Over the last two weeks, the seminary has been prayerfully assessing the developing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation to discern a proper response based on daily information from the CDC, Pennsylvania Dept of Health, WHO, and other organizations. We continue to seek wisdom from other schools and organizations in our area, who have also been monitoring the situation carefully themselves. In addition, we continue to receive guidance from a world-renowned epidemiologist/virologist from Mayo Clinic and other medical professionals.
As of 11:00 AM Thursday, March 12, the Westminster campus is closed to students and the public. All academic coursework will be resumed remotely beginning Monday, March 23. All upcoming on campus events have been canceled or rescheduled.
We have sought wisdom from the Lord to make a decision that neither falls prey to fear nor ignores clear evidence. As we have learned from experts, social distancing techniques provide an effective way of combating the spread of viruses. We urge you to familiarize yourself with the complete list of recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We list some of these measures here, which minimize the spread of viruses.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Please regularly check the CDC website, your email and Wts.edu/news for updates. More information regarding classes, events, assignments, and addressing the needs for reference materials will be forthcoming. A follow-up announcement about Westminster’s graduation ceremony will be made by April 15.
In addition, please pray for health and comfort for those affected by COVID-19, for wisdom for the medical community and governing authorities, and for safety and effectiveness for those treating the ill. We ask that you pray that the Lord would teach us to trust him and not cave in to fear (Phil 4:6–7), and that he would compel us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31).