Fall 2020 UMO Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 Response Fall 2020

UPDATE:  November 5, 2020 Update from President Croom

Students, Faculty and Staff,

Over the past few days we have experienced a sharp increase in the number of students who have tested positive for COVID and are serving a large number of students who have been quarantined.  Currently, we have exhausted our capacity to house any more students in this capacity.  Effective at noon tomorrow, all classes will move to an on-line format for the next week.  Hopefully, this will provide time for students to recover and others to exit quarantine.  I have detailed some of my expectations for next week in the bullets below.  It is absolutely imperative that you abide by these guidelines so that we can hopefully return to a hybrid face-to-face instruction on November 16.

     Please also note a slight adjustment to our calendar prior to Thanksgiving. More information regarding the Holiday schedule is list below. 

  • We are taking a week-long pause and moving all seated courses to an online format Monday, November 9 – Friday, November 13th.    During this pause, the cafeteria will continue to operate at normal hours for take-out meals only. 
  • The Pope Wellness Center is closed until further notice.
  • There will be no athletic activities (formal or informal) or use of any athletic facility during this pause.  Athletic facilities will not reopen before 6:00 AM on Monday, November 16th.
  • Friday, November 20th will be the final day of hybrid seated courses for all traditional students.
  • All traditional seated courses will move to an online format for the remainder of the fall semester beginning Monday, November 23.
  • The residence halls will close at 7:00 PM on Friday, November 20th. If you have an extenuating circumstance that makes that deadline difficult you must contact Ms. Molly Kleman at mkleman@umo.edu to discuss your options.
  • Resident students will not be required to return keys when leaving for the winter break. They must follow all published guidelines issued by the residence life staff that include confirming their departure from the campus.

Spring Semester

  • Residence halls reopen on Tuesday, January 19th for the Spring semester.
  • All traditional courses will be virtual for the first week: January 20 – 22.
  • Online classes for the Spring semester will begin on Monday, January 11.
  • We strongly encourage all traditional students to return between Tuesday, January 19thand Friday, January 22nd so they can go through the screening process and be cleared to attend seated classes
  • All student athletes will be screened by the Athletic Training staff upon returning.
  • All non-athletes will be screened by the health services staff in the Pope Wellness Center.
  • All traditional students must complete the screening process before they will be admitted to seated courses beginning on Monday, January 25th.
  • A new clearance card will be issued during the screening process and is required for admission to seated courses beginning on Monday January 25th.
  • In January, if you are experiencing COVID like symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus, you should contact Health Services PRIOR to returning to the campus. You should not return to Mount Olive if you are sick, have been exposed, or are under active quarantine protocols. Health Services will help determine when it is safe for you to return for the Spring semester.
  • It is more important than ever for you to continue following all COVID-19 protocols including spacing, wearing, masks, and hand washing
  • We encourage students that will need to fly home to begin exploring options of leaving campus early and completing the Fall semester online.

Highlighted Campus Updates (UPDATED October 16, 2020):

• Everyone on campus is required to wear a face covering for the Fall 2020 semester. While students will be provided with a COVID-19 resource kit that includes: UMO cloth mask, hand sanitizer, and disposable thermometer; we encourage all students to bring an extra supply of these items to ensure they have enough for the semester.

Mask Policy:
If a student is without a face covering, faculty/staff will take the following steps: 1. Ask the student to put on a face covering properly. 2. If a student does not have a face covering, ask them to leave the classroom/facility immediately to obtain one. 3. If the student complies at step one or two, then the issue is resolved. 4. If the student’s behavior is not in compliance within the classroom, the student should be asked to leave class immediately and a report filed with Student Affairs.

Students violating this policy will be subject to the following sanction guidelines:

A first report will result in a warning letter. Second report is a letter and a $50.00 fine. Third report will result in a $100.00 fine and possible further sanctions. Fourth report is a $100.00 fine and additional sanctions that may include the immediate removal from campus (classroom and residence halls).

• Students showing COVID-19 symptoms and/or testing positive prior to arrival on campus for check-in MUST notify Health Services and quarantine for 10 days. During this time they will not be allowed to check-in, move into the residence halls, or attend seated classes. The University will work with students to make reasonable accommodations until they are able to return to the campus.

• Check-in procedures will require all new and returning students to check-in at the designated time and location before receiving authorization to attend class. Students may only bring one guest to campus for check-in and that guest will not be permitted in the residence hall.

All students and their guest will receive a temperature check and health questionnaire at the check-in process. Students and their guest that have a fever, other COVID-19 symptoms, or have recently been exposed to a sick person will be prohibited from checking-in and will not be permitted to remain on campus.

Residence Hall Visitation Policy:

Griffin, Hart, King, and Grantham
For health and safety reasons related to the pandemic, access to residential buildings will be restricted. Only persons living in the assigned residence hall will have access to that hall or apartment. This means that students assigned to Hart Hall will only be able to visit with others in Hart Hall, King Hall will only be able to visit others in King Hall, Griffin Hall will only be able to visit others in Griffin Hall, and Grantham Hall residents will only be able to visit with others in Grantham Hall. Additionally, there will be a four person limit in each of those residence hall rooms in effort to further assist with social distancing guidelines. Once a visitor enters a room, everyone in the room must wear a mask and practice social distancing guidelines.

The Inn and Apartment Guest Policies
Students assigned to The Inn, Byrd Apt Complex, Kerstetter Commons, Whitfield, Herring, A and B Apartments will only be able to access their assigned room or apartment.

Off-Campus Visitors
Students living off-campus will not be permitted to enter any residential facilities. Additionally, No overnight or off-campus guests will be allowed in the residential spaces.
Students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in common spaces with guests or friends who live in other residence halls. Students are asked to follow face covering and social distancing guidelines.

Off Campus Housing and Social Events
Students should not be hosting or gathering at any social function or event as it jeopardizes our ability to have and complete the semester on campus, through seated courses.

Students living and spending time off campus are subject to all Federal, North Carolina laws, Executive Orders, and University Policies.  The University of Mount Olive will work with all local, state, and federal officials to ensure that the best health and safety practices are maintained both on and off campus. This means that students, regardless of where they live or whatever social activities they participate in must strictly abide by all applicable laws, regulations, and UMO policies. Failure to do so may be treated as a violation of the code of conduct as listed in the 2020-2021 Student Handbook. To protect the health and safety of the UMO and larger Mount Olive community, the University is prepared to take all necessary precautions and actions to respond to flagrant violations of this policy. This includes the immediate removal of students from the University.

The following minimum standard sanctions are in effect:

First Offense- Violation of Health Care Code of Conduct: 20 hours of community restitution and warning.

Additional Offenses- Violation of Health Care Code of Conduct: Students who are found responsible for subsequent violations should expect to be issued more severe sanctions including but not limited to; community restitution hours, fines, removal from campus housing, probation, and suspension from the University.

Please note, these are the minimum standard sanctions and additional sanctions can be included on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances of an incident.

• All students will need to be prepared to vacate the campus within 48 hours should the University need to modify the schedule after the semester has begun.
• A number of documents have been added to the Health and Wellness section of the COVID-19 Response website. These documents include health guidelines, personal care code, and student code expectations. We encourage you to read each of these documents prior to arriving on campus as they will serve as the guidelines for expectations once arriving on campus.
• The Pope Wellness Center will remain closed for all UMO faculty, staff and Mount Olive Community members through December 2020.
• Outside guests will not be permitted to eat in the Alumni Dining Hall through December 2020.
• We strongly encourage you to read through each of the menu items on this page. A number of updates have been made within each section outlining the applicable resources, policies, and expectations for our UMO community.

Highlighted Campus Updates (UPDATED October 1, 2020):

Hello Trojan Family,

Our two week pause from traditional seated classes ends today, and our hybrid model consisting of face-to-face and virtual instruction resumes on October 5.  The spike in COVID-19 cases that resulted in our recent pause, is a prime example of just how quickly things can change with this pandemic.

I want to reassure you that the health and safety of our campus community remains our top priority as we make decisions about the remainder of this semester and the start of the spring semester. We continue to work with local and state health officials with regards to the Coronavirus, and we continue to evaluate and plan for recommendations as issued. It is more important than ever to follow published COVID-19 protocols at home and while at school.  Be sure to report symptoms, illness, and exposure to health services immediately. Our administration, faculty, and staff are mindful of just how important and meaningful it is for our students to have a presence on campus, and it is our sincere hope that if we all increase community standards adherence, that our traditional students can complete the next eight weeks on campus.

As we make plans for the remainder of this semester and the start of the spring semester, we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Below are updates that we can provide today.


  • December Virtual Graduation – to be compliant with state mandates, the University will hold a virtual December graduation. Like our May and August graduations, we will make every effort to make these virtual commencements as meaningful as possible.
  • Fall Semester Check-out – We are developing plans for fall semester check-out for resident students. Keys will be collected, but personal items will not need to be removed from campus housing.
  • Spring Semester Options – We are evaluating options for spring seated courses. Classes are likely to resemble a hybrid format similar to what has been used this fall.
  • Spring Semester Calendar Amended – The traditional spring calendar has been amended. Seated classes will be delayed by one week with residence halls opening on January 19 and classes starting on January 20. Spring break has been canceled. The last day of traditional seated courses will be April 27, and the semester officially ends on May 2.
  • Spring Semester Check-in – We are developing plans for spring semester check-in. All students will need to report to campus to check-in and be screened prior to attending classes.

Please regularly monitor our COVID-19 website.  We will continue to share plans as they develop over the coming weeks. Thank you all for your ongoing flexibility and commitment as we move forward during this unique and challenging time.


Edward Croom, Ed.D.


Highlighted Campus Updates (UPDATED September 21, 2020):

Good evening Students, Faculty and Staff,

Over the past few days we have seen a substantial increase in the number of positive COVID cases on our campus.  Further, we have over 70 students who have been exposed and are quarantined either at home or on campus.

It is extremely important that this trend changes.  In an effort to improve our situation, I am pausing face-to-face classes effective 5pm tomorrow, September 22nd until October 2nd.  All instruction will be delivered in a virtual format during this time.  This gives us about 10 days for our number of cases and exposures to decrease.  Traditional classes will resume their hybrid format on Monday, October 5th.

Students are encouraged to go home during this time if feasible.  The residence halls will remain open and food service will continue to operate on a normal schedule with to-go meals being provided.  Students will not be allowed to eat in the dining hall.

There will be no formal team activities which will allow students who are able to go home.  Athletics will work to provide opportunities for those unable to travel home time to continue strength conditioning and some other limited sport related activities assuming COVID-19 protocol can be utilized.

Again, the goal for this pause is to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus.  Students who remain on campus will wear mask and practice social distancing or be sent home. Social gatherings are strictly prohibited as these types of activities threaten our ability to continue seated courses.

It is critically important for students who go home or remain on campus to practice all COVID-19 protocols and reduce social interactions.

Thank you in advance for doing your part in helping us remain on campus until Thanksgiving.

Ed Croom

The health and safety of our University of Mount Olive family is our highest priority. Dr. Ed Croom, Interim President, established the COVID-19 task force in April and this group has been meeting weekly to make plans for our campus to return in Fall 2020. Using the most up to date information from government agencies and higher education peers, the task force has been working to develop modified policies and procedures to guide our strategy.

This website is the primary information source for our Fall 2020 plan. Details and announcements will be added as decisions are made throughout the summer. Please check back frequently and stay informed about the role you will play in creating a successful academic year.