College updates and answers related to COVID-19

Eckerd College continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority as college leaders work closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information.

  • Monitoring Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    March 30, 2020 6:15 p.m. Update Dear Eckerd community,  In these times, embracing a routine and the parts of your life that can continue in spite of the circumstances has become vitally important. This week, classes have resumed remotely via live lectures and assignments to...
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Letters to families from President Eastman

Current students: Check out resources and programming for you as classes move to remote instruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check this page regularly as new questions may be added and some answers may change. All updates will be noted with a date.

Has there been a case of coronavirus at Eckerd College?

Updated March 13, 2020

There are no presumptive positive or confirmed cases at this time.

Has there been a case of coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area?

Yes. There are confirmed cases in Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties. Eckerd College is in Pinellas County. Please check the Florida Department of Health for the most up-to-date information.

What is the College doing to address the coronavirus?

Updated March 23, 2020

Eckerd College leadership has moved, at the urging of epidemiologists, from containment actions to a community mitigation plan. Beginning March 18, 2020, campus residence halls will close and classroom-based learning will be suspended. Remote delivery of courses will begin on March 30 and will continue until the end of the semester.

Why is Eckerd closing now?

On March 11, the World Health Organization announced that we are now facing a pandemic. Epidemiologists have begun to urge a strategy shift from containing individual COVID-19 cases to preventing community spread through mitigation or “social distancing” measures. These significant changes precipitated the College’s decisions.

If I am a student, faculty or staff member and have symptoms that seem to indicate possible coronavirus infection, and I traveled to a country with known cases in the past two weeks, what procedures should I follow?

Updated March 23, 2020

If you have come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider or local health department for further instructions.

What tips does the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19?

All members of the Eckerd College community can do their part to prevent the spread of illness, including COVID-19, by following the CDC hygiene recommendations:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of the tissue afterward.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. While not as effective, hand-sanitizing stations also are available across campus.
  • Clean your high-touch items frequently. Eckerd Collegeís cleaning supplies meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for emerging pathogens, and housekeeping staff have started cleaning high-traffic areas more frequently.
  • Do not attend classes, or come to work, if you feel ill.
    • Students – Talk to your professors about making up assignments and exams if you need to miss class.
    • Staff – Contact your supervisor to find out if telecommuting is an option or use your available sick leave.
  • Practice social distancing. Avoid groups larger than 10 people. If you are around other people, keep six feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes and close quarters.
  • If you are suffering from symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing), please call your primary healthcare provider; Pinellas County residents who have these symptoms and also have recently traveled to impacted areas should call the Pinellas County Health Department at 727.824.6932.

Admission-related

Can prospective students and families interested in Eckerd College plan an Admission visit?

No. On March 24, the College announced it was moving the remaining part of the Spring academic program to remote learning.  In response, we regret to inform you that Eckerd College is cancelling campus visits, including guided tours, until it is safe to resume them.

At this point, the college search must shift to a virtual format. We invite you to learn more about the Eckerd experience through the following ways:

We look forward to sharing other ways for you to learn about Eckerd in the near future. Please be in touch if you have any questions about Eckerd.

How do I reach someone in the Admission Office?

Most of the Admission Staff is working remotely.  Please visit our Meet Your Counselor page and click on your state or country to find your counselor.  We welcome your calls or emails.

For Current Students and Parents

Is Commencement cancelled?

Updated March 23, 2020

The on campus Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 17, is cancelled. Please bear with the College as we determine the best way to celebrate this momentous achievement with our seniors.

When can belongings be picked up from the residence halls?

Updated March 30, 2020

Residence halls are closed for the remainder of the semester. Student Affairs staff are developing a range of options for students who need to retrieve their possessions. An email detailing these options was sent on Friday, March 27. Please email moveoutassistance@eckerd.edu if you have any further questions.

How will I finish my graduation requirements?

We understand students may be concerned about how they will meet requirements of the academic program, including senior art exhibitions, internships, Ford Scholar research, thesis work, and more. More information will be provided at a later time by the Dean of Faculty.

Is Eckerd College still hosting events?

All College Program Series (including Presidential Events Series) and all future intercollegiate and club sporting events are canceled until further notice.

What do I do if I suspect someone has COVID-19?

As a concerned friend, co-worker or family member, suggest the person contact their local department of health or their healthcare provider.

Should I be worried about my pet getting COVID-19?

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. There is no reason to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

I know that remote delivery of the academic program starts March 30. Can students get back in the residence halls the same day?

Updated March 30, 2020

Residence halls are closed for the remainder of the semester. Student Affairs staff are developing a range of options for students who need to retrieve their possessions. An email detailing these options was sent on Friday, March 27. Questions concerning move-out may be directed to moveoutassistance@eckerd.edu.

Can my student leave a car at Eckerd and retrieve it later?

Students can leave their cars on campus. If students know they will need to retrieve their cars while campus is closed to students, they should park the cars in the North Lot before they leave. When a student needs to retrieve the car, a member of Campus Safety will escort them to the North Lot to retrieve it.

I don't have enough CPS credits, will I be able to register for classes?

Due to the circumstances, the requirement that students have completed their CPS credits prior to registration will be waived. All students will register with their appropriate class year.

How is Eckerd College supporting students who are used to traditional face-to-face education and have now moved online?

The College is providing resources and programming at eckerd.edu/everywhere, and will continue to update that site.

Will I be reimbursed for tuition?

Updated March 23, 2020

Eckerd faculty will begin delivering the academic program via remote instruction starting on Monday, March 30. Accordingly, we are not offering tuition refunds, as we will continue to serve our students and provide them the resources they need to continue their academic work at a distance. Classes will continue to be delivered remotely until the semester ends on May 15. We soon will announce a new withdrawal date. All students who choose not to withdraw will be responsible for completing all assignments and examinations to finish the course.

Will I be reimbursed for my room and board charges?

Students may receive housing and food service adjustments based on their current balances with the College. Some will be offered the option to apply the credit to the Fall 2020 Semester. The College’s Business office will be communicating with students about options by Wednesday, April 15.

What happens to my mail and packages shipped to the college?

Mail Services will continue to work with students to forward mail and packages to a forwarding address or permanent home address. We are currently working to forward all student mail and packages; our goal is to have everything forwarded by April 10 to students.

If you have any questions please email mailservices@eckerd.edu. If you need assistance to update your address please email studentaccounts@eckerd.edu.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have any additional questions, please email emergency-alerts@eckerd.edu. A member of the Emergency Management Executive Team will respond within one business day. You can also sign up for our Eckerd Alerts to receive updates from the College.