Month: March 2020

A Message from President Mark Burstein | March 25

Dear Lawrentians, 

Thank you for your overwhelming reaction to my note sent last Wednesday. Your ingenuity, support and advice are helping us transition to distance learning and to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. You have also shown your generosity, care, and support for our students in immediate and tangible ways. Our student food pantryreports significant increased support from many of you and we have also seen wonderful contributions to the Supporting Our Students Emergency Fund.

These have been turbulent times for all of us. Yesterday, I sent a message to our students, faculty, and staff about the way in which recent changes will impact our lives as we prepare for Spring Term. I also took a moment to record a short video to share my thoughts with the campus community as we adjust to this new normal. 

To read my full message to campus, please visit our COVID-19 News site, where you can stay up to date on everything the University is doing to address the pandemic.

As you can imagine, this has been a challenging few weeks for all of us, as I know it has for you. Guidance on how to address the spread of COVID-19 changes daily, sometimes hourly. Yesterday morning, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued a safer at home order effective today.  

We are focused on ensuring continuity of Lawrence’s operations and functions so that we may continue to deliver on our educational mission. Shared Governance continues to operate: Faculty committees are actively addressing policy issues from instruction to curriculum; LUCC leadership is working to adjust its meeting processes and will continue to represent students.  And we are engaged in ongoing counsel with the Board of Trustees. Core functions in all operational divisions continue and a COVID-19 management team meets daily to handle Lawrence’s response to this situation. 

As we work to adhere to our new statewide guidance and prepare for Spring Term, I want to take a moment to remind us all that our bonds as Lawrentians will endure. Community is a hallmark of the Lawrence experience. I mourn the loss of the vibrancy of the Spring Term. While it will be different, we must find ways of sustaining our social connection.  In these difficult times, we must work to sustain connections via social media, electronic gatherings, and other virtual means. 

Social connection is more important now than ever.  In that spirit, we promise to update our social media accounts to give you a sense of what’s happening at Lawrence. We hope that you will share your experiences with us as well. Please feel free to contact me or other Lawrence colleagues via email or telephone to offer suggestions and ideas or just to hang out. These connections will make us stronger as a community and as individuals.  

I have faith we will weather this crisis together as we have before. Homer, David, and I look forward to having our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents back on campus soon. 

Be well and make choices that keep others well,

Mark

Mark Burstein
President, Lawrence University


A Message from President Burstein | March 24

Watch a video message from President Burstein here.

Dear Lawrentians, 

These have been turbulent times for all of us. I would like to thank all members of the Lawrence community—your patience, ingenuity, and suggestions are helping us transition to distance learning and helping us do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. These have been challenging times for all of us. Guidance on how to address the spread of COVID-19 changes daily, sometimes hourly. This morning, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued a safer at home order.  

I write today to share with you information on how the University will continue with this new order in effect.  The safer at home order urges Wisconsinites to limit travel to essentials only—trips to stores and pharmacies for necessary supplies, and for medical care. It also limits business activity to essential services. Because of the nature of Lawrence, especially since we are still responsible for a residential community, much of our work remains in the essential category by definition. We have already taken steps to ensure that our University is doing its best to mitigate the spread of the virus. Many faculty and staff who are able to do so are already working from home. We are using digital tools to limit in-person meetings. And custodial services have been redeployed to high-traffic areas of the campus. To free custodial colleagues for this important work we have closed offices and buildings wherever possible.  

The Governor asks that we remain in our homes or dorm rooms as much as possible. Faculty and staff who have not fully migrated to home for their campus office should make plans to do so now. Staff should check in with supervisors to make sure we provide appropriate accommodations to ensure work can continue without being physically present on campus. Essential employees who will continue to work on campus are to follow all precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. If special identification of essential employees becomes necessary, Human Resources will issue such identification. At this time, there is no local requirement of special identification.  

We are focused on ensuring continuity of Lawrence’s operations and functions so that we may continue to deliver on our educational mission. Shared Governance continues to operate, with faculty committees actively addressing policy issues from instruction to curriculum. Many departments continue the work of hiring, tenure, and promotion. LUCC leadership is working to adjust its meeting processes and will continue to represent students. Core functions in all operational divisions continue and a COVID-19 management team meets daily to handle Lawrence’s ongoing response to this situation.  

As we work to adhere to our new statewide guidance and prepare for Spring Term, I want to take a moment to remind us all that our bonds as Lawrentians will endure. Community is a hallmark of the Lawrence experience. I mourn the loss of the vibrancy of the Spring Term. While it will be different, we must find ways of sustaining our social connection in these difficult times, including connections via social media, electronic gatherings, or other virtual means.  

In this spirit of social solidarity, I took a moment yesterday to record a short video to share my thoughts with the Lawrence community as we adjust to the many changes in our lives. As I say in the video, we promise to update our social media accounts frequently to give you a sense of what’s happening on campus. We hope that you share your experiences with us as well. Please also feel free to contact me via email or telephone to share your suggestions and ideas or just to hang out. These connections will make us stronger as a community and as individuals.  

As the virus progresses, more operational changes will be necessary. The COVID-19 blog will be updated as soon as any change is made. The LU Insider will now come out twice a week to summarize those changes as well as provide other information about our community. And, of course, continue to check email.  

I have faith we will weather this crisis together as we have before. Homer, David, and I look forward to having you all back on campus soon. 

Be well and make choices that keep others well,  
Mark 

Mark Burstein

President, Lawrence University


Updates on Developments Regarding COVID-19

We are reaching out to provide an update on developments regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Lawrence health officials were notified on Sunday, March 22, that a parent who was on campus Thursday, March 19, to help their child move out has since tested positive for COVID-19. The parent was on campus for approximately 90 minutes (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and helped with a student move-out in Hiett Hall. The parent may have had brief interactions with staff members who were assisting with check-out process, and two students also reported they may have been in contact with the parent. The interactions were limited. Lawrence was awaiting confirmed notification of everyone who may have been in the vicinity of the parent before sharing this information more broadly. That notification process is now complete.

Public health officials from the county in which the family lives will be in touch with all those who may have had contact and will provide further guidance. Our local health department believes this is a low-risk situation; however, in an abundance of caution, we thought it best to notify the Lawrence community at this time. If you believe you may have been in contact with the parent, please contact Lawrence’s Health Services office at 920-832-6574 or email wellnessservices@lawrence.edu.

We wish the parent involved a speedy recovery and the rest of the family good health. Our thoughts and good wishes are with everyone in our Lawrence community as we do all we can to help mitigate the spread of this virus while ensuring our commitment to Lawrence students, faculty, staff, and extended family remain intact. As the history of this infection shows, it is proving impossible to halt its spread. Our goal now is to help slow transmission and to ensure the health and safety of those Lawrentians who remain on campus.

Lawrence continues to limit access to campus and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in cleaning and sanitizing shared spaces. That has included limiting as much as possible access to residence halls during student move-outs. Many facilities on campus are closed, while others have restricted access to allow for more regular cleaning of areas where there is less avoidable traffic. See details here.

Take steps to avoid becoming ill: As a reminder, the following recommendations from CDC can help limit the spread of the virus: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • 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. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.) 
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What to do if you think you might have COVID-19: Before going to your health care clinic, call your health care professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. If you are a member of faculty or staff, or a student living off-campus, this means your local health care professional. Students living on campus can reach out to Wellness Services. Your health care professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Information on health services at Lawrence can be found at www.lawrence.edu/students/wellness/health.  

A reminder: Wellness Services-Health is available for consultation to students from campus or home Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If questions arise after-hours, call Nurse Direct (24-hour medical advice) at 920-738-2230. 

The University will continue to send updates as warranted. Also, please watch for updates on the COVID-19 news blog. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we adapt to this fluid environment.

Sincerely,

Office of Communications, on behalf of the COVID-19 Management Team


Letter from LUCC | March 18

Dear Fellow Lawrentians,

The last few days have felt like an eternity for many of us. As a student, I know exactly how disruptive and anxiety inducing this pandemic has made our lives. I am saddened at the prospect of leaving campus and how uncertain our lives will be in the coming months, which is why it is all the more important that we come together and preserve the spirit of our community. The means that we all need to continue to support each other and show that we are cared for and loved, no matter where we are in the world.

The responsibility of LUCC does not change, no matter our distance from campus. All vital LUCC operations will continue in Spring Term with two objectives in mind: supporting you to our fullest extent and ensuring a smooth transition back to campus in the fall. I, along with the Cabinet, are committed to doing the following:

  • Re-recognition for all student organizations: All transitionary procedures that usually take place during Spring Term will continue as planned. Exemptions will be made for official elections, with a member of each organization taking the helm until official elections can be held in the fall. Re-recognition forms are located on Voyager; we will share the submission date later this spring.
  • Modified budgeting process for the Fall: Finance will delay expected budgeting formation in order to allocate money and resources for our return, with planned activities and events to immediately commence in Fall Term. 
  • Organizing the Babcock Award: The Babcock Award, a much-loved Lawrence tradition that honors a community member on campus for their work and contributions, will still be presented. We think it even more essential to remind the student body of the kindness and generosity that exists within the larger Lawrentian community at this time. 
  • Continuing to update legislation with the aid of General Council: Plans regarding the assembly and format of General Council are still in development, but their representation and contribution is essential to the longevity of LUCC. Voting and discussions will continue into the Spring Term[MJS1] . 
  • Using our Spring Term budget to engage all students: We are thinking of  ways we can use the funds we have available for Spring Term to support all students wherever are.  

We recognize the challenges of distance learning and engagement, and LUCC will try to be as flexible as possible in order to adapt to these circumstances and still get work done. If you have thoughts, suggestions, or questions about any of this please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us.

On a personal note, as devastating as the news on Thursday was, I was heartened to see the campus come together in celebrations of our time here. That sense of love and loyalty to our peers is essential to keeping the Lawrence spirit alive.

Please wash your hands and practice social distancing.

Sincerely,

LUCC Cabinet 2020-2021

Oryan Brown, President

Diallo Richardson, Vice-President

Basil Eastman-Kiesow, Parliamentarian

Smailyn Nicasio, General Secretary

LaDora Thomas, PR Secretary

Nicholas Valentin, Treasurer

Tarrel Nedderman, Finance Secretary –

Meralis Alvarez-Morales, Special Projects Coordinator


Staff and Faculty Update from HR Director, Tina Harrig | March 18

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to our community, who has rallied to address the University’s needs as we navigate this difficult and ever-evolving situation.

I am writing today to provide some additional information about University operations in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, including information regarding telecommuting and flexible work schedules, personal travel, and other important information about our workplace.

At this time, the University remains open to support the students who are on campus for spring break and spring term and the academic enterprise. We also need to ensure that the University can execute its standard operations in this new environment. 

University Operations

While the University is open, we recognize that the physical staffing in many offices and departments will look different in the coming weeks, as individual staff members will need to make decisions about their personal work schedules. Supervisors will work with their staff to ensure that their area remains operational during University business hours, while addressing the needs of each employee.

In light of the changes to our student population on campus, responsibilities assigned to positions may change. Your supervisor will work with you as necessary to ensure that you are aware of any adjustments. You may also be asked to help support areas of campus where a greater need exists.

At this time, the University is working to limit access to the campus buildings and facilities to reduce the opportunity for community spread. Campus visitors such as business associates, non-Lawrence employee professional colleagues, and personal contacts should avoid coming to campus. It is recommended that necessary meetings transition to conference calls or video meetings. Discussions around access to campus buildings and other resources are currently underway and more information will be shared with you once it becomes available.

Employee Necessities

As personal circumstances arise in this fluid environment, the University will continue to be flexible. Work options will be different for individual employees depending on their position, and all employees are encouraged to talk with their supervisor about their specific needs. Potential flexible work options to consider include:

·         Telecommuting (or working from home);

  • Using accrued time off in either full- or partial-day increments;
  • Temporarily reducing your full time equivalent (FTE);
  • Adopting a flexible schedule, e.g. working hours or days of the week that are not routine for your position.

Other options may be suitable for your position as well, and again, we encourage you to work with your supervisor to create a plan that best suits your individual situation and the needs of the office and department. The timeframe for these flexible arrangements does not have a determined end date at this time and this may vary by office or department, however as the situation evolves we may have a better idea of what this will look like.

As the academic enterprise is the core of our mission, Information Technology Services is working around the clock to prepare our faculty and students for distance learning. They are prioritizing their time, services, and technology accordingly. That said, we also recognize that staff may need to work remotely and will potentially need assistance making these arrangements. If you do need assistance, please contact the Help Desk, and they will assist you when they are able. 

If you do not have personal technology to support telecommuting, the University provides an interest-free computing device loan option that may be used to purchase necessary technology, including personal computers, tablets, or related equipment to facilitate distance work. The loan request form detailing this process can be found here

Social Distancing

We want to support our global efforts to reduce community spread of the coronavirus, which includes efforts to minimize individual contact with each other. For those individuals who are unable to work remotely, either because of your job responsibilities, you are essential personnel, or your personal situation, you may continue to work on campus at this time while also practicing these social distancing measures:

·         Maintain at least six feet between you and another individual.

·         Avoid public transportation whenever possible.

·         Limit non-essential travel.

·         Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded venues.

·         Practice good hygiene, disinfect surfaces you touch, and avoid touching your face.

While these times require physical distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we still remain a community. It is more important than ever that we remain connected to one another, even through virtual means. The LU Insider will continue on its regular schedule and strive to connect us all, wherever we may physically be. 

Health & Wellness

We strongly encourage you to be informed and observant of the symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing these symptoms. Currently, the CDC recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

For the most up-to-date information, you are encouraged to review the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Wisconsin Department of Health Services . If you have questions about your health you are encouraged to discuss those with your personal physician. For individuals covered under the Lawrence University medical plan, the Teledoc service allows you to consult with a doctor 24/7 to evaluate your risk and help with any next steps when necessary all without leaving your home and for a $5 copay. Information on Teledoc can be found in the 2020 benefit guide.         

Personal Travel

We strongly advise you to reconsider non-essential personal travel, as documented cases and areas with community spread are growing rapidly. Should you decide to travel, be aware of the risks. Please continue to closely follow the CDC websiteCDC travel alerts, and WI Department of Health Services website for updated guidance. Following your travel, you may not be able to return to campus and may be required to self-isolate. You should inform your supervisor of personal travel plans and if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Your supervisor will work with Health Services and Human Resources to assess campus risk.   

Employee Assistance Program

In times of uncertainty, such as we are currently experiencing with the coronavirus, there are often many questions and concerns about how what is happening will affect you and your loved ones. These situations can often lead to heightened feelings of stress and anxiety. Remember that your employee assistance program (EAP) is available to you, your dependents, and immediate household members. Our EAP provider can be contacted at 1-800-222-8590 and additional information can be found online.

As we all know, this situation is fluid and is changing daily, even hourly. We will keep you informed of any new developments as soon as possible, and we encourage you to visit the COVID-19 News blog for the most recent updates. 

During this challenging time, I encourage us to reach out and support each other. Lawrence has always been a community that takes care of one another, and I know that, together, we will meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Take care,

Tina

Tina Harrig

Director of Human Resources


COVID-19 Update from President Burstein | March 12

Dear Lawrentians,

Like many of you, I have been carefully following the global outbreak of coronavirus or COVID-19. This past week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed this country’s strategy from one of outbreak containment to acknowledgement that this goal is no longer possible. We must now work to mitigate eventual spread of the virus throughout the United States. Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the virus had reached pandemic status, and last night President Trump suspended all travel from Europe, excluding Great Britain, for a 30-day period. 

Our goals as a university are first to protect the health and safety of the campus community, including those members who are at high risk for severe complications from the virus, and to sustain the teaching and learning that are a hallmark of all that we do at Lawrence. Our community prides itself on the enduring relationship between faculty and students, and frequent personal interaction is core to this relationship. But this is difficult to sustain in an environment that asks for limiting in-person interaction.

I write today to share with you updates on how the University plans to address these priorities and ensure that we remain true to our core community values of compassion and respect. While there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 on the Lawrence campus, we recognize that we can no longer continue as usual and still protect all members of our community, especially those most at risk. As a result, and in consultation with faculty, students, and staff, we have determined that the best course of action for Lawrence is to move to distance learning starting Spring Term. This was an extraordinarily difficult decision to make. 

Here is what this decision means for our campus:

Spring Break
Spring Break will begin on March 19, as planned, and will be extended until April 5 to provide faculty and staff additional time to prepare for distance learning. All University-sponsored spring break trips, both domestic and international, are canceled. Students are welcome to stay on campus for spring break, but they cannot travel outside of the immediate vicinity. 

Spring Term Classes
Spring Term (or third term) classes will begin on April 6. Spring Term will end as-scheduled on June 10.  Classes will be taught via distance learning. What we mean by distance learning is the delivery of instruction and participation in courses through the use of technology. We recognize that some courses, such as research laboratories, studios, or ensembles, will not easily translate to this format, and we are working closely with faculty to resolve these issues prior to the start of the term. The Provost or individual faculty will be in touch with their students before classes resume. No study abroad programs will run during spring term. 

Students can apply to the Dean of Students through this webform to remain on campus for Spring Term if returning home is impossible for various reasons. All other students will be expected to leave campus for the remainder of the academic year by April 5 and will need to plan accordingly. More information regarding move-out is available on the website.

Financial Assistance
Our goal is to ensure individual finances do not impact the important choices that lie ahead for each student and their familyFor students who leave campus and complete Spring Term from home, we will remove all on-campus related fees from your bill for the third term such as the final remaining room, board, as well as the student activity fee. Third term tuition still applies. Your financial aid will be adjusted proportionately to reflect the remaining amount due. For students who remain on campus, there will be no change to your third term bill or the financial aid you have already been allotted. We encourage all students to contact Financial Aid if they have any questions regarding their financial need, including their ability to travel home.

University Operations
The University will remain open to provide our students with needed support, including academic and career assistance. Staff will continue to work scheduled hours and will receive regular pay. We will issue guidance for University employees no later than March 19. If staff have any questions in the meantime about remote working options, leave, pay, or other issues, please contact your direct supervisor or Human Resources

University-Related Travel
All international travel on behalf of the university is canceled. Domestic travel is allowed only for essential purposes as approved by a member of the President’s Cabinet. Any individual who recently returned from a Category Level 2 or Level 3 country as defined by the CDC is required to self-isolate at an off-campus location for 14 days upon your return. Please note that the CDC recently designated continental Europe as a Level 3 area. Information on self-isolation and monitoring is available on the CDC website

Campus Events 
Campus events, such as lectures, theatre productions, musical performances, art exhibits, or other large public gatherings, are canceled for Spring Term. Information regarding Admission visit programs can be found on the website.

Commencement
I realize the decision to move to distance learning impacts the senior class in a unique way. The last term provides time to celebrate a glorious set of cumulative accomplishments. We are committed to helping each senior to complete their Lawrence requirements in time for graduation as well as ensure all students progress towards their degree of choice. 

Commencement and its surrounding events may need to be modified. We are working to finalize these decisions as quickly as possible and will share our final plans with the senior class and their families by April 15. I promise you that we will do our best to recognize your achievements and celebrate your graduation, even if we cannot all be together on the Main Hall Green.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of this global pandemic, I recognize these changes may elicit many questions. If you have any questions regarding our path forward, please email coronainfo@lawrence.edu, and we will do our best to answer them in a timely fashion.

We will host two live question and answer sessions tomorrow: one for Lawrence faculty and staff at 1:00 p.m. CDT, and one for Lawrence families and students at 3:00 p.m. CDT. Please use this form to submit questions in advance of the webinar. 

Also starting Friday, March 13, through Thursday, March 19, a call center will be dedicated to answering your questions. Please call 920-832-6576 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition, please visit the COVID-19 News blog for all recent updates and resources. 

I recognize this decision presents many challenges to our students, faculty, and staff. We have always risen to the challenges that face us with resilience and ingenuity. I know, as we have in the past, we will rise to this challenge and ensure that Lawrence continues to create a learning environment second to none. Thank you all for your patience, dedication, and, most importantly, your tireless work to support our institution. 

Please take care of yourselves, and each other.

Sincerely,
Mark

Mark Burstein
President


COVID-19 Update | March 10

Dear Lawrentians,  

I write today to share with you the most recent updates regarding the University’s response to COVID-19. While the University remains at low risk for the coronavirus, the outbreak continues to grow, disrupting travel plans and other aspects of our lives. The expanded Crisis Management Team has issued new guidance and updates in response to the evolving situation and in preparation for potential community needs. 

Important Updates since March 3

  • Based upon guidance from the local and state public health departments, the University now requires that any individual who travels to a Level 2 or Level 3 country self-isolate at an off-campus location for 14 days upon your return. Information on self-isolation and monitoring is available on the CDC website. We will, of course, work with individual community members to assist them if they do not have an option to return home or have appropriate off-campus housing. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Health Services at wellnessservices@lawrence.edu
  • New guidance for University travel cancellations due to the coronavirus is now available on the Lawrence website. This guidance applies to business travel for Lawrence University staff, faculty and students. 
  • Human Resources has issued new guidance and protocols (see the For Faculty & Staff section at the bottom of the FAQ) for employees if they or a family member are exposed to the virus.  
  • Advice for faculty on how to make the potential transition from in-person to remote instruction has been added to the website. We also encourage all employees to be proactive and ensure that they have the ability work remotely if this is an option for you. Please consider setting up your personal technology devices to support this. Technology Services can assist you with this process and any requirements. 

Spring Break Housing & Travel 
Lawrence University students have the option to remain on campus free of charge over spring break (March 19-March 29). Please note that campus services, including dining, are limited during the break. In order to help us meet the needs of those who are on campus over break, we ask that students submit their request to stay on campus prior to the start of spring break. The Request for Housing form is available in Voyager under Student Services.  

We continue to work with faculty and students as they evaluate their spring break travel plans. As of today, the trip to Silicon Valley has been cancelled; all other trips are currently moving forward as planned. In addition, the spring term London Centre program will continue. As with all off-campus programs, the London Centre team is closely monitoring the situation. 

Institutional Travel 
The University currently restricts all nonessential travel to countries with a Warning Level 3 (widespread, sustained, ongoing transmission of the illness), which include China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Venezuela. As noted above, Lawrence is requiring students, faculty, and staff who have traveled to countries with a Level 3 or Level 2 CDC warning designation to self-isolate off-campus for 14 days. While the CDC has not yet issued an advisory for travel within the U.S., states across the country are issuing daily guidance and warnings as their situations evolve. Please continue to closely follow the CDC websites for updated guidance. 

We recommend only truly essential institutional travel be conducted to any part of the country or globe where community spread of the virus is evident, and require that employees who travel on University business both domestically and internationally check-in with their supervisors or the appropriate administrator before embarking on your trip. We also encourage you to proactively review upcoming University-sponsored events (on- and off-campus) for potential cancellation, taking into account individual state or CDC-issued guidance as needed.  

Personal Travel
We strongly urge you to exercise caution for any upcoming personal travel, as documented cases are growing rapidly. You may face a higher risk of infection, significant delays returning to campus, and/or the requirement to self-isolate upon your return. If you are traveling, frequently check CDC travel alertsfor the most current guidance and recommendations. 

Ongoing Communication 
Please bookmark the COVID-19 News webpage and pay close attention to your email for updates. Our current plan is to share updates weekly, with additional communications if necessary. If you have any specific questions about the University’s response to COVID-19, please email coronainfo@lawrence.edu

Stay Well 
If you are feeling ill, stay home. Please do not come to work or attend class. The best way to prevent illness is to take preventative actions every day to avoid exposure or spread of the virus. Most important, wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds.

Other preventative measures include: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

More information on prevention measures are available on the COVID-19 News website.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider before you seek medical attention and tell them that you may have COVID-19. This will help your healthcare provider’s office take steps to limit exposure to the virus. 

Finally, thank you to everyone who is helping to address this evolving situation, especially to those who are working directly with our students. Please remember that it is important that we continue to take care of ourselves and support each other through this difficult time.  

Sincerely, 
Christopher Card 
Vice President for Student Life 
Crisis Management Team Director (interim)


Important COVID-19 Update | March 3

Dear Lawrence students, faculty, and staff,

I’m writing today to call your attention to the widening COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, its implication on the on-campus and extended Lawrence community, and the current wellness guidelines and resources available to our community members. 

Please note that the Lawrence University campus remains at very low risk for exposure to COVID-19. The outbreak does, however, have growing potential to disrupt travel during Lawrence’s upcoming Spring Break and other travels on behalf of the University.

Spring Break 
In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have raised travel advisory levels and issued various alerts to avoid non-essential travel for several countries, including China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Venezuela.

If you are considering international travel this spring, Lawrence and international travel officials are encouraging you to monitor travel advisories due to the outbreak of COVID-19 using the CDC’s website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. In many countries, there may be new entry and exit control measures, and even quarantines implemented with very little notice during the coming weeks. These actions could severely impact your plans and/or delay your return with personal cost.

Depending on your destination, you may have to reach difficult decisions to change or even cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and timely return to Appleton. One of the challenges associated with the coronavirus situation is that things may change very rapidly; the recommendations in place currently might change if the virus spreads and as new information is gained. We highly encourage you to check regularly the CDC websites to find updated guidance.

If you are an American citizen and choose to travel, consider registering with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).This is a free service that allows you to enroll your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions. Travelers can find information regarding travel and evacuation insurance at https://www.iamat.org/travel-health-insurance. If you are not an American citizen, we recommend that you register with your respective embassy in the country in which you are traveling.

At this time, the CDC has not issued an advisory for travel within the U.S. Again, we encourage all members of our community to closely follow the CDC websites for updated guidance before embarking on any travel at this time. 

Study Abroad & Institutional Travel
Many study abroad programs around the country have been modified, delayed, or even cancelled in response to COVID-19, and we are working closely with our program providers and current students to respond to rapidly changing situations. The University has decided to follow CDC guidelines and restrict nonessential travel to countries with a Warning Level 3 (widespread, sustained, ongoing transmission of the illness), which include China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Venezuela. Any students currently studying in a country at Level 3 will return home. To date, one student is returning home from Italy. 

We encourage faculty and staff who travel on behalf of the University to check with their supervisors or the appropriate administrator before embarking on your trip.

Prevention & Resources
As the CDC notes, there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus; however, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  •  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  •  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. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 unless advised by your healthcare provider.

A website has been created to share updates and other relevant information, including on-campus support resources, as well as an FAQ.

Ongoing Communication
An expanded iteration of the Crisis Management Team has been activated, and members of the group are continually monitoring the situation, responding to developments, and working with on- and off-campus resources to best support our community members who may be impacted by the spread of COVID-19. We will also continue to work closely with the Appleton Health Department to monitor coronavirus developments in our region, follow CDC guidelines as they are updated, and communicate regularly with campus through email and the website regarding this developing situation.

Our thoughts are with all Lawrentians, near and far, who have ties to the regions affected by COVID-19. It is more important than ever that we support one another during this time of uncertainty and work together to ensure that our campus remains a safe, supportive, and healthy community.

Sincerely,

Christopher Card
Vice President for Student Life
Crisis Management Team Chair (Interim)