Coronavirus (COVID-19)

No cases have been documented in Avery County; however, a part-time employee has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). This individual is a distance learning instructor and has had no physical contact with students or other employees. The individual is self-isolating at home per guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

Operational Status

  • Classes will continue through remote instruction on Brightspace for the remainder of the academic year.  
  • The campus is closed to the public. College operations are continuing during regular business hours; however, facilities will remain locked. 
  • Campus housing and dining facilities are closed for the remainder of the semester.  
  • The Community Membership program is suspended and all summer conferencing and events have been canceled until the fall semester.   
  • Before arriving on campus, all visitors (including vendors) must contact Campus Safety and Security at 828.898.8756.

See latest announcement
Frequently Asked Questions

Lees-McRae College continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The college is making use of Incident Command System (ICS) procedures, as it would for any emergency response. Decisions to alter operations are made with the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff as the top priority.

The college is working with local healthcare providers and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), in addition to seeking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. State Department, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Information for:

Latest Announcement

April 29, 2020 at 12:03 p.m.
As North Carolina plans to lift stay at home restrictions in phases over the next several weeks, the college has canceled all summer conferencing and events including the Lees-McRae Summer Theatre season and the remainder of the FORUM season.

This announcement extends the previous July 1 closure through the remainder of the summer until classes resume in the fall. At this time, the college plans to resume all in-person classes and events in August.

In addition to the popular community programs, all other summer events are canceled. This includes the New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) summer session, Frolic alumni weekend, and both academic and athletic camps. The college community membership program will also remain suspended until the fall.

The three shows previously planned for the Lees-McRae Summer Theatre 2020 season—The Drowsy Chaperone, America’s Artist: The Norman Rockwell Story, and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical—will be postponed to summer 2021.

Ticket refund information for Lees-McRae Summer Theatre will be shared at lmc.edu/summertheatre. FORUM patrons will be contacted directly regarding refunds.

For all other Lees-McRae event-related questions, please contact Director of Events and Meetings Jesse Shuler at shulerj@lmc.edu or 828.898.3652.

Previous Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

  •  

    What is coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses are a common cause of colds or other respiratory infections. COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus first documented in Asia. Hundreds of cases have been reported in the United States and thousands have been documented around the world.

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    How does the virus spread?

    According to the CDC, the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person in the form of respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission of the disease may also occur when individuals touch a contaminated surface or object and then touch their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

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    What are symptoms of the illness?

    Symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus, appear 2–14 days after exposure and may include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
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    What is the risk of infection?

    The coronavirus has been documented in the U.S., including the state of North Carolina. Risk of infection is dependent on where you are in relation to current outbreaks—the disease is actively spreading in some American cities and states. The WHO is still studying how COVID-19 affects people, but notes that older individuals and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or diabetes) develop serious illness more often than others.

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    How can I protect myself and others from infection?

    To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, individuals should follow the same steps that reduce the spread of influenza B (the flu) and the common cold. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to:

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds each time).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact (maintain 3 foot distance) with people who are ill.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  •  

    What should I do if I feel sick?

    Students, faculty, and staff who feel sick, regardless of circumstance, should isolate themselves at home until they have been cleared by a healthcare provider after recovering from the illness. During isolation, individuals who feel sick should stay home, separate themselves from other people and animals, and monitor the symptoms.

    Students who are isolating due to existing illness should notify the Office of Health Services at griewischc@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862 and contact their healthcare provider. Faculty and staff who isolate should notify their supervisors and contact their healthcare provider. Do not visit Health Services or any healthcare provider without calling or emailing first.

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    What should I do if I think I may have been exposed to the virus?

    Students, faculty, and staff should self-quarantine for 14 days if they:

    • Think they have been exposed to the virus; or
    • Have been in close contact with anyone who has been ordered to quarantine because of exposure to the virus

    Individuals under self-quarantine should stay home, distance themselves from others, and pay close attention to changes in health. People who develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Discontinuing a self-quarantine after the time period has passed should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider.

    Students who self-quarantine should notify the Office of Health Services at griewischc@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862 and contact their healthcare provider. Faculty and staff who self-quarantine should notify their supervisors and contact their healthcare provider. Do not visit Health Services or any healthcare provider without calling or emailing first.

  •  

    What should I do if I've traveled to a high-risk area?

    Students, faculty, and staff should self-quarantine for 14 days if they:

    • Have recently returned from areas of ongoing community spread (including cruises); or
    • Have recently returned from any country with a Level-2 or Level-3 warning from the CDC; or
    • Been in close contact with anyone who has traveled to one of these areas.

    Individuals under self-quarantine should stay home, distance themselves from others, and pay close attention to changes in health. People who develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Discontinuing a self-quarantine after the time period has passed should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider.

    Students who self-quarantine should notify the Office of Health Services at griewischc@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862 and contact their healthcare provider. Faculty and staff who self-quarantine should notify their supervisors and contact their healthcare provider. Do not visit Health Services or any healthcare provider without calling or emailing first.

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    Is Lees-McRae modifying its operations?

    Lees-McRae is committed to protecting the members of its community and to the successful completion of the semester. College operations are continuing. Review specific information for students, employees, athletics, prospective students, and community

CARES Act/HEERF Emergency Grants

Congress established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The college received a portion of this funding to assist students who face financial hardships due to the disruption of campus operations associated with COVID-19.

Learn how the CARES Act/HEERF Emergency Grants have been administered

This page is intended to document precautionary and responsive actions by the college, and provide information about best health practices. The page is NOT comprehensive nor intended to provide medical or legal advice unique to individual circumstances.