One of the critical issues facing global dimensions currently is the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the impact of the virus continues to evolve, we are monitoring the situation closely. We do so from a standpoint of faith and belief and not of fear. As of March 11, the World Health Organization made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. Upon this decision along with communication with higher education accrediting associations, local, state and national government agencies (Department of Education), and with medical resources (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, [CDC]), PTS is monitoring the situation and demonstrates proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
First, during the Compliance Training Meeting on March 11, Joy Terpstra, Director of Human Resources informed the PTS family of the current status of the outbreak and also information from the CDC promoting everyday preventive strategies including the following: good hygiene; washing hands often with soap and water; avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing; and if sick, stay home. The CDC fact sheets are a great resource for detailed information see COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html).
Second, we are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating our actions in accordance to PTS protocol. Additionally, I have instituted a task force to help monitor the situation. We are also in close contact with the Church of God International Offices, accrediting associations, local, state and national agencies. As the situation evolves, we will keep our PTS constituents informed.
Third, based on our current assessment on the spread of COVID-19 and consultation with the Office of Academic Dean, following Spring Break next week, all residential students are to attend their classes synchronously until further instructions. Any questions and concerns in this regard should be directed to the Office of Academic Dean (Dr. David Han).
While the coronavirus is not widespread in the East Tennessee area, PTS is global in our educational outreach. Our prayers are for divine intervention and those afflicted will experience a speedy recovery.
Have a wonderful Spring Break!
Michael L. Baker