March 24, 2020-COVID-19 Update to SHS Community

Dear SHS Students, Faculty, and Staff,

This email provides the latest update on COVID-19 as of 1:00pm on March 24, 2020. We ask that you please read this email in its entirety to ensure you remain up-to-date on this ever-changing situation.

Online Course Delivery for Remainder of Spring Semester

As you may recall from our last COVID-19 update, the School of Health Sciences had hoped to resume face-to-face, on-campus instruction on Monday, April 13th. Unfortunately, based on the ever-expanding spread of the virus, the latest CDC recommendations, and Governor Northam’s recent announcement banning public gatherings of more than 10 people through April 23, 2020, it has become clear that we must revise this plan. Effective today, the E&H SHS will complete the remainder of the spring semester via online instruction. Courses with labs involving the instruction and assessment of clinical skills will likely need to be delayed until the summer term. This will result in an incomplete grade. Your Program Director will work with the faculty to determine which lab courses will be delayed and will communicate this to you.

The status of your clinical rotations remains fluid at this point and is dependent on the health system and the specific clinical site. Your Program Directors and DCEs/FWCs will continue to communicate with you regarding your ability to complete your current or upcoming rotations.

The SHS Faculty and Staff remain committed to supporting you during this incredibly difficult and stressful time. The faculty have been working very hard to ensure that the online delivery of your program’s didactic content continues to meet the quality and rigor expected of Emory & Henry College and required for preparing you for your chosen healthcare career.

Suggestions for Being Successful in an Online Environment:

  • Check google calendar regularly for schedule changes.
  • Check each course on Moodle on a regular basis for postings of instructions, lectures, assignments, resources, etc.
  • Be organized and create a schedule for each week to include Zoom sessions, online lectures, assignments, and group Zoom meetings.
  • Find a quiet space with reliable internet access. This may include finding a location in your area that has free high speed internet that can be accessed from a parking lot.
  • ALWAYS practice social distancing.
  • Keep your devices fully charged and keep a close power source during Zoom sessions.
  • If you have limited bandwidth you many need to turn video off and use audio only.
  • Always mute your microphone in a live Zoom session. Unmute to ask or to reply to a question.
  • Communicate regularly and timely with your instructor regarding technical problems, clarifications, etc.

Prevention of Community Spread of COVID-19

The number of COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in Virginia. Governor Northam and the Virginia Department of Health are relying on every Virginian to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Stay home and ALWAYS practice social distancing. If you have to go out, stay 6 feet away from others.
  • Avoid public spaces, public activities, and group gatherings (including parties with your classmates or neighbors).
  • Put distance between yourself and others if you are sick. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, contact your physician. Call ahead before seeking medical care.

Stay Informed

There is a lot of information being shared about COVID-19 via social media; however, not all of this information is accurate or up to date. Two reliable sources for the latest information on this pandemic include the CDC Website and the Virginia Department of Health.

The E&H COVID-19 Task Force and the SHS Leadership Team continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation and will continue to provide informational updates as they become available.


The SHS Leadership Team
Dr. Lou Fincher, Vice President of Health Sciences
Dr. J.P. Barfield, Associate Dean of Health Sciences
Dr. Jean Irion, Chair, Department of Physical Therapy
Dr. John Jackson, Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Christy McGhee, Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Studies