March 6, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

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The Law School is actively monitoring the situation and is keeping the well-being of our community our top priority. Dean Gatewood will be communicating by email with all updates, which will also be summarized below. We are currently following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), as well as other local, state, and federal agencies to make sure we have the most up-to-date information available.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may resemble the common cold or seasonal flu, which is a far greater risk this time of year. The best way to prevent infection with any respiratory virus is to use the same preventative strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: get a flu shot, wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when experiencing symptoms of illness until they resolve. It is important to remember that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds and this type of stigma should be avoided.

Note: you must be signed into your AJMLS email account to access the graphic links below

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II, known as HEERF II (updated 3/1/2021)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (updated 3/31/20)

Vendors and Guests

The campus is currently closed to vendors and guests unless expressly invited for a planned event or meeting.

Vendor and Guest Procedures

Vendors and guests conducting on-premise projects at AJMLS are expected to follow the AJMLS COVID-19 protocols.

  • Vendors must wear a face covering to be allowed on the premises
  • Visitors and guests must complete the Health Screening Form and must wear a face covering during the visit/event.

Health Screening Form, to be completed upon arrival at the front desk (updated 9/16/2021)

Testing Sites Near Downtown Campus

The Law School has identified the closest COVID rapid-test testing sites to our new downtown campus. This list was correct at the time of posting (6/30/21), please independently verify with each location their availability and cost.

Urgent Care 24/7

285 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW CU-2A, Atlanta, GA 30313

Walgreens

2893 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

CVS

865 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

CDC COVID-19 Page

Frequently asked questions (CDC)

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Page

September 9, 2021 Midterms

In an effort to keep our positivity rate low, we have developed a plan that strives to balance the educational and safety concerns of all. Pursuant to this plan, we will be administering midterm exams on-campus during the midterm period from September 27, 2021 – October 8, 2021. This format will provide the best formative feedback on your progress and better prepare you for the final exams, which will also be administered on-campus. To permit the implementation of social distancing during the midterm period (which requires the use of multiple classrooms for each exam), and to permit us to exercise added caution prior to the midterm period, classes will remain in the online format through the end of midterms, October 8, 2021. The Vaccination Policy, Mask Mandate and other preventative measures will remain in effect during the midterm period (and for the foreseeable future). Students who are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test, will be required to submit a negative COVID test taken within 3 days prior to the start of midterms, Monday, September 27, 2021 (i.e., you must take the test between Friday, September 24 and Sunday, September 26, 2021, for submission by Monday, September 27, 2021, via covid19@johmarshall.edu) and weekly thereafter, with each subsequent test being taken between Friday and Sunday of that week for submission on Monday of the following week. Associate Dean Boone will distribute the midterm schedule in a separate email. Midterm testing policies will also be distributed separately.

Starting next week and continuing through the midterm period, access to the Law Library will be limited to appointment only. Students needing to access the library need to make an appointment at least 24 hours prior to the time they need to come in. Currently the library staff can accommodate appointments on Tuesday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Later appointments are available for evening students upon request and prior appointment. As a precautionary measure, no group meetings will be permitted. If you are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test, no appointments will be scheduled unless and until you have emailed your test results to covid19@johnmarshall.edu pursuant to the Vaccination Policy. Other than scheduled library appointments and midterm exams, the campus will be closed to student traffic.

Students can schedule a library appointment by emailing askthelibrarian@johnmarshall.edu. Library staff will attempt to accommodate late requests, but requests made less than 24 hours in advance may be declined and may require the student to instead request an appointment for the following business day. 

We are planning to resume in-person learning starting on Monday, October 11, 2021, utilizing a modified schedule that will limit the number of days students must be on campus and keep the total number of students in the building at any given time to a minimum. A separate email will be sent outlining the plan, which provides for alternating in-person and remote learning weekly by class and section, to give everyone an opportunity for in-person learning. There will be no occasion in which a class will be conducted both in-person and remotely simultaneously.  

In addition to the Vaccination Policy and Mask Mandate, other preventative measures will be in place for all in-person classes and exams including, but not limited to, hand sanitizers, cleaning cloths to sanitize seating areas and extra masks for anyone who needs an emergency replacement.

August 26, 2021 Temporary Shut Down

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We have been informed that an additional five (5) students (beyond the two previously referenced) who attended classes last week have tested positive for COVID-19 this week. These students are in different sections, members of different class years, and consist of members of both the day and the evening programs. Some were fully vaccinated, and some were not, and this continues to illustrate the need for continued vigilance and mindful engagement with the school Mask policy and safety procedures. For the continued safety of everyone, if you attended school last week, or otherwise have any concerns or symptoms, you should consider being tested for COVID-19 this week, whether or not you have been fully vaccinated or are required to submit testing results to the school on a weekly basis. A list of classes that one or more of the students who tested positive for COVID-19 attended is included below so that you may determine whether you might have been in close contact with one of them.

Considering the new information regarding positive tests, and in an effort to proactively take measures to protect the health and safety of our community, the Law School has decided that from Monday, August 30, 2021, through Friday, September 10, 2021, all classes, both day and evening, will be conducted online via Zoom and Canvas to minimize the number of individuals in the Law School at any one time. The Law School will remain closed to students during this time to allow proper cleaning and disinfecting to take place, as well as to proactively engage in other protective measures.  All requirements of the Vaccination Policy and Mask Policy will still be in effect.  Staff and faculty who are required to submit weekly negative COVID-19 tests must continue doing so during the two-week period. Students who are required to submit a weekly negative COVID test, will not have to do so for the weeks of August 30 or September 6 while they are off campus, but must resume the submission of weekly COVID-19 tests within 3 days prior to return on the week of September 13, 2021 (i.e. You must take the test between Friday, September 10 and Sunday, September 12 for submission by Monday, September 13, 2021, via covid19@johmarshall.edu.) 

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

August 23, 2021 Campus Exposure FAQ

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19, are required to notify Associate Dean Barger (jbarger@johnmarshall.edu) and stay home until:

–  He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND

–  Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved; AND

–  At least ten (10) days if vaccinated or fourteen (14) days if unvaccinated have passed since the symptoms began; AND

–  He or she provides a negative COVID test within three days prior to returning to school.

We will make every effort to record classes during the period of any quarantine. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that students contact their professors and arrange virtual meetings during the quarantine period to remain on-track with the course materials.

What do I do if I have COVID-related symptoms?

Students who experience COVID-related symptoms (see below) should be tested for COVID-19 prior to coming on campus. Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to notify Dean Barger immediately and follow the instructions for a positive COVID-19 test (noted above). Students who test negative may come to campus.

What do I do if I have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Students who have had close personal contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after the exposure, even if not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. If a positive COVID-19 test result is returned, the student is required to notify Associate Dean Barger immediately and follow the instructions for a positive test (noted above). Students should also, consistent with the AJMLS Mask Policy, continue to wear a mask at all times while on campus. “Close contact” is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period of time (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).

Students who have a sick family member or roommate at home with COVID-19 should notify Associate Dean Barger (jbarger@johnmarshall.edu) and seek further direction, even if they are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. 

Known symptoms COVID-19 may include the following:

·         Fever or chills

·         Cough

·         Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

·         Fatigue

·         Muscle or body aches

·         Headache

·         New loss of taste or smell

·         Sore throat

·         Congestion or runny nose

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Diarrhea

August 3, 2021 Mask Policy

Mask Policy (You must be logged into your AJMLS account to access this link)

July 29, 2021 Mask Policy

Dear Law School Community:

As you know, the CDC recently issued its recommendation that all Americans regardless of vaccination status wear masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus and especially the Delta variant are spreading rapidly, which would include Georgia. Yesterday, the City of Atlanta issued a mandatory mask mandate that masks must be worn in all indoor places. Accordingly, the Law School will now require that everyone wear a mask while in public settings within the Law School or while in the presence of others. This is a mandatory requirement for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.  

Thank you, Dean Gatewood

July 8, 2021 Vaccination Reminder

As you have been notified, there is a Vaccination Requirement in order to attend school for all students. There are three exemptions you can apply for (Religious, Medical (including Pregnancy), or by Agreement), each of which requires you to agree to submit and upload a weekly negative COVID test in order to attend class in any given week. Failure to comply will result in a student being sent home and marked absent from the class until a negative COVID test is presented. You must upload a valid Vaccination Card, apply for an exemption, and/or execute an agreement to submit a weekly negative COVID test by August 2, 2021 by clicking the link at the top of this page. If you fail to meet this timeframe, you will be unregistered for all classes which may prevent you from attending school in the fall. These matters are serious and should be taken as such.

Students who are planning to get the vaccination or have not been fully vaccinated by the time school starts will be required to submit and upload a weekly negative COVID test and sign an agreement to that effect until such time as a valid vaccination card is uploaded showing you have been fully vaccinated. Applying for an exemption does not relieve you of the obligation to agree to and submit a weekly negative COVID test. 

June 9, 2021 Vaccination Update

Dear Students:

I hope this email finds you well and that you are preparing for a terrific summer. With final exams behind us, we are in the midst of planning for relocating and for re-opening in the fall at our new facility, One Marquise Tower. The recent data from the CDC and other local governments, and recent actions by the Governor, have been influential in allowing us to develop a plan for the fall semester. Based upon the latest CDC guidance regarding fully vaccinated individuals, and after conferring with the Board of Directors, and the Deans of many independent law schools like ours, we are planning to return to normal operations in August. In doing so, we will implement a vaccination requirement (with medical and religious exemptions, including pregnancy) for all faculty, staff, and students. Please refer to the Policy regarding requests for exemptions or to provide proof of vaccination.

Students with exemptions will be accommodated consistent with student accommodations afforded students who need accommodations due to illness or other afflictions that prevent them from attending class. In no event shall accommodations include hybrid, online, remote or distance education options.

Any student that refuses to be vaccinated and does not otherwise qualify for an exemption will be treated similar to those with exemptions. Students needing accommodations should contact Associate Dean Barger (jbarger@johnmarshall.edu) for further details.

July 1, 2020 Fall 2020 Update

Dear Students:

First, I hope you and your families are all well and safe.  As I am sure you are aware, the trajectory of the pandemic is of increasing concern, statewide and nationally. And I know that you, like many across the globe, are feeling the impacts in your personal and professional lives. In light of this, I write to share important news about the coming Fall semester. 

After careful consideration and continued evaluation of the current Coronavirus situation, I have decided that the entire Fall 2020 semester will be taught remotely. This decision was not an easy one, but it was one that needed to be made now to give everyone some level of certainty and to provide ample opportunity to adjust your schedules and prepare for the fall. Our paramount responsibility during this time is the health and safety of our entire Law School community.

While courses will be taught remotely, the Law School will be open and there may be a time in which you may need to visit the campus to access the Library or other services, or for limited face-to-face meetings with faculty, staff, or administrators. In these cases, the Law School has developed a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan applicable to the entire Law School Community. Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines, federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and Executive Order 20-48.

Below is a list of pertinent provisions applicable to students while visiting the Law School so long as the Plan is in effect:

  • Students are encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Students are required to execute and return the COVID-19 Acknowledgement (see email from Dean Gatewood), acknowledging the that they are aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and commit to self-monitor and report any symptoms to an Associate Dean before entering the Law School. Students who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are required to notify an Associate Dean and stay home until they are free of fever (100.4°F or greater using an oral thermometer), have no signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Students who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify an Associate Dean and seek further direction. Students will have access to a touch-less forehead/ temporal artery thermometer to self-check their temperature if they should become ill or sick while at the Law School. Any student who reports a fever (100.4°F or greater) shall be sent home and shall not be allowed to return to the Law School until: 
  • He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
  • Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved; AND
  • At least fourteen (14) days have passed since the symptoms began.
  • A student may return to school earlier if a doctor confirms the cause of a student’s fever or other symptoms is not COVID-19 and releases the student to return to school in writing.
  • Basic infection prevention measures will be implemented at the Law School at all times. Students shall wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day. All students will be required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the Law School. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) will be placed at the entrance and throughout the Law School so it can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water.
  • All students shall be required to wear a mask while in common areas of the Law School, including classrooms, library, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and restrooms. 
  • Social distancing of six feet will be implemented and maintained between employees, students, and visitors in the school, including the library and classrooms whenever possible.

Until the start of school, on August 10, 2020, the Law School will remain closed to students except by a prior scheduled appointment with a faculty member, staff member, or administrator. However, the Library will reopen Monday, July 6, 2020 exclusively for recent graduates who will be taking the September bar exam. The hours of the Library will be Monday-Thursday, 10:00am to 4:00pm. You must make an appointment with a member of the Library staff, either AJ Doucett (ajdoucett@johnmarshall.edu) or Mary Wilson (mewilson@johnmarshall.edu) to visit the Library. 

Although this Plan provides a level of certainty regarding Fall 2020 instruction, I realize that the changes I am announcing will be welcome news to some and disappointing to others. I spoke at length with the senior leadership team, and we wrestled with the issues and conflicting interests inherent in this situation. Our decision affirms prioritizing the health and safety of our students and other community members.

Dean Boone and the Registrar’s Office will follow up with additional information about instruction, registration, grading, and exams. For now, please note the Law School will return to traditional grading scales. As Dean Boone will explain, Fall 2020 exams will be either online or take‐home, as designated by your professor, though we may adopt remote‐proctoring software that supports closed‐book exams for some classes, including bar classes, if available.

We will not reduce tuition, despite the switch to all‐remote courses this fall. The cost of providing an outstanding legal education for our students is essentially the same, whether it is delivered in person or online. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, our faculty and staff will provide students with an innovative and engaging educational experience—one that builds community and fully prepares students for a successful professional career.

I want to thank you for your patience and wish you well as you plan for the year ahead. I look forward to seeing many of you on campus in the fall, even if classes are remote. I remain hopeful that the spring will bring solid ground on which to build more in‐person instructional choices. You have all shown great patience, resilience, and fortitude, which lives up to the School’s hashtag #JohnMarshallProud. 

Dean Gatewood

April 17, 2020 Georgia Bar Exam Update

The Georgia Supreme Court has made the important decision to postpone the July 2020 Georgia Bar Exam. Please read the full post and read the executive order here.

April 2, 2020 Law School Update

Yesterday, the Governor of the State of Georgia issued a statewide shelter-in-place order effective Friday, April 3, 2020, until April 13, 2020. As such, the Law School building will be closed until April 13, 2020. Distance learning is not impacted by this physical closure. Please check your email frequently for updates.

March 18, 2020 Law School Update

Based upon the most recent recommendations from the CDC, and local and national governmental officials, the best course during this time is for everyone to stay home. Effective immediately, the building will be closed to all students and visitors (other than deliveries) except by previous appointment. Students wishing to use the library or other resources, such as the computer lab or Zoom rooms, must make an appointment with AJ Doucett or Mary Wilson for library services, or Dean Boone or Dean Barger for other services or needs, or your professor. No student should come to the building without having made a previous appointment with someone who will be present on campus and available to you. When present on campus, students should practice “social distancing” and vacate the building as soon as your business on campus has been concluded. Most meetings that might have otherwise happened face-to-face will be held by telephone or Zoom video conference until further notice.

Faculty and Staff will still have access to the building to conduct essential work. Students should use email to communicate with the various departments in which they have business. 

Of course, any face-to-face meeting or events that were scheduled during this time are canceled. As members of the community, we must all exercise caution for the betterment of society. This is bigger and more important than all of us, but if we do our small part, we become a part of the solution and not the problem.

Please continue to review your email and social media sites for continuous updates.

March 18, 2020 Course Delivery Update

The Law School will begin offering all courses through virtual learning principally through Zoom technology, beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. However, some professors may choose another form of online teaching, such as TWEN live chat or recorded lectures uploaded to TWEN, Google Drive, or sent via email. Courses that were already online will continue using the same format. Each Professor will notify you as to how they intend to conduct their particular class. Unless otherwise advised by your professor, classes will be conducted on the same days and times as your normal class schedule. We will be operating in the virtual format for the remainder of the semester and through final exams. Please monitor your emails and TWEN site frequently for updates from your professor regarding your course.

Most Professors will opt to use Zoom Technology. A Zoom account isn’t required to attend a meeting. Users do need a Zoom account to host a meeting, but anyone can join a meeting by clicking on the zoom link sent to you by your professor. When you join a zoom meeting for the first time, the necessary zoom app will download into your device automatically. You also may manually download the necessary apps by clicking on the following link: https://zoom.us/download. If you don’t have a computer, you may access the zoom app through a mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for Android users or Apple Store for Apple users.

To ensure a pleasant experience with your first Zoom Meeting, we highly encourage students to download and install the Zoom Application beforehand. 

To download and install the Zoom Application:

  • Go to https://zoom.us/download and from the Download Center, click on the Downloadbutton under “Zoom Client For Meetings”.
    • This application will automatically download when you start your first Zoom Meeting.
  • Once the download is complete, proceed with installing the Zoom application onto your computer or mobile device.

Below is a link of Zoom Video Tutorials that you may find useful as you navigate our new virtual reality for the remainder of the semester. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Professors if you have any additional questions regarding your particular course.

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials

March 12, 2020 Library Update

Please see following Library Hours for remainder of the week and next week (Spring Break):

Thursday, March 12 through Friday, March 13: Library staff will respond to the doorbell from noon until 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 15: Closed

Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19: Library staff will respond to the doorbell from noon until 7:00 p.m.

Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22: Closed

Monday, March 23: To be announced, depending on class schedule and building closing times.

March 12, 2020 Law School Update

Dear Law School Community:

We are fortunate to have no known cases of COVID-19 within our community. Though we continue to believe the risk of transmission on our campus is currently low, we know that community spread is happening in parts of the United States and the World Health Organization has officially declared the outbreak a pandemic. While much remains unknown about COVID-19’s epidemiology and impact, we know the best time to put policies in place to effectively slow the spread of the virus is now rather than later—even when there are no cases on our campus of which we are aware. Our goal is not to react to fear in the midst of this complex time, but to be proactive in the preventative measures we can take as an institution.  Accordingly, we take the following steps towards that goal:

SPRING BREAK

After much thoughtful consideration, we have decided to extend Spring Break effective today, March 12, 2020, through Sunday, March 22, 2020. All classes scheduled for today, March 12, 2020, and tomorrow, March 13, 2020, are canceled. The Law School will remain open.

ONLINE COURSE DELIVERY

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, the Law School will transition to online delivery of all classroom content via Zoom or other distance learning technology for up to the remainder of the semester. Your Professors in each course will notify you as to the platform they will utilize to deliver their online content. The online classes will be conducted at the same time and on same days as your normal in-class schedules unless otherwise directed by your Professor. Zoom technology can be accessed through your computer or other internet-based device or by downloading the free Zoom app on your phone through Apple Store or Google’s Play Store. If your professor prefers TWEN, TWEN is accessed using your normal TWEN account. Please be prepared to resume classes online beginning March 23, 2020 until further notice.

EVENTS

In order to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of the virus, all events, including but not limited to, the Barrister’s Ball, are canceled until further notice. This decision is based on the CDC’s recommendation of “social distancing,” i.e., decreasing the number of instances that require community members to gather in large groups or spend extended periods of time in close proximity with each other.

Please know that these decisions were not made lightly. We understand these measures will cause a level of disruption to our law school community, but we strongly believe that by being proactive now, we have the greatest chance of decreasing our risk. The potential consequences of not acting far outweigh these short-term disruptions as these are indeed unprecedented times that call for unprecedented measures.

I would like to thank the members of our staff and faculty who have been working on these issues daily. We are fortunate to have a team of dedicated, knowledgeable, and committed professionals here to help us navigate this complex situation. We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to address the impacts of COVID-19 to plan accordingly. 

I ask all of you to join in supporting these policies. John Marshall is an extraordinary community of care and concern, especially in trying situations, and now is a time to exercise generosity and support for each other. Acting in that spirit, I have every confidence we will meet the challenge before us and come out of this stronger and more resilient.

Dean Gatewood

March 11, 2020 Law School Update

The decision of whether to move to online course delivery will be made during the Reading Period/Spring Break. Please monitor your email during the break and be prepared if the school decides to deliver classes online after the break. Thank you for your ongoing support.

March 6, 2020 Law School Update

At this time, there does not appear to be a basis for canceling classes or law school activities. In consultation with the faculty, Dean Gatewood has implemented the following policy:

  1. We will continue to hold classes and other events until advised otherwise.
  2. In the event it becomes necessary, we will endeavor to record/Zoom all classes to the extent we have the capacity to do so. Our IT Department will work with individual professors to devise the best instructional approach for each class. We are immediately embarking to train all instructors in the use of Zoom, which will allow instructors to teach their students remotely. Classes will continue to meet in regular fashion unless advised otherwise.
  3. Although students are strongly encouraged to attend classes, we, of course, do not want students to feel any pressure to come to school if they are feeling ill or in a high-risk category. We recognize that law school classes are inherently interactive and something is lost when an in-person class is transformed into a distance learning class by the use of recording or streaming technology. But under these extraordinary circumstances, we ask every professor to be flexible with regard to attendance requirements during this time. Nevertheless, professors will be instructed to continue to record attendance and students may be asked to provide a doctor’s note or other documentation in the event they are sick or in a high-risk category.
  4. In the event it becomes necessary, professors are being asked to create some capacity during office hours to be available by phone or some other technology, such as Zoom.

Thank you for your patience, this situation is unprecedented and poses many challenges for all involved. This is a time when our community will work together to support and assist each other. As always, please wash your hands.