Monday, March 16, 2020: Update to the university community regarding univeristy closure

Dear USIU-Africa Community,

On Sunday, March 15, the Government confirmed two further cases of Coronavirus in Kenya, following the initial confirmation made on Friday, March 13 regarding the first Coronavirus case in the country.

Consequently, the Government has announced several containment measures designed to deter the spread of the virus, including the suspension of learning in all educational institutions for two weeks, with Universities and Tertiary Institutions expected to close by Friday, March 20.

USIU-Africa will close on March 20, 2020. Any changes will be communicated officially.

Our last update to you indicated that there were no reports of any members of the University community having contracted the virus. However, in light of the recent announcement by the Government regarding the closure of learning institutions, we have put in place the following measures:

Academic Continuity

Over the past few weeks, the University’s leadership and key stakeholders have been working to refine contingency plans in the event that the Coronavirus outbreak would necessitate a shutdown of the University. To this end, we will be transitioning to online teaching for all graduate and undergraduate classes, to the greatest extent possible. We recognize that this is a significant adjustment for everyone in the University community, and as such, the university is providing support to faculty and students in the form of trainings on how to make use of the platforms identified to provide remote instruction.

The ICT Department is working closely with several vendors, including Zoom and BlueJeans to ensure that these services are continuous and stable during this period of high demand from the campus community. USIU-Africa will continue to leverage our expertise to ensure the continuity of our mandate of teaching and research.

International Students

Due to the sudden nature of the announcement by the Government, we understand that some of our international students may have a hard time travelling back home, especially for those students who come from places that have confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and are under travel bans.

The University will support such students to ensure that they stay safe and secure, even as the students make arrangements to travel back home.

All students and employees are advised to report any flu-like symptoms to the Health Services department who will be operating during this period.

Business Continuity

In line with the impending shut down, the University will maintain a skeleton staff drawn from the departments considered critical for the operation of the University.

Health and wellbeing

Protecting the health and well-being of our community is at the forefront during this difficult time. To this end, we would like to emphasize the need to practice good hygiene at this time and maintain social distancing. Social distancing entails keeping a distance of at least 1 meter. Social distancing measures will limit the number of instances where community members are gathering in large groups and spending periods of time in close proximity with each other. By reducing the number and proximity of people on campus, we can slow the potential transmission of the virus and limit exposure for all members of our community.

For further assistance, contact the University Health Services Department on 0730116759 or extension 760/761/762/763 or 0780 334668 or and seek immediate medical attention.

Best Regards,

Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Vice Chancellor

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