Eastern Oregon University > Coronavirus Information > Archives > March 13, 2020 – Governor closes K-12 schools

March 13, 2020 – Governor closes K-12 schools

As you are aware, the Governor directed  a closure of all K-12 public schools, effective March 16 to 31. EOU leadership acknowledges that this decision will have an impact on our students and EOU employees. 

This morning, the Cabinet reviewed the most recent directives from the Governor and met with student health, county public health and county emergency services to ensure our plans align with the best guidance from these regional authorities.  

To be clear, we are not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at EOU or locally, but out of an abundance of caution and increased concerns about exposure to the illness, we are making further accommodations for remote instruction and final exams. 

Effective Saturday, March 14, EOU will move to a plan that maintains the essential operations of the university, and works to decrease the number of interactions among students, faculty, staff and visitors. 

We want to draw your attention to the following key information items for the EOU community:

  • EOU will remain open and operational.
  • Faculty and students will not meet for in-person final exams March 16-20. 
  • Remote-access finals already announced to students (Canvas Shells, Take Home Exams, etc.) for March 16-20 will proceed as planned. 
  • For those finals not already scheduled or announced as remote access, faculty members will communicate alternate plans to students via EOU email and/or the messaging system in Canvas. 
  • Technology resources such as Canvas, Zoom and conference calls will be used in lieu of non-essential in-person meetings and interactions. 
  • All non-essential EOU travel and activities are suspended until further notice.
  • As duties and responsibilities allow, supervisors are encouraged to work with their employees to arrange for remote work as needed. 
  • All students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to avoid personal travel over the spring break. EOU’s residence halls will remain open. Sodexo is working to provide adequate social distancing in Hoke Union Building. Food will continue to be available for students, including by delivery to Residence Halls if students are ill. 
  • Spring term classes will be offered as scheduled via remote access. Courses that need to take place in-person will limit group sizes or expand classroom space to provide more distance between participants.  
  • For on-campus classes moving to remote access due to COVID-19 mitigation, there will not be a tuition differential for students. Scholarships for on-campus students will not change due to the modification of classes to accommodate remote access. 
  • Student computer labs will remain open to ensure students have access to remote delivery of classes. 
  • Please continue to take extra caution in managing your health, and follow these guidelines for hand washing and other preventative measures.

K-12 school closures

Employees who may be impacted by the school closure should contact their supervisors to document their situation. Supervisors are encouraged to work with employees on flexible work schedules to stagger hours and/or accommodate remote work. Students who have school-age children and may be impacted by the K-12 closures should contact their faculty if accommodations are needed. 

Employees who are parents of children subject to the K-12 school closure and have no alternative but to be off work to care for their children may use accrued sick leave for missed work hours. As always, please coordinate absences with your supervisor.  

Moving forward

We want to reiterate EOU’s priorities: First, Eastern Oregon University is open and plans to remain open and operational. Second, our focus is to: 1) decrease the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities and protect the health of EOU students and employees; and 2) ensure our students can continue their academic progress. 

EOU leadership is continually evaluating the situation. Social distancing guidelines and any other adjustments will be communicated to the university community as quickly as possible. Please continue to monitor your email and eou.edu/coronavirus for updates and new information. 

We continue to stay in close contact with other Oregon universities, the Governor’s Office, the Oregon Health Authority and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and appreciate their leadership. 

This situation is evolving at a very rapid pace and we are working to keep the university community updated with important information as it becomes available. We also appreciate everyone’s work at EOU on planning and implementing changes around the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Thank you very much for your understanding, patience and flexibility during this time.

Thank you,

EOU Leadership