March 22, 2020 - Update regarding presidential directive, stay-at-home orders

Dear UMSL Community,

Important and necessary actions continue to be taken in the effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 and we are all being challenged to do our part. Among those actions are the recent adoptions of mandatory stay-at-home orders in the state of Illinois, and this weekend’s order from St. Louis and St. Louis County officials that takes effect on Monday, March 23.

I am grateful for our Executive Policy Group and Pandemic Unified Command teams, which among their responsibilities is to ensure open communications with local, state and federal authorities working through our UM System Emergency Manager. Because of their close coordination, our university has been able to take proactive actions in advance of and in alignment with agency recommendations and executive orders.

As an example, our entire university moved quickly last week following a directive from UM System President Mun Choi to limit the on-campus physical presence of essentially all employees across our campuses. This was a necessary action and I appreciate each of you working diligently to transition your efforts to remote work. Again, this directive remains in effect from March 23 through April 12.

Last week, in an effort to limit the number of residential students on campus, we offered a housing bill discount for the semester for any students who had the ability to return home or make alternate housing plans. Through this effort, we have reduced our housing occupancy by more than 75 percent. Residential Life is working with our remaining residential students to ensure access to necessary services such as dining while also implementing aggressive social distancing practices.

We expect our community members, whether on campus or working and learning remotely, to follow any city, county or state directives. While each directive may have unique parameters, the stay-at-home orders in effect at this time consistently ask residents to limit all non-essential travel outside of the home while allowing flexibility to access essential services such as grocery stories, pharmacies and doctor’s offices.

For the very few employees who have exceptions to work on campus, the stay-at-home orders in effect still allow you to travel to and from campus to perform your essential work. Each of those identified with exceptions will receive a letter from your supervisor outlining your essential on-site services for the university. In addition, Human Resources and UMSL Police have a list of all employees with exceptions to assist you in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for your continued understanding as we all respond to limit the spread of coronavirus and keep our communities safe. As always, we will continue to provide additional information on our COVID-19 website as the situation evolves.

Please take care of yourselves and others during this time.

Be safe,

Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost