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Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information and Resources

UNG’s Response to COVID-19

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priorities, and that’s why we’ve been closely monitoring developments in the spread of COVID-19 with a focus on its potential impact on our campuses.  Beginning March 30, the University of North Georgia will teach all classes solely online for the remainder of the spring semester, in accordance with guidance from the University System of Georgia.

UNG’s campuses have reduced operations and on-site staffing to encourage as many employees as possible to work remotely at this time.  Employees who believe they have been directly exposed to COVID-19, but are not showing symptoms should self-quarantine consistent with DPH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.  Employees must contact their supervisor if they are unable to work or need to adjust their telework arrangement.  Employees should contact their healthcare provider if they become sick and remain home. Prevention is a key strategy with any virus, such as influenza or this coronavirus, so it is important to protect yourself and others.

We know this is a rapidly evolving situation, and we are staying alert to new information and recommendations coming from the CDC, the DPH and the U.S. Department of State. The university will continue to provide updates to the community, including on this website. More information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health websites.

UNG Updates

April 3, 2020: UNG COVID-19 Faculty and Staff Update

Thank you for your dedication to implement remote instruction this week and to serve our students as we progress toward the completion of spring semester.  We continue to closely monitor state and federal guidance to ensure we are operating in a manner that supports our mission and the safety and wellbeing of our students, employees and communities. Please note the following important information. 

Until further notice, based on direction from the University System of Georgia (USG) and Gov. Kemp’s April 2 Executive Order that requires a statewide shelter in place, UNG will continue reduced operations to minimize the number of individuals who remain on campus.  Please note that Gov. Kemp’s Executive Order includes an exception that enables USG institutions, including UNG, to continue distance learning and performing other essential functions. UNG faculty, staff and students can conduct Necessary Travel for these purposes. When there are necessary in-person operations, we must implement measures, as outlined in the order, to mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19.  To meet those mitigation requirements, UNG Facilities will curtail routine services to all UNG campuses next week.  However, the facilities staff will respond to any emergency needs for space cleaning or maintenance of building systems.  During this period, please call Public Safety at 706-864-1500 to report any emergency maintenance needs. 

Effective Monday, April 6, we will institute UNG’s Summer Hours, under which staff members work 9 hours, Monday through Thursday, and 4 hours on Fridays.  Our goal in implementing this early is to provide you additional flexibility.  I recognize that each of you faces different circumstances and demands in working remotely.  If, during this time, you need greater schedule flexibility, please coordinate with your supervisor. 

Non-Closure Emergency Leave will continue to be available, as needed, to ensure that eligible employees receive their regular compensation.  Additionally, the Office of Human Resources will send information about new benefits available as a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes a provision for emergency paid sick leave and an expansion of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage.

I know that the instability of the past few weeks has touched each of us and that yesterday’s announcement from the USG that we would continue remote instruction through summer semester presents additional challenges.  Thank you for what you are doing to support our students and one another.  I hope you will take a moment to review the message that I sent to them earlier and the new UNG Remote Life website with resources for learning, teaching and working remotely. 

As I noted in our Faculty-Staff Town Hall meeting earlier this week, it is the best of times and the worst of times.  The communities where our campuses are located are experiencing community spread of COVID-19.  We continue to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty and staff as we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia and fulfill our missions of education, leadership development, service, and research.  I am grateful to each of you for your dedication, your service, and your leadership. 

Sincerely,
Bonita
Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
President

April 3, 2020: UNG COVID-19 Student Update

Thank you for your efforts to participate in online instruction as we progress toward the completion of spring semester.  We are committed to ensuring you have access to the resources you need to continue your courses.  If you do not have reliable access to any computer equipment at home, we have a limited supply of laptops that you can check-out.  You may make an appointment with Information Technology to receive the equipment.  Please submit this form to initiate that process.  If you are enrolled for summer, this equipment will be available to you then as well.  If you don’t have reliable Internet access, please visit our Connectivity Resources page for assistance.  

Until further notice, based on direction from the University System of Georgia (USG) and Gov. Kemp’s April 2 Executive Order that requires a statewide shelter in place, UNG will continue reduced operations to minimize the number of individuals who remain on campus. However, our faculty and staff are working remotely to support you.  If you need assistance, please see the resources available on the new Learning Remotely webpage or contact your faculty member or your Dean of Students. 

Please note that Gov. Kemp’s Executive Order includes an exception that enables USG institutions, including UNG, to continue distance learning and performing other essential functions. UNG students can conduct Necessary Travel for these purposes. When there are necessary in-person operations, we must implement measures, as outlined in the order, to mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19.   

As you know, we have extended the deadline for withdrawal with no academic penalty to April 10.  If, after trying the online format, you feel you must consider withdrawing, please submit this form.  We will consult with you on the next steps, as there may be other implications you need to consider. 

I know this has been challenging, and we continue to seek ways to support students in these unusual circumstances. I am grateful for your commitment to completing the semester strong.  As Nighthawks, we will soar together! 

Sincerely,
Bonita Jacobs
President

April 2, 2020: USG Directs Universities to Continue Remote Instruction for Maymester and Summer Semester

Yesterday, Gov. Kemp announced a statewide shelter-in-place order that will begin tomorrow and continue through April 13.  Many of you have had questions about Maymester and summer semester courses.  Dr. Steve Wrigley shared the following information just moments ago.  

May and summer semester instruction will be delivered remotely with limited exceptions.  USG institutions will return to normal operations for fall semester assuming health conditions allow for it. All institutions should continue to implement their current telework and flexible work strategies so that only a minimum number of staff are on campus to maintain operations and support remote instruction.  The Governor’s Executive Orders on schools and shelter in place allow for continued access to remote education and maintaining minimal operations for students, faculty and staff.

I wanted you to have this information as soon as possible.  Given this new guidance, Dr. Chaudron Gille, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, will work with academic deans and department heads to develop a plan for these sessions.  Likewise, other administrators will work with units across the university to continue to serve students.  

We will continue to provide you additional information as it becomes available.  I encourage you to stay connected to UNG through this new resource site for students, faculty and staff, UNG Remote Life.

Sincerely,
Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
President

March 26, 2020: UNG COVID-19 Update

We learned unsettling news yesterday that one of our students was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is currently being treated in a local hospital.  I pray that our student has a speedy and full recovery.  Because it has been two weeks since the student was last on campus, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 from this individual is minimal.  As I am sure you understand, the university may not share the identity of the student or other information that might reveal the student’s identity.  The faculty members who would have had the student in class have been notified without identifying the student.  The Georgia Department of Public Health would determine if additional notifications are necessary based on information from the individual diagnosed with COVID-19.  

I understand that this is a stressful time for you and that the move to online learning may create additional challenges. I am deeply appreciative of your cooperation and understanding as we endeavor to work through a very difficult and extraordinary situation.  One of the concerns we have heard from many of you is that students may not have reliable access to internet or computers.  To support our students and ensure a successful transition to online, we are surveying students to identify and help address such concerns.  We are also in the process of establishing a student outreach system that keeps them connected to the university. 

Next week, UNG campuses will maintain reduced operations, and, with controlled exceptions, all employees who can work remotely should continue to do so and not come to campus unless it is absolutely essential.  Supervisors may continue to use non-closure emergency leave as needed to support those employees whose roles do not allow them to work remotely.  If you do need to come to campus, please be sure to have your key or ID card to gain entry, as most facilities will be locked due to minimal staff on-site. 

The Library Technology Center in Dahlonega will be open to UNG students, faculty and staff Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and our libraries will offer remote services (research consultations, instruction, chat etc.) from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. 

We will have limited Postal Services and Logistical Services operations with scheduled times for departments to pick up mail and packages and drop off outgoing mail as necessary for continuity of operations.  You may contact Charlotte Wade at charlotte.wade@ung.edu for coordination of these services. 

We will consolidate our scheduled spring semester town hall meetings for faculty and staff into a single, virtual meeting on Wednesday, April 1, at noon.  We will send you the link and instructions for participating in that meeting early next week. 

Our business continuity plan continues to evolve as we adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Times like these test our resolve and creativity, and I remain impressed by the resilience and innovation I see across our university. Thank you for your understanding, your support, and the daily contributions you make to the success of UNG and our students.

 

Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
President

March 25, 2020: UNG Student has Tested Positive for COVID-19

Out of an abundance of caution, the University of North Georgia is making the university community aware of the following situation related to COVID-19: 

  • A student in UNG’s Mike Cottrell College of Business reported today that they have tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was last on the Gainesville Campus on the evening of March 11. The student is being treated at a local hospital. 
  • According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, it is mandatory for those who have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of notification.
  • Health officials are taking precautionary measures to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the public in identifying potential contacts.  The best prevention measures for any respiratory virus, including COVID-19, are:
    • Adhere to social distancing practices and CDC guidance regarding groups and group activity.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

It is important that each of us pay close attention to our overall health, and to any COVID-19 symptoms that may arise. COVID-19 symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19 and develop those symptoms, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room or urgent care center and describe your symptoms.

For accurate and reliable information about COVID-19, visit the CDC's COVID-19 Resources, and monitor UNG’s Coronavirus website for updates.

Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
President

March 24, 2020: UNG Update for Spring Semester

Dear UNG Students:

I know that your lives and routines have been disrupted over the past couple of weeks and that you may have concerns about the remainder of the semester. While we are facing new challenges, know that we will do everything in our power to support one another through this unprecedented situation.  

We are mobilizing student leaders to help as mentors and allies in this transition. I realize that sometimes it is better to talk with someone your age who is facing similar issues than with someone sitting in an office. In the meantime, please note there are several student resources available at https://go.ung.edu/coronavirus.  Other helpful links include:

I know this situation is impacting some of you financially.  You may not be able to work in the jobs you had, and bills are due. I encourage you to talk with the Student Money Management Center (SMMC) about how to approach credit cards, banks, etc. to arrange for alternative payment options. Also, SMMC has a limited amount of short-term loans, and you might ask if you qualify. The bottom line is that you are not alone.  The financial crisis is real, and the most important thing for you to do is ask for help. Start with the SMMC who can provide guidance. Because we need staff to telework, there will be limited on-campus presence, but they can be reached at smmc@ung.edu or by phone at 706-867-3308 (Dahlonega) or 678-717-3985 (Gainesville), 

If you are considering a withdrawal from classes, I encourage you to wait. We are addressing issues that may of concern to you. 

  • Some of you have told me you are unsure about being successful online. We know we need to help students adapt to this change and, as much as possible, on an individual basis. We will be sending you details and providing online assistance as to how to manage online classes. 
  • I want you to also have full understanding of the financial and academic implications of withdrawal including impact on financial aid, scholarships, and refund policies. In some cases, taking an incomplete is a better option, provided it is available. 
  • Please do not make these decisions in haste without talking with an advisor.

Instruction will delivered remotely, beginning March 30, and employees across our campuses will be teleworking to the extent possible.  Our faculty are working diligently to shift to online instruction and to assemble tools and resources to help you adapt to learning in an online environment, and they will be in contact with about your courses.  Together, we will remain on track to complete spring semester strong.

I have notified our graduating seniors that the spring commencement ceremonies will be cancelled.  Fortunately, because we have a summer commencement ceremony, we are able to invite our spring graduates to participate in ceremonies on Saturday, August 1.  I hope that they and their families and friends will take advantage of that opportunity to honor and celebrate that important milestone. 

For residential students on the Dahlonega Campus, the UNG postal office will be forwarding your mail to your home address.  Please be sure you have the correct address listed in Banner. Also, we are in the process of issuing partial refunds for housing and dining and hope to have them processed on March 31 or soon thereafter. 

Remember that while we may be working and studying remotely, we are still connected.  We will continue to provide regular updates in the days ahead and throughout the semester. If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to someone. Our offices are providing assistance online, by phone, or by in-person appointments.  

In the meantime, make a note of the contact information for the Deans of Students below, and contact them if they can be of assistance.

 Finally, everyone, please heed the guidance from healthcare officials to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and practice social distancing.
  • Stay home if you are sick.  Please report ALL immediate health-related concerns to UNG Student Health Services by calling 706-864-1948 (Dahlonega) or 678-696-2676 (Gainesville).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

I know this is a challenging time for everyone, and it is a rapidly changing scenario.  I am continually impressed with the creativity and resourcefulness of the UNG community, and I am confident that we will weather this storm together. Stay well! 

Sincerely, 

Bonita Jacobs
President

March 19, 2020: Access to UNG Facilities and Services

Beginning Thursday, March 19, most University of North Georgia buildings will require UNG card or key access, as most offices are operating with reduced staffing on-site. If you need to be on campus, please have with you at all times what you need to gain building access.  Each building will have signs posted giving more information to the University community, the public, and vendors and contractors, should they need access. 

Our personnel are working remotely to the extent possible, and we encourage students, personnel and members of the community to conduct business with UNG offices through online resources or by phone or videoconference as much as possible.  Our goal is to protect our students, our workforce and the public by following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

A few UNG offices and facilities, listed below, will provide limited access, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, for appointments and essential walk-ins.  Individuals should not come to campus if they are sick, and everyone should follow best-practices for social distancing.

Student Health Services Operations

UNG Student Health Centers in Dahlonega and Gainesville will be on call for students. Students may use the Student Health Centers in Dahlonega or Gainesville, rather than an urgent care, primary care, or emergency facility, but they should call ahead

Students should contact Student Health Services by email or phone before going to the Health Center, particularly if they have potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Student Counseling Operations Update

Student Counseling will offer appointments via tele-counseling and in-person, as appropriate.  To make an appointment, students should call one of the following numbers.

  • 470-239-3134 (Cumming)
  • 678-717-3660 (Gainesville)
  • 706-864-1819 (Dahlonega)
  • 706-310-6205 (Oconee)

Testing Centers Operations Update

The UNG Testing Centers will be closed beginning Wednesday, April 8 through Thursday, April 30. A reopening date will be updated here when it is announced.

Career Services Operations Update

Physical offices at UNG are currently closed, but personnel are working remotely and will respond to emails and phone calls during business hours.

Career Services will be available to meet with students via online appointment through Skype or Outlook. To book an appointment with Career Services, either schedule an appointment online or contact them by phone or email. All Career Services events, including job fairs, have been canceled.

Student Disability Services Operations Update

Physical offices at UNG are currently closed. Student Disability Services will be available to meet with students via online appointment through Skype or Outlook.

For new services, begin your registration online.

For students who may have individual concerns regarding accommodations, for a quicker response, contact your campus Student Disability Services office through email:

Campus Rec & Wellness Facilities Closure

Physical offices at UNG are currently closed, but personnel are working remotely and will respond to emails and phone calls during business hours.

In adherence to the announcements from USG and UNG,  all Campus Recreation & Wellness facilities are closed.  To arrange an appointment to retrieve any personal items from a locker room or for assistance with any questions, please contact the Office of Campus Recreation & Wellness at: 

Dahlonega: 706-864-1622  or rec.sports@ung.edu

Gainesville: 678-717-3485  or recsports-gvl@ung.edu

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to support each other through this unprecedented situation.

Commandant of Cadets/Assistant Commandant Operations Update

For any questions about the Corps of Cadets, please call the Assistant Commandant's Office at 706-864-1793, or email lisa.siuta@ung.edu.

Our physical offices are closed, but staff are working remotely.

UNG Food Pantries

Student Money Management Center

Dean of Students

Residence Life

For questions regarding Housing, contact the Residence Life Office at 706-864-1902 or residencelife@ung.edu.

Enrollment Management

Staff will be working remotely; however, student support services will continue remotely. Please refer all questions to the following email addresses for each office, which are being monitored and questions answered in a timely fashion:

 

Multicultural Student Affairs

Please view the MSA website for information on services, programs, and connections established through the office.

Please contact the MSA Office with any questions or to request assistance:

Veteran & Adult Learner Programs

Please review the Veteran & Adult Learner Programs website for the latest information about services and programs to support veteran and adult learners at UNG.

For additional information or assistance, please contact:

 

March 16, 2020: USG to move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester

I write to inform you that the University System of Georgia (USG) has determined that all 26 institutions, including UNG, will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester with extremely limited exceptions. This action comes following last week’s decision to suspend instruction for two weeks to ensure business and instructional continuity, and to allow further state assessment of COVID-19.  In the end, we want to ensure that our faculty, staff and students are safe; that we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia; and that we fulfill our mission to graduate our students even in the face of these challenging times. 

Based on tonight’s announcement from the USG, students will not be allowed to return to campus until they receive permission from the university, which will be forthcoming soon. Additionally, residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students unable to return home or who cannot find housing elsewhere. We will make every effort to accommodate those students who are unable to depart campus. 

We will send specific instructions to students regarding when they will can return to campus to retrieve their belongings from residence halls. Students will be expected to follow those instructions.  We will provide additional information on refunds for housing, dining, and other services, as we receive additional guidance from the USG.  Students should wait for university officials to contact them. 

The university will remain open, with minimal staff physically on-site, to ensure continuity of certain services. 

We know that students, faculty and staff will have many questions based on this announcement.  We will be providing more detailed information to you frequently in the days ahead. 

UNG Class and Online Instruction Update (March 13, 2020)

On March 12, 2020, the University System of Georgia (USG) issued direction to suspend instruction at all USG institutions beginning March 16 through March 29.  This decision was made after receiving new guidance from Gov. Kemp’s Coronavirus Task Force and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) this afternoon. This two-week timeframe, which encompasses UNG’s Spring Break scheduled for the week of March 23, will give us time to test our business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus in Georgia.  At UNG, this suspension of instruction includes all face-to-face and online courses.

While instruction is temporarily suspended for this two-week period, UNG will continue to operate. However, in-person services may be limited, as offices are encouraged to telework during this period. Students and consumers should review information on the UNG website for details. Employees should consult with their supervisors regarding expectations of essential personnel and teleworking opportunities. 

Any decision to alter operations or move classes online beyond March 29 will be determined by the University System of Georgia in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

What about eCore/eMajor Courses?

Courses offered through the USG’s eCore/eMajor programs will continue to operate as planned and scheduled.

Will campus activities be canceled?

From March 16 through March 29, campus-based student activities will be canceled. Other events may be evaluated and change on a case-by-case basis. Please review the UNG Event Calendar or contact event organizers for updates. 

Please note that the NCAA and Peach Belt Conference have cancelled all remaining regular season competitions and championships. 

  • As many of you may already have Spring Break travel plans, we encourage all students, faculty and staff who may be traveling in any capacity to register their travel information through UNG’s Office of Global Engagement International Travel Registry.
  • Please note that Governor Kemp has suspended all non-essential professional travel, including conferences, for state employees.

International Travel and Study Abroad Programs

All non-essential travel has been suspended indefinitely by Governor Kemp. The State Department has updated their travel advisory to a Global Level 3 Health Advisory – Reconsider Travel on March 12, and which will preclude travel by UNG personnel and most study abroad programs will be suspended. 

Our Center for Global Engagement is working with faculty and students who are affected by any program changes or cancellations.

I need help finding internet service. What can I do?

We have compiled a list of connectivity resources, as we are informed of them, for people who may not have internet.

Where can I find info about spring commencement and commissioning ceremonies?

All updates regarding these events will continue to be posted on the commencement website.

Health & Wellbeing

What are coronavirus symptoms?

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the seasonal flu, which remains a higher risk for our population. This is also the time of year when we typically see a rise in cases of seasonal flu. We encourage everyone on campus to follow the same preventative strategies used during a typical cold and flu season: getting a flu shot, washing hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when experiencing symptoms of illness.

What preventative measures should I take?

We continue to encourage all members of the university community to follow the same preventative strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: getting a flu shot, washing hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when experiencing symptoms of illness. Additionally, UNG’s facilities teams are regularly disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I am not feeling well?

If a student becomes ill with symptoms related to COVID-19, which include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, they should stay in place and contact Student Health Services or a medical professional who will help the individual evaluate their condition and determine the next steps. Similarly, faculty or staff should consult their personal healthcare provider. Anyone who is ill should avoid contact with other people (do not call friends to come over, walk around campus, etc.).

What guidance is available for home quarantine and isolation?

State & Federal Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Learning Resources

  • Keep Learning USG - designed to support student as they make the shift to virtual learning.
  • USG Learning Everywhere - designed to provide educational experiences for all learners, anytime, anywhere. Built on the foundations of the College 2025 initiative, this site brings together openly available educational resources, courseware and free courses from across the system into one easily navigated place.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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