ALAMOSA– In an email notice to students and staff, Adams State University announced Tuesday that the campus is going to “Blackboard-only” instruction for the remaining 10 days of classes for this semester, meaning virtual, online learning only starting Wednesday.
“We are incredibly proud of the efforts by our students, faculty, and staff this semester to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines,” wrote President Cheryl Lovell in Tuesday’s email. “We have done our very best to mitigate the spread of the virus and we should all be proud of our efforts.
“However, given the rapidly growing number of COVID-19 cases in communities across the San Luis Valley and the fact our campus is being impacted by the increase in cases, we have made the difficult decision to shift to Blackboard-only instruction for the remaining 10 days of classes this semester.”
Adams State’s weekly online report for the period of Nov. 1-7 showed 14 positive tests on campus, up from five the previous week and the highest since reporting began Aug. 9-15. The SLV Public Health Foundation reported 158 active cases in the valley as of Nov. 9, including 68 in Alamosa County, 28 in Conejos, 10 in Costilla, 30 in Rio Grande, 22 in Saguache and zero in Mineral.
“As everyone knows we were hopeful of finishing fall semester classes in-person and then shifting to a Blackboard-only finals week beginning November 30,” the email went on to say. “In consultation with academic department chairs, the full academic council, and public health officials we feel it is in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff to transition to Blackboard-only instruction beginning this Wednesday, November 11.
“Students who reside on-campus may remain in their living spaces through the end of the semester. Students do not need to remove items from their residence hall rooms as they will have the same room for spring semester.
“Meals will continue to be served in La Mesa through lunch on November 25. We ask everyone to be conscientious of your health if you consider traveling to another community. Before you return home, please limit your personal contacts to reduce your potential exposure to COVID-19 and take advantage of our free testing opportunity.”
ASU will be hosting two days of free COVID-19 testing on Nov. 20 and 21 and is encouraging all students, staff and faculty to plan to get tested. Community members from across the San Luis Valley can also sign up for free testing on Nov. 21 by pre-registering at https://www.adams.edu/safe-return/testing/.
A virtual campus forum to address questions or to clarify any information will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Dr. Lovell’s email went on to say that campus will remain open, allowing students to access computer labs in Nielson Library and the Student Union Building. Other services will remain available such as the One-Stop, Financial Aid, student services in the library, etc. although students are encouraged to interact via phone or online services.
ASU’s fall commencement will be a virtual ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 5.