Statement From The President on Heightened Vigilance Against COVID-19
3rd March 2020
University of The Bahamas has been closely monitoring reports concerning COVID-19, also known as the Novel Coronavirus.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease spread from person to person primarily through the droplets of an infected person who speaks, coughs or sneezes. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports today that more than 91,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide in 74 countries around the world with more than 3,100 deaths. On Sunday, 1st March, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced at a press conference that the Ministry of Health has developed a COVID-19 National Preparedness and Response Plan to ensure optimal readiness and response to this new corona virus infection.
As increased monitoring and public education happens in the face of new reported cases worldwide, we as a University community must heighten our own vigilance in order to reduce potential risks. For that reason, I am appointing a Task Force which comprises campus leaders and students to review and upgrade – if necessary – procedures and guidelines, conduct monitoring and make recommendations guided by the protocols of the Bahamas Ministry of Health and the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
At the Oakes Field Campus in New Providence and the UB-North Campus in Grand Bahama, persons with severe respiratory ailments are encouraged to seek medical attention. You are reminded that the Health Services clinic at the Oakes Field Campus operates from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and nursing services are available at the UB-North centre in downtown Freeport from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Persons who require assistance after these hours should contact Campus Police/Security.
Effective immediately, all non-essential, University of The Bahamas-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice. On 2nd March, the Ministry of Health issued a statement strongly discouraging Bahamians from travelling abroad to high risk COVID-19 jurisdictions. The World Health Organization (WHO) frequently updates this listing of countries. Persons who must travel should expect to be screened, tested and if necessary quarantined for up to 14 days.
Further, faculty are encouraged to utilize the available technology to deliver lectures online via our Moodle platform. Further tutorials will be shared with faculty and students on exactly how to use the Moodle app.
I am encouraging faculty, staff, students and administrators to actively reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 by following these steps:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap.
- Do not touch your face, especially after touching other surfaces.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, sleeve or into a tissue (covering your nose and mouth) then properly discarded the tissue afterwards.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is showing signs of respiratory illness like coughing or sneezing.
- Clean surfaces and objects regularly with disinfectant.
- Regularly monitor the Bahamas Government, Bahamas Ministry of Health and UB’s communications channels and educate yourself about COVID-19.
I urge you to review these measures and guidelines within your departments and also action them.
Periodically, the Office of University Relations will release information from health authorities on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, updates and national announcements. We urge the University community to continue to regularly monitor the UB email, website and social media channels as well as campus noticeboards.
Office of University Relations
University of The Bahamas
2nd Floor, Michael H. Eldon Complex
University Drive, Oakes Field Campus
P.O. Box N-4912
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 302-4355/4354/4365
Chartered on 10th November 2016, University of The Bahamas (UB) is a beacon for national transformation. Approximately 5,000 students are enrolled in the University of The Bahamas system which includes campuses and centres on New Providence, Grand Bahama, San Salvador and Abaco, as well as UB online education. UB’s diverse academic programmes, research engagements, athletics and leadership development experiences equip our students to become global citizens in a dynamic world. For more information, visit www.ub.edu.bs.