March 17, 2020
As you know, we have been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation with the coronavirus, COVID-19. As of yesterday, there have been some major developments and we expect that the city and state will continue to implement restrictions designed to mitigate the spread of this virus. At the time of this letter (March 17), all bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos are closed. Some restaurants remain open, but only for take-out, delivery and drive-thru.
On-campus, we are beginning to scale back operations a bit in order to account for the reduction in work force and in our student population. The Governor’s orders about closing restaurants except for take-out, delivery and drive-thru required that we transition The Commons to take-out only. We have closed the other on-campus dining options. Shuttle services have been reduced to TapRide only with service to limited locations consistent with local closures.
We anticipate additional restrictive measures will be forthcoming. Nationally, we have seen cities choose to implement a full-scale lockdown. If this happens in New Orleans, your student may not be able to leave New Orleans until after the city’s lockdown is lifted. If this happens, the university’s on-campus population will shelter in place, and off-campus students should be prepared to shelter in place in their homes. Again, we do not know if this will happen, but are prepared if it does happen.
If your student lives on-campus, please be prepared for the potential that Housing & Residence Life may need to reassign them to another residential building on-campus. If your student intends to remain living on campus past 12pm on Sunday, March 22nd, and has NOT yet completed the Housing Exception Request form, it is critical that they do so as soon as possible. Students who are capable of returning home should do so by Sunday, March 22nd. If your student has submitted a Housing Exception Request and is now going to leave, please have them email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide them with check-out procedures.
If your student’s initial decision to stay in New Orleans was based on convenience, a desire not to leave friends, or because your hometown was more impacted at that time by COVID-19, this is a good time to reconsider that decision. New Orleans currently has the second highest rate of infection per capita in the United States. If your student is staying because they don’t have alternative options, please don’t panic. The next few weeks will likely be uncomfortable, but we will get through this. Encourage your son or daughter to make good decisions around social distancing that protect them and our community.
You may follow the City of New Orleans COVID-19 updates and sign up for text alerts here: https://ready.nola.gov/incident/coronavirus/.
I know the last several days have been filled with anxiety, feelings of uncertainty and constantly changing information. Please help your student take care of themselves during this incredibly stressful time, whether they are with you or here with us. Thanks again for your patience and all of the kind messages you have been sending.
Dean of Students
*Off-campus students looking for information about storage should contact https://www.universityandstudentservices.com/tulanestorage