Communicating Coronavirus-related Extension Cancellations, Closures

Extension specialist giving a field demonstration in a soybean field while onlookers in a tram observe.

Extension colleagues,

We appreciate your patience and perseverance as the situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve and impact our operations statewide. In alignment with both Governor Cooper’s Executive Order this weekend, which included banning gatherings of more than 100 people, and Dean Linton’s announcement on March 16, we are sharing resources to assist you with communicating programming changes to your clients and stakeholders.

While these restrictions are necessary to slow the spread of the virus, we realize they may have wide-ranging impacts on local Extension activities across the state. With that in mind, we ask that you review your website and social media channels and update previously scheduled events that are no longer happening, or moving to a virtual platform.

Emergency Message / Closure Notification on County Websites

Counties can enter an “Emergency Message” (up to 140 characters) and/or feature an “Office Closure” notice on your county center websites. As your center adjusts its operations per recent requirements, make sure to utilize these features for your audiences. Find step-by-step guidance using the links below:

Managing Event Cancellations on Eventbrite

Find detailed guidance for canceling events through Eventbrite on the EIT website. You can also refer to Extension’s Eventbrite User Guide for more information.

Note: We are only showing “live” events on our WordPress calendars, so once a local event is cancelled in Eventbrite, it will disappear from the Extension site in real-time. Also, all credit card charges can be reversed. In the case that your office accepted checks, you will need to work with CALS Business Operations or your county financial office to issue a refund.

Communicating Event Cancellations / Office Closures

We’ve developed sample message templates that you can customize and share with your audiences via email, newsletter or online to apprise them of changes to local operations. This is intended as a guide to help promote timely, consistent communications and can be modified to fit your situation. View a current list of office closures.

HR Information

Please read the Guidelines on Pandemic and Communicable Disease, as it provides details on working during the pandemic. All employees are able to work from home with supervisor approval. Phones can be forwarded for continued operations.

If your county office does not close completely, consider rotating staff to have limited contact in the office. If employees need additional work they can do remotely, you can allow them to work on professional development. NC State has a contract with LinkedIn Learning so all university employees have access to thousands of online courses. Instructions are attached.

Parting Thoughts

If you or your volunteers are hosting a smaller event within the size restrictions, please understand that the risk is not eliminated and consider suspending existing events or moving them online. We recommend not rescheduling events until further guidance is available. Whether you are on or off-campus, please practice social distancing and be proactive in learning about additional precautions to protect yourself and others.

This message and all COVID-19-related announcements from NC State Extension and CALS administration are available on the Extension intranet. Stay up to date with university-wide announcements, helpful information and a growing list of resources at

Thank you all for your unshakable support, patience and dedication. This is an unprecedented situation for our Extension family, and together we will see it through and do all we can to keep our communities as safe and informed as possible.


A. Richard Bonanno, Ph.D.
Director, NC State Extension
Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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