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Washington University of Health and Science Follows Guidelines for Institutions of Higher Education to Stem the Spread of COVID-19

 

March 16, 2020

 

San Pedro, Belize, March 16, 2020 – Washington University of Health and Science has been closely following the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), including its recent characterization as a pandemic as well as the potential implications it may have on our San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize campus and the larger community in Belize.

While at this time there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Belize, the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff and the larger Belize community are of paramount importance to us. Our goal is to make prudent decisions that reflect our commitment to the ongoing safety of our campus community and that of the people of Belize.

WUHS has decided to enact the presentation of classes online by live steam lecture.  This approach to curriculum presentation will be re-evaluated by April 15, 2020. Students will only return to campus when it is well advisable and the global pandemic has stabilized. We will be in close coordination with the Ministry of Health regarding the timing of students’ return. This approach is consistent with recommendations for Institutions of Higher Education from public health officials, and mirrors the actions taken by many universities around the globe to limit the density of large populations on their campuses. The plan is for only small groups to meet face to face, with appropriate social distancing, with the further development and implementation of online, live stream lectures to reduce the need for face to face classroom gathering.

These actions are taken out of concern for the students, faculty and staff and the desire to maintain public health in Belize, in light of this rapidly changing situation. WUHS is also working closely with the Government of Belize to assist with preparations for enhancing the public health infrastructure on the island.

“As WUHS has done in the past during challenging times, we will continue to stand with our Belizean partners and the people of Belize with support and close collaboration,” Peggy Allen, Executive Vice President of WUHS, said.

To date, no member of the university community has contracted COVID-19. WUHS Administration has been working diligently with the Ministry of Health, Belize and their international partners to consider every contingency that will allow the limit of exposure to the disease among members of WUHS and the Belizean community.