Effective March 13, OLLI class schedules will be temporarily curtailed and hopefully completed sometime in the weeks ahead, depending on directives from our community health departments and UTMB Leadership. We sincerely regret this change. Please accept our apologies for your disappointment and inconvenience. Until further notice, OLLI Suite B101, 4700 Broadway will remain closed to the public, including OLLI members and instructors.
For now, please consider this a temporary extension of classes rather than a cancellation of spring semester. The health, safety, and well-being of OLLI members and instructors is and has always been, our primary priority. In the interest of protecting the health and well-being of all the people and the communities we serve, UTMB Leadership has cancelled or rescheduled any outreach events or activities in the community.
Although we cannot predict the duration of this extension of our semester, we plan to finish spring classes at some point. We ask you to consider this only a temporary break in seeing you in person.
We may be offering some classes online. Watch for news of that before the end of the month. Of course, not all classes can effectively translate to an online format. Again, we hope to resume in-person activities and classes scheduled for spring semester. If that should become impossible, you will receive information about tuition reimbursements. For now, we ask your cooperation in not requesting such reimbursements.
UTMB is home to The Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), a sophisticated high containment research facility that serves as a critically important resource in the global fight against infectious diseases. The GNL is located on the campus of UTMB and operates under the umbrella of UTMB’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity. That makes UTMB an international center for expertise and collaboration with CDC and WHO and medical and communicable disease experts around the country and around the globe. UTMB scientists have already replicated the virus in the lab and are working on protocols for treatment and vaccines. We are extremely fortunate to have this world-class resource in our community.
In addition to support from UTMB, we benefit from the vast expertise of Osher National Resource Center, which has organized two webinars Monday, March 16 for OLLI directors. Many of the 124 OLLIs around the nation have already discontinued classes, so our leaders at the national resource center have put together tips for offering classes in times of crisis. Our goal is to sustain our sense of OLLI community in virtual connections until we can invite you back to our classrooms in person.
For valuable facts about Covid-19, we encourage you to view the recent UTMB Town Hall where scientists and medical experts informed the Galveston community about the situation on Friday, March 6. https://www.utmb.edu/covid-19/coronavirus-utmb-town-hall We recommend it to everyone in our community. In addition, please continue to follow all these common sense practices.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with those who are ill.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaner spray or wipes.
- 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.
In addition to global concerns about Covid-19, many OLLI members have expressed concerns about OLLI’s relocation. We expect to hold summer school classes right here at 4700 Broadway and already we have an awesome array of summer school seminars scheduled. You can expect to see the curriculum in your email early next month. We have visited three facilities and UTMB has offered tremendous support for securing a future location perfectly suited to our growing needs. Hopefully, we will have more specific information about that to share with you soon.
We will be in touch often as we maintain connection and provide updates. Thank you for your understanding as together we face the uncertainties of this public health emergency.