By Bryan Casey
Sacred Heart’s Coronavirus Planning Team continues to update the community frequently about measures being taken to deal with the virus.
All study abroad students have returned to the United States, and all summer study abroad programs have been suspended.
“Although it was extremely unfortunate that we were not able to spend the entire semester abroad, and being sent home was very unexpected and stressful, Sacred Heart allowed us to truly enjoy as much of Dingle as we could in the few days we had left, and they got all 63 of us home safely,” said sophomore Katie Kennedy, who was studying abroad in Ireland.
For those students who plan to take courses over the summer at Sacred Heart, the $115 registration fee has been waived, and a 10 percent discount on tuition has been put into effect.
“With the uncertainties of what the summer months will bring, we want to encourage students to continue their studies and requirements for graduation and to remain connected to the university,” said Sacred Heart President John Petillo.
As classes have all moved online, the university is utilizing its virtual platform to host normal campus wide events. Some of these events include virtual tours for prospective students, online club meetings and career counseling via WebEx.
“Even though we are apart geographically, everyone is doing a tremendous job staying in touch virtually and electronically,” said an email from the Coronavirus Planning Team.
Measures are also being taken to aid local medical personnel who do not want to expose their families to the virus.
“Sacred Heart is offering shelter to first responders who may have been exposed to the virus and can’t go home because of the need to self-isolate for 14 days. They will be staying at the Ridge for now. If more space is needed, we will provide it,” said Petillo.
With supply shortages prevalent throughout the United States, The Davis & Henley College of Nursing has decided to donate supplies which would have been used for educational purposes.
“The program is also making plans to provide 12 setups for Bridgeport Hospital’s temporary patient housing tent. Each setup includes a bed, or cot, trash can, side table or cart with drawers, over bed table and an IV pole,” Petillo said.
The School of Computer Science and Engineering is planning to utilize 3-D printers to produce medical face masks. These masks will also aid medical centers who are running short on supplies.
There will be more updates from the planning team throughout the month.
“So, thank you to all of you for your efforts to safeguard your own health and that of those around you, for your creative solutions for keeping in touch with each other,” the Coronavirus Planning Team wrote.