After weeks of doubt, guessing, and confusion, Moravian College finally closed yesterday at 7:59 p.m.
An email announcement from President Bryon Grigsby, who has been updating the students with daily emails to keep us all connected, announced that the college is closing due to Governor Wolf’s Thursday night declaration that only “life-sustaining businesses” may remain open.
The move was expected, considering that hours later the entire state of California came under a “stay at home” order and restrictions all across the country grew tighter.
Moravian has officially reached Tier 5 in its Tiered Mitigation Plan. Accordingly, all students are asked to leave campus and return to a long-term residential location for the rest of the semester. The school has asked those still on campus to leave within 24 hours to be in compliance with the state order to have all Pennsylvania campuses closed by Saturday, March 21.
Many students who have traveled home are now concerned about their belongings at school, while students still on campus are worried that they will not be able to move out on time.
However, the president has guaranteed that students will have an opportunity to move out in the future. At this time, he encouraged students to simply take the necessities and head home. He also urged students not to have friends or family come into their dorm when they move out; he asked that those picking up students stay in their vehicles to help prevent the spread of outside illness.
Students who cannot return home are asked to fill out a form (available via the all-campus email) to explain their situation. The College will work to get a waiver from the state government to permit those students to stay on campus. Otherwise, students were asked to work on a “back-up plan.”
Dining Services will continue to distribute to-go meals until closure today, March 20. They are still determining the plans to feed students still on campus on Saturday. Ideally, students will be able to return home as soon as possible.
As for college courses, classes will continue to be taught online for the rest of the semester. There has been much speculation over the end of our online education, but we now have an end date. Plans are still in progress to determine how commencement will take place.
Many college resources like the Writing Center and tutoring have been moved online and will continue to function as so.
This plan continues to be in place despite the fact that the two Moravian students who were tested for COVID-19 late last week were found to be virus-free. However, three more students were sent for testing as of yesterday afternoon; results are yet unknown. Students at other local colleges are being tested, as well. Yesterday, Lehigh University reported that two students who were abroad tested positive for the virus.
While this is an unprecedented time, the Moravian College community has shown fortitude and resilience — and will continue to do so as we move forward.