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2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

A significant viral outbreak of a new type of Coronavirus named “2019 Novel Coronavirus” or “COVID-19” is affecting a large number of countries around the world, including Ohio and the United States. Keep checking back for Columbus State's response.

The Latest: Classes canceled March 16-20

(updated: 3/11/20)

  • Following guidance from Gov. DeWine, all Columbus State classes will be canceled from March 16-20.
  • As classes reopen on March 23, we will deliver the majority of our classes online or through other alternative delivery channels. Faculty and staff are developing plans to accommodate lab classes, hands-on learning and clinical rotations. Check with your instructors for specific guidance on your classes.
  • Dr. Harrison has advised the campus to proceed with "safety, communication, and compassion." We acknowledge this period is disruptive to student learning, and we will do our best to accommodate students' needs.
  • To stay informed, please sign up for text message alerts through RAVE.
  • For updated information on the international outbreak, follow the Coronavirus at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.


Latest updates for Columbus State students, faculty and staff

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

We are committed to transparency, timeliness and accuracy in our communication. We will use the website,, as a primary communication tool, along with your email.

When classes are canceled, it means no classes – face-to-face or online – are being held, but College locations remain open, and faculty and staff should come to work as normal. The College is on Spring Break March 9-13, and classes have been canceled for the week of March 16-20. This additional week of cancellation will allow faculty, staff and administrators to focus on transitioning all classes to online delivery and make alternative arrangements for coursework that can’t be moved online, such as labs and clinicals, to be completed safely and in compliance with all standards. Your instructor will communicate those alternative arrangements once they have been finalized. All classes will resume in alternative forms of instruction Monday, March 23.

No, the semester will not be extended. Coursework will be compressed to fit within the existing academic calendar for spring 2020.

We are working closely with agencies, accreditors, and employer partners to make alternative arrangements for the safe and compliant delivery of clinicals, labs, apprenticeships and other learning experiences that can’t be delivered online. Your instructor will communicate these arrangements to you via email and Blackboard once they are final. Watch for communication from instructors sometime Monday, March 16. It’s important to note that College locations are not closed, and these learning experiences can still be delivered. Our focus is delivering them in a way that honors social distancing guidance offered by the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We have an arrangement with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Delaware Library to provide opportunities for our students at all of their branches. We’re also evaluating how we can establish open labs and other spaces on our campuses that can provide access while respecting appropriate social distancing recommendations from health professionals.

No College testing should occur during Spring Break or next week while classes are canceled. Once classes resume with alternative forms of instruction, most tests and assessments will be given through Blackboard. For testing that must take place in person, we’re working with faculty, staff and our partners to administer tests safely, compliantly and in keeping with social distancing guidelines.

No, Columbus State remains open, and employees are at work. The College is on Spring Break through Friday, March 13, and classes have been canceled the week of March 16-20. Classes will resume in online format Monday, March 23. Buildings remain accessible, and we’re working to identify spaces, including the Library and computer labs, that can be reconfigured temporarily to carry out College operations safely and in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Yes, the Mid-Ohio Market remains open and operational at this time.

All College events schedule for this weekend, March 13-15, have been canceled, and events with 100 people or more have been canceled through April. We are reviewing all other events, including events organized by external partners and held at our College locations, to determine appropriate arrangements. We will communicate event cancellations through their event organizers.

Our registration process hasn’t changed, so if you know what classes you’d like to take, the easiest way to register is to do that online through CougarWeb. Here is a link to an instructional video. You can also call us at 614-287-5353 if you’d like some help with the registration process. If you aren’t yet sure what classes you should take, you should talk with an academic advisor first so that you can get some help with course selection.

Absolutely! We suggest that you reach out to your advisor via telephone or email. If you already know who your advisor is, go ahead and reach out to them. If you are a returning student and you aren’t sure who your advisor is, here is a link to the advisor directory. If you are preparing for your first semester at Columbus State, you can actually call 614-287-5353, and a representative at that number can set up a time for you to have a phone appointment with an advisor in our Center for Advising Support and Exploration.

Financial aid and scholarship eligibility will not be impacted by the transition from in-person classes to online classes.

No. No exams will be given and no homework will be due next week. You will be receiving course-level instructions from your instructors via email or Blackboard sometime Monday, March 16.

No, the College remains open and operational with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community. We are in the process of exploring options for different types of instruction. In the meantime, classes have been canceled though Friday, March 20. All employees are to continue to report as scheduled.

As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our College community. We will continue to monitor and follow the guidance of the state and local health departments.

It is appropriate to ask how they are feeling and encourage them to head home immediately if they are showing signs of being sick. However, we should not stigmatize people who are sick or assume anyone who coughs or sneezes has COVID-19.

At this time the College is redirecting efforts to concentrate on our restrooms and common touch points in our high-traffic areas. In addition, disinfectant wipes will be distributed throughout buildings so that employees may assist in keeping their immediate spaces clean and disinfected. Furthermore, Facilities is actively working to ensure the supplies within the restrooms, such as paper towels, are being restocked. However, should you become aware of a dispenser being empty, please contact Facilities immediately at 614-287-5444.

Yes, during a pandemic situation, an employer is permitted to send employees home if they are exhibiting symptoms.

During the COVID-19 event, employees will be permitted to utilize all leave balances available to them to remain in pay status. More guidance regarding this topic to follow.

No, not necessarily. For the workplace, Columbus State is focused on measures recommended by state and local officials that will be most effective at this time, including promoting good hygiene practices, extra surface cleaning, and restrictions on travel, meetings, and events. If needed, Columbus State will take additional steps to increase social distancing by reducing the concentration of people in workspaces in terms of occupancy and possibly by large-scale remote work.

Staff who are well are expected at work as usual. Employees are encouraged to follow your normal routine; however, be prepared for changes. The College will continue to assess telecommuting arrangements. Employees should work directly with their supervisor to determine operational needs and how they may be met. Employees should be prepared to work remotely if their job duties permit it.

  • What positions will be considered?
  • Who will make the decision?
  • Will resources (Laptops, etc.) be provided to allow for it?
  • What if I live in an area that internet is not available?

The College recognizes that these are all questions that need answered. We are working closely with leadership and IT to assess telecommuting options. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisor. Further information will be forthcoming.

If it is determined to allow working remotely, then yes; however, employees will need to appropriately document their hours worked and are not permitted to work overtime without prior approval from their supervisor. Managers are encouraged to work with HR if questions arise in this area.

Social distancing is a way to reduce exposure, slow the spread, and minimize transmission of contagious diseases. Use video and teleconferencing tools like WebEx instead of holding in-person meetings when possible. Try to maintain at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Avoid shaking hands and close physical contact with anyone displaying symptoms.

The College recognizes the anxiety and emotional strain that these circumstances may place on all of us. Remember that Columbus State’s employee health plans offer comprehensive coverage for both physical and mental health care. If an employee would like to speak with a counselor or a mental health professional, contact Matrix, Columbus State’s Employee Assistance Program: 614-475-9500; The College also supports and encourages self-care during these stressful times. Remember that sleep and exercise promote immune system capacity.

The College is following the State of Ohio guidelines as it relates to travel. Non-essential travel will be restricted. For more specific questions regarding any planned travel, employees should contact their supervisor. During this time period, all travel must be approved through the employee’s vice president.

Of note, the responses to the FAQ’s are not meant to usurp any corresponding language within the collective bargaining agreements that may be relevant.

Employees should err on the side of safety first as instructed by President Harrison. Please send any further questions to coronavirus@cscc.



The facts about COVID-19

What do I need to do?

Unless you have recently traveled to affected countries, or have been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors related to the outbreak because there are no known cases in Ohio. The CDC advises there is no need to wear a mask unless you need to avoid spreading your own respiratory illness to others, or are caring for someone with COVID-19.

In general, practicing routine hygiene etiquette is the best way to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand rub regularly, especially after coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Anyone who is ill should keep a safe distance (at least 3 feet) from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs
  • Stay home if you don’t feel well. If you’re seriously ill, seek medical advice from a health care provider or emergency department

View specific info for Columbus State students, faculty and staff

What is the Coronavirus?

Normally, the Coronavirus typically causes the common cold or other mild respiratory viral illnesses, but this new strain can cause much more serious illness, even death, in some patients. Previous novel coronavirus strains include SARS and MERS that occurred in other areas of the world in recent years.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Based on current CDC guidance, person-to-person spread most likely occurs through respiratory droplets between close contacts, similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses.

  • Prolonged exposure within six feet of an infected person would put you at risk for getting the virus.
    The period from exposure to symptom onset is believed to be within 14 days.
    • For example, if a person returned from an outbreak area more than 14 days ago, the person would be outside the window for disease onset.
  • Practicing routine hygiene practices daily is the best way to prevent the spread of infection:
    • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand rub regularly, especially after coughing or sneezing
    • Avoid close contact with people that are sick
    • Anyone who is ill should keep a safe distance (at least 3 feet) from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs
    • Stay home if you don’t feel well. If you’re seriously ill, seek medical attention.

Should I travel out of the country?

If you have international travel scheduled in the coming weeks – especially to affected countries – you should monitor travel warnings carefully prior to departure.

  • The CDC and the US Department of State maintain travel alerts that can help you make the decision about going on your trip.

What are the symptoms?

Coronaviruses typically causes symptoms that are similar to influenza (“the flu”) and other viral illnesses. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tiredness, body aches
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • The vast majority of patients have mild/moderate symptoms and don't require hospitalization
  • People at highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include those with pre-existing pulmonary disease, immune-compromised, infants and the elderly
  • If you're seriously ill, seek medical attention from your health care provider or the Emergency Department

Is a treatment or vaccine available?

The only clinical treatment for COVID-19 is general supportive care – for example, oxygen, IV fluids, over the counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, etc.

  • There is no anti-viral medication recommended at this time
  • There is no vaccination/immunization available to prevent COVID-19 at this time but scientists are working on developing a vaccine. A vaccine will not likely be ready for at least one year.
    • The influenza vaccine – the “flu shot” – does not protect you from Coronavirus.
    • A flu shot is still highly recommended because the number of flu cases in Ohio this year is very high.

Who monitors recent travelers from affected areas?

  • At this time, the state is requiring all travelers returning to the U.S. from China to contact their local health department and self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the day they departed China.
    • Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau are not included in this requirement.
  • The Ohio Department of Health is coordinating with local public health departments across the state to educate people returning from affected areas on rules for self-quarantine, symptoms of the infection and what to do if they develop symptoms.

Additional resources regarding COVID-19 outbreak: