I am writing to update you on the College’s actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, share additional information regarding domestic and international travel, and introduce a new resource available on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates website.
Our response team continues to meet and closely monitor developments, taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other local, regional and national health agencies while planning for a number of potential scenarios.
Earlier this spring several decisions were made regarding international travel. Our students studying in Italy were strongly recommended to return to their home country and self-quarantine for 14 days, per CDC guidelines. Our May Term programs to China and Japan have been canceled, and our students heading to their spring study abroad program in Japan were notified that the partner institution had canceled the program. The College will be working with each of these students to support their academic progress. There are several additional May Term academic and non-academic programs, and a decision regarding these programs will be made and communicated by March 17. Prior to spring break, the College established an international Travel Reporting Form, which has been discontinued. We encourage all members of the campus community to utilize the College’s COVID-19 website and guidance from the CDC.
The following restrictions are in place regarding all non-essential College-related travel, effective through at least April 10:
All College-related international travel is prohibited, with the exception of any student on a study abroad program who chooses to return home from their program;
Members of the campus community returning from any CDC-designated Level 3 country are required to self-quarantine away from campus for 14 days due to an increased risk, and inform the College by emailing the Dyson Wellness Center at firstname.lastname@example.org;
All College-related non-essential domestic air travel is prohibited (examples include conferences and off-site training sessions or workshops); faculty and staff should consult with their respective dean or supervisor regarding all College-related travel;
The NCAA has established a COVID-19 advisory panel of leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts from their respective fields of study and NCAA member institutions to guide its response to the outbreak; at this time all North Central College athletic-related competitions will occur as scheduled and will adhere to the guidelines set forth by the NCAA.
The following guidance is provided regarding personal travel through at least April 10:
All personal international travel is strongly discouraged, and members of the campus community returning from any CDC-designated Level 3 country are required to self-quarantine away from campus for 14 days due to an increased risk, and inform the College by emailing the Dyson Wellness Center at email@example.com;
Our institutional response team has compiled a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document that is now posted on our COVID-19 Update website. The FAQs cover a wide array of topics related not only to College operations but also to health, travel, and study abroad. We will expand and update this document as new information becomes available; we will also continue to update the community through the College’s website and social media channels.
The CDC recommends the following simple, daily actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 and the flu:
Stay home when sick and avoid contact with others who are sick
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
Clean frequently touched surfaces
Support Each Other
Thank you to the team managing the College’s response to this challenge for their ongoing efforts. Many in our campus community are either in a high-risk category themselves or have a loved one who is. It is my hope that we can all support each other during a time of heightened concern and uncertainty related to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. I wish everyone well as we work to promote the health and well-being of our entire community.
Troy D. Hammond
North Central College