The global virus COVID-19, better known as the new coronavirus, has reached Tennessee and brought with it statewide panic and confusion. On the collegiate front, many campuses, including APSU, are switching to online classes for the rest of the semester.

When the virus started to become serious, and had reached the United States, APSU was prepared with the COVID-19 Task Force.

It was not until Thursday, March 12, when APSU president Alisa White sent out a campus-wide email, that significant change had come to APSU, and Clarksville Montgomery County.

“After considerable deliberation, we have decided to suspend classes until March 23 and move all classes to fully online instruction,” said White in an email. “Spring B and Spring II registration will be extended until classes begin March 23. A new academic calendar will be posted by the end of the day.”

White went on to additionally say that all non-athletic events scheduled to take place on campus were canceled until further notice.

“Additionally, all non-athletic University-sponsored events are canceled until further notice. If it is possible to reschedule events, details will be forthcoming,” White said. “A decision about commencement will be made in the weeks to come.”

Academics and recreation are not the only activities on campus that have taken a hit from this new virus. Athletics on campus are, according to White, to now be held without fan attendance.

“In following precedence set by the NCAA, sanctioned indoor athletic events will be held without fan attendance through the remainder of the academic year,” White said.  “Only student-athletes, coaches and essential personnel are allowed in the indoor sports venues.”

Many students living on campus have been urged to stay or return home, following these decisions.

“Students living on-campus who can travel to their home or permanent residence are encouraged to do so. However, if leaving campus is not an option, we are prepared to continue supporting residential students, including access to limited dining options,” White said. “The Office of Housing, Residence Life and Dining Services will be providing details in the days to come through campus email.”

APSU’s COVID-19 task force continues to send periodic updates to students via outlook email, providing information and clarification during this confusing time.

While campus remains open, there are some extra steps that students must make before showing up to conduct any campus business.

“If anyone needs to conduct University business, such as meeting with the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of the Registrar, please call or email those departments before coming to campus,” the COVID-19 task force said in an email. “This will help with the CDC’s recommendation for social distancing, and you may be able to complete your business remotely.”

The task force went on to explain that, due a high volume of calls, these services on campus are very busy, and they ask for your patience.

“Because this situation is leading to a high volume of phone calls and emails to campus, responses may be delayed. Please know that the University will respond to all enquiries, though we might not have all the answers at first,” the task force said, “Like most of our peer institutions across the country, we’re working through a situation with no precedent, and we appreciate your understanding as we move through this challenging time.”

Wash your hands.