Following Delaware County's emergency disaster declaration Friday, Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns sent a campus-wide email updating the university's action plan in accordance with the declaration.

"I understand that this public health crisis is having a profound impact on you and your families," Mearns said. "In this unprecedented emergency, we are all managing our professional and educational obligations, while tending to those whom we love. Let us extend patience and understanding to each other.  And let us continue to respond to this challenge with strength, courage, and hope."

Faculty and Staff:

Mearns said he directed all supervisors, based on guidance and direction from their respective vice presidents, to assign their employees to work remotely, unless the supervisor determines otherwise for the specific employee. 

If an employee must work physically on campus, the supervisor must make arrangements to allow the employee to exercise social distancing and work in a manner consistent with guidance from public health experts.

If an employee cannot work remotely and isn't required to be physically present on campus, the employee should consider using various options to secure paid leave available on Ball State's COVID-19 website.

Mearns said the university's leadership team is developing policies and procedures to implement the U.S. Congress' recently enacted emergency legislation providing the possibility of additional paid leave.

He said they're going to seek the approval of the Ball State's Board of Trustees to authorize employees to use unearned paid leave time from the next fiscal year during this COVID-19 emergency period.

More specific information will be communicated by the vice presidents to their respective employees, he said.

Residence Halls:

Mearns urged all students who still remain in residence halls to move out as soon as possible, unless they have obtained or immediately obtain permission to remain in a residence hall due to "extraordinary extenuating circumstances."

He encouraged all students living in off-campus residences, to return to and reside in a safe alternative place if they have one.

Dining Halls and Other Food Services:

While dining halls and other food services will remain open, they will only have take-out options.

Over the next two weeks, as the number of students and employees on campus declines, he said he anticipates the university will close several dining halls. These updates will be made on Dining Services website.

Library, Testing Labs, and Technology Support Services:

Effective 5 p.m. Saturday, Ball State's library, testing labs and technology support services will be closed, he said.

Internal operations will continue, to allow staff to provide support on-line or by telephone. All urgent and compelling needs for physical access or in-person services, should be made via an appointment.

Building Security:

Ball State will secure most buildings on campus, with the exception of dining facilities still in operation. Information about access to other buildings will be posted on Ball State's website.

If required, employees may access the buildings, and questions regarding access should be directed to immediate supervisors.

Recreation and athletic facilities were closed earlier this week and will remain closed.