A day after Andrews University announced plans to deliver classes online only to students on the Berrien campus, international student He Eun Park from South Korea was preparing for next steps. One thing she knows is that she isn't going home since South Korea is one of the designated coronavirus hot spots.
On Wednesday, a day after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in reaction to an outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the state, Andrews University and other Lake Union area schools swung into action, cancelling in-person classes and transitioning to online classes.
Here is a list of how the Covid-19 outbreak is impacting institutions in our area:
All Andrews University courses currently taught on our Berrien Springs campus will be delivered as distance education, beginning Monday, March 23, at the end of the spring semester break. This distance delivery of courses will be in place through the remainder of spring semester. No face-to-face courses will be taught for the remainder of the semester. Currently we plan to resume in-person course instruction at Andrews University for the summer semester.
As the University switches to distance delivery of its courses for the remainder of this semester, students are encouraged, where possible, to return to their place of permanent residence. Students in Lamson, Meier and University Towers will need to leave their residence by the end of spring break, March 22, unless they receive prior permission to remain longer. This permission to remain would likely be offered to international students and to those students who need to remain in the local area to fulfill clinical or lab requirements.
Campus events are also canceled in connection with this change, including our International Food Fair, Passion Play and Gymnics Home Show originally scheduled for upcoming weeks.
...the University will postpone its spring graduation programs, originally scheduled for May 1-3. We will announce that new date, and work to assure good lead time for individual plans and arrangements, to celebrate the Andrews University Class of 2020. We want to affirm that our goal is to ensure that the graduation services and ceremony fully reflect the pride we have in our graduates and, at the right time, properly recognizes and celebrates the high level of their achievements.
Andrews Academy is asking that our students not return to school for the two weeks following Spring Break (and NO SCHOOL tomorrow, Friday, March 13) as an extra precaution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, as residents of Berrien County return to our area after Spring Break, we want to continue to monitor the situation before allowing our students back to class for in-person instruction.
Those AA online classes would begin the following week, March 30 – April 3. In the end, the earliest date students would return to our school would be on Monday, April 6, 2020.”
Great Lakes Adventist Academy
After considerable prayer and deliberation, Great Lakes Adventist Academy is asking that students not return to school the week following Spring Break as a precaution to the COVID-19 outbreak. The earliest students would return to school would be Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Pioneer Memorial Church
Effective immediately, our worship experience is moving to online-only—which means we will offer both a 9:00 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. livestream service. These services will be streamed at pmchurch.org and can also be viewed on our Pioneer Memorial Church Facebook page. i.e., the sanctuary will be empty except for worship leaders and the preacher.
Michigan Conference Events Cancelled
The Marriage Retreat scheduled for March 13-15 was cancelled, along with New in Ministry for pastors, and all mission trips that fall under the auspices of the Michigan Conference. At this time, there are no plans to cancel camp meeting.
No Decision on Evangelism Events in Indiana
Upcoming public evangelism events such as It is Written campaigns and the Your Best Pathway to Health mega clinic slated for Indianapolis April 8-10 are under evaluation and a decision on whether to move forward is expected next week.
Lake Union Issues Guidelines
Lake Union announced guidelines for worship and assembly. "As our churches engage in weekly gatherings of fellowship during our current health crisis, it is important to our gospel witness to provide solutions, rather than to create problems. Our churches have significant elderly populations that are especially at risk for Covid-19. Some states are issuing cautions about having any large social meetings or gatherings at all. You need to consider, in consultation with your Conference leadership, when and how it might be appropriate to either cancel church, or stream it remotely. But if you do intend to hold services, we advise that you consider the following guidelines."
AdventHealth Produces Sharing Resources
"AdventHealth has launched a coronavirus information site for the Adventist Church with videos covering topics like prevention, symptoms, spread and some special considerations for congregations. You can find the first few episodes of the video podcast series at AdventHealth.com/Coronavirus-Resource-Hub/Church-Resources, in addition to FAQs, blogs and CDC resources. Future episodes will be posted as we learn more about the virus and we have additional updates. We will also set up a coronavirus information site for schools in the near future."