United States. Someone who has traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan within the past two weeks is additionally required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, even if there are no symptoms of illness.

In addition, anyone who meets the following criteria is required to immediately self-report and will self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus:

-Anyone who has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 within the past two weeks

Any questions pertaining to student absences or coursework should be directed to the Program Director.

Questions from faculty or staff regarding absences or remote work should be directed to the appropriate Supervisor and Human Resources.

ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE FOR OUTBOUND TRAVELERS

For locations at CDC Warning Level 2, CDC Warning Level 3 and/or USDOS Level 3 or 4

For future planning, we recommend that you do not plan University-sponsored international travel during Summer 2020, Fall Semester 2020 and Winter 2020/2021.  While travel might eventually be possible to certain locations before February 2021, we believe that planning resources are better allocated to travel after that time.

Please note that if public health measures in other countries or the United States impact travelers, the University may be unable to help travelers return in a timely way so as to fulfill their coursework, teaching, and research obligations.

The latest information from the Florida Department of Health pertaining to cases of coronavirus disease 2019 in the state can be found at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html .

As the number of cases changes fast the FDOH has also set up a live dashboard. For more detail on Florida resident cases, please visit the live FDOH Dashboard at

https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86

An updated situation summery is provided by CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html#situation-in-us. Note, the CDC has issued new guidance for older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions, please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html .

The Florida Department of Health has set up a call center to handle questions related to COVID-19:  1 (866) 779-6121 or email your questions to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Guide to Self-Quarantine and Self-Monitoring

Self-quarantine means remaining at home, not going to classes or work or the lab, limiting time outside of your home, and monitoring your health for 14 days after you were potentially exposed to the virus.

  • Do not go to class, work, lab, or participate in any campus activities.
  • Work or study from home, as possible.
  • Avoid non-essential travel on or off campus. Limit shopping for food, taking walks outside, etc.
  • Do not share cups, utensils, etc. 
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging, kissing, etc.
  • Avoid close contact (keep more than 6 feet between you and other people).

Monitoring Your Health

  • Take your temperature twice a day in the morning and evening, not within an hour of eating a meal.

Call Larkin University Students Services (Dr. May for COP and Dr. Echols for COBS) or Human Resources (Frida Musila) if you have any symptoms, such as:

  • A temperature reading of 100.4 F or higher.
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Any flu-like symptoms.

If you must go out:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not use public transportation.

PREVENTION

The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that the most important thing you can do to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds.

Facilities Management will increase means to ensure the university’s campuses are clean and safe. In addition, starting Monday there will be hand sanitizing stations positioned throughout the building, classrooms and lecture halls and facilities management will increase disinfection frequency for commonly touched areas (door knobs, elevator push buttons, etc.)

There are currently no specific treatments for COVID-19. However, preventive measures for the COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory viruses such as the flu:

•             Avoid close contact with people who are ill;

•             When sick with a respiratory bug, limit your contact with others;

•             When sick with the flu, stay home for at least 24 hours AFTER your fever is gone without the help of a fever-reducer;

•             Exceptions include getting medical care or running errands to get necessities;

•             Frequent hand-washing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds;

•             If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;

•             Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;

•             Remember to “cover your cough” with a tissue or the bend of your elbow (be sure to throw the tissue away);

•             Whenever possible, disinfect commonly touched areas (door knobs, elevator push buttons, computer keyboards and mouse, telephones, etc.)

For additional information please visit the following resource links:

•             Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html)

•             Florida Department of Health (http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/)

Larkin University will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate with public health officials, will upadte this webpage and will communicate with all students and faculty further if needed.

A live dashboard that pulls data from the World Health Organization (WHO) — as well as the centers for disease control in the US, China and Europe — to show all confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus, along with recovered patients and deaths has been provided by our colleagues from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The data is visualized through a real-time graphic information system (GIS) powered by Esri:

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

 
 
 
 
search
menu