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)