COVID-19 FAQ

This FAQ was last updated on Monday, April 13, 2020, at 3:55 p.m. As guidance regarding COVID-19 evolves, we will continue to update this document with the most current information. Please check back frequently.

Live Q&A Webinar Recordings

View recordings of the live Q&A sessions from the afternoon of Friday, March 13 for additional information and answers to submitted questions:

Students & Families click here. (Can’t access YouTube? Click here to access the recording.)

Faculty and staff click here. (Can’t access YouTube? Click here to access the recording.)

ABOUT CORONAVIRUS 

What is a coronavirus? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause symptoms such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. The global outbreak of this novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Most people experience mild symptoms, but for some the illness is severe, and in some cases fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A global health emergency was declared in February. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic. The situation remains fluid as the virus continues to spread across the United States.

How can I best track the spread of COVID-19?

For the most up-to-date tracking of cases, we recommend the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, which frequently updates a map illustrating where cases have been confirmed.

How can I prevent the spread of illness? 

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. 
  • CDC now recommends that people wear cloth face coverings. Information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html and a demo from Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI1GxNjAjlw

What should you do if you are concerned 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

Updated: Information about symptoms, testing, and a self-check process can be found at the CDC’s Symptoms and Testing page.

Information for students regarding the Wellfleet student insurance plan can be found at: https://wellfleetstudent.com/student-well-being/coronavirus-faq-for-student-health-members/

Is Lawrence requiring students to self-isolate? 

Based upon guidance from local and state health departments, Lawrence now requires that any individual who travels to a country with a Level 2 or Level 3 CDC warning self-isolate at an off-campus location for 14 days before returning to campus. The University will work with individual community members to assist them if they do not have an option to return home or have appropriate off-campus housing. 

What other resources are there to learn more about COVID-19? 

What campus resources are available to help? 

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ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE 

What is “distance learning”? 

Distance learning is the delivery of instruction and participation in coursework through the use of technology. 

Is Lawrence going to distance learning?  

Yes. To help control the spread of COVID-19, Lawrence has gone to distance learning for the entirety of the Spring Term, using alternative modes to facilitate courses.

Are students allowed to remain on campus during Spring Term? 

Students are required to stay off campus at their permanent residence or otherwise away from campus during Spring Term and access instruction remotely. Students were allowed to petition to stay on campus during Spring Term if they are international students with travel restrictions such that they may not be able to return to their home country and have no domestic residence option; if they lack needed technology to access distance learning; or if there are other extenuating circumstances. An online form was made available for students to petition for permission to remain on campus. The petition form can be found here.   

Does this mean campus is closed? 

The campus will remain open on a very limited basis. Buildings are locked, with key card-access only. Faculty and staff are asked to work from home whenever possible. Building access of any kind is limited after 5 p.m. No in-person instruction will take place. 

When is spring term? 

Spring Term classes began remotely on April 6. Spring break was extended by one week. Spring Term will conclude as scheduled on June 10.  

How long will classes be taught remotely? 

Lawrence will be doing only remote teaching for the entirety of the Spring Term. 

How will classes be administered? 

Students are participating in these classes either from their permanent home or campus residence. In-person classes will not be offered. 

What kind of technology will be used? 

Moodle and Zoom will be the primary technology used. Information Technology Services prepared the technology to launch distance learning. 

What if I don’t have access to the necessary technology? 

The University has allowed students to stay on campus if they are unable to reasonably access technology to connect to their classes from home. Approval to stay on campus was made through a petitioning process. (See above) 

Can students return for planned summer research work? 

We are working on making a decision regarding summer activities, and details will be shared shortly. 

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COMMENCEMENT AND REUNION 

What are the plans for Commencement 2020?

Unfortunately, due to the projected length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to host Commencement 2020 on campus this academic year. We understand how impactful this decision is and how it affects the culmination of our senior scholars’ educational experience here at Lawrence. Our plan is to have a virtual ceremony on Sunday, June 14 and an in-person reunion for the class of 2020 in the coming year. We are still finalizing the details of both the virtual ceremony and the future celebration so please check back for updates. Here is a message from President Mark Burstein to our seniors and their families regarding Commencement 2020. Information will be available and updated on the Commencement webpage as well.

What are the plans for Reunion 2020?

Unfortunately, due to the projected length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to host Reunion 2020 on campus this summer. We understand the impact of this decision on those within our community as every year Reunion and all of its celebrations illuminate the lifelong Lawrence sense of belonging and highlight what it means to be a Lawrentian. Knowing Reunion is at its best in-person, we are in the process of working with volunteer leadership to determine how we will move forward to celebrate and honor Reunion 2020. Please check back for updates. Here is a message from Executive Director of Alumni and Constituency Engagement Matt Baumler to our alumni regarding Reunion 2020. Information will be available and updated on the Reunion webpage as well.

What about Bjorklunden Seminars? Will they still happen?

No decision has been made yet regarding summer seminars at Bjorklunden.

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TRAVEL AND STUDY ABROAD 

Has Lawrence restricted travel? 

Yes. The University is recommending no non-essential travel. Please be protective of yourselves, and considerate of the community, especially the vulnerable among us. This is a global pandemic. To minimize exposure/contain spread, those remaining on campus may not leave the local area and return during Spring Term. Note that travel/movement restrictions may change as the situation evolves. If you have not been approved to stay on campus, your ID card will not work. 

There will be no university-sponsored travel domestically or internationally until further notice.

Will this affect study abroad programs at Lawrence? 

Yes. All study abroad programs for spring term have been canceled. 

What if I have expenses for changes to my Lawrence-affiliated travel plans? 

Find updated guidance on coronavirus-related travel changes and cancellations here

Is there a meal plan for spring term? And how does that affect fees? 

A simplified meal service is available for spring term. Students are receiving take-out meals from the cafe in the Warch Campus Center. Andrew Commons and other areas within Warch are closed.

For students who leave campus and participate in distance learning from home or another location, student accounts will be updated to refund room and board fees and adjust need-based financial aid accordingly. For students approved to remain on campus for spring term, student accounts will be adjusted to reflect a modified board fee. Students experiencing extraordinary financial hardship should contact Financial Aid. Our goal is to maintain Lawrence’s strong commitment to affordability and ensure that finances do not prevent any Lawrentian from completing this academic year. 

More information about student accounts, bills, financial aid, and refunds can be found HERE, and this page will be updated. 

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UNIVERSITY OPERATIONS

Are faculty and staff working from home? 

In most cases, yes. The campus will remain open in a limited capacity. All faculty and staff who have the ability to do their jobs from home are encouraged to do so. When on campus, all social distancing practices should be adhered to. By keeping the University open on a limited basis, it allows us to provide our students with needed support whether they are on- or off-campus. The Center for Academic Success will continue to be a resource. 

How can I reach faculty and staff? 

The best ways to communicate with faculty and staff on campus will be via via email or phone call. 

Will my hours or pay be affected? 

Staff will continue to work their full scheduled hours and will receive regular pay. 

Who can I contact if I have more questions? 

If you have any questions about your leave, pay, or other issues regarding your employment status, please reach out to your supervisor or Human Resources. 

Will campus mail services continue?

Mail services will continue, but with changes and limitations. The mailroom is also sanitizing all packages upon receipt.  

Faculty & Staff 

Campus delivery to buildings will only happen once a day, usually between 8-10 a.m., to a pre-arranged location with each department to avoid close contact.  

Students

Students remaining on campus 

Students remaining on campus will still receive mail and packages. For package pick-up, students must arrange a time with the mailroom for a no-contact delivery. The mailroom can be reached at mail.services@lawrence.edu or 920-832-6657.

Students departing campus 

Packages are no longer being accepted for departed students now that spring term has begun. Only students living on campus can pick up packages. Other mail will be forwarded to the student at the address they requested, or to the address we have on file if the University was not provided with specific instructions. 

What should I do if I am not feeling well? 

In short, stay home. It is especially critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. For staff, faculty, and students not residing on-campus, please contact your primary care physician or local healthcare provider with questions about your health.

Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill. Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines. If remote work is an option for your position, a conversation with your supervisor, department chair, or the Provost’s Office to discuss the practicality and logistics of this arrangement should be had. The University recommends having these discussions even before an employee presents symptoms or is diagnosed. 

If you will not be reporting to work, staff employees must contact their immediate supervisor and faculty employees should contact their department chair and/or the Provost’s Office. For employees who accrue sick leave, the University’s paid sick leave policy can be found in the employee handbook. In the event a sick leave balance is exhausted, vacation time or personal day may also be utilized, where applicable.   

What if someone in my immediate household falls ill? 

Consider this situation with an abundance of caution. According to the CDC, symptoms generally appear within 2-14 days of exposure. If in doubt or if you are beginning to feel unwell, err on the side of caution. 

For employees who accrue sick leave, the University’s paid sick leave policy does cover care for sick immediate family members when they are unable to care for themselves. This policy can be found in the employee handbook. In the event a sick leave balance is exhausted, vacation time or personal day may also be utilized.           

Can I use the Lawrence University Medical Plan if I am not feeling well? 

Yes, you should use your medical insurance if you believe care from a medical professional is required.  The University benefit guide and plan documents are found on Lawrence’s website in the Human Resources Forms and Resources Library.  As a reminder, 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 benefit guide.     

Are there work related items I should consider? 

Proactive conversations regarding cross-training for critical department tasks in the event of sudden or long-term absences may be advantageous. Reviewing and updating department SOP documents should also be considered.     

If remote work is an option for your position, consider setting up your personal technology devices to support this.  The Technology Services Office can assist you with this process and any requirements.  

The University’s custodial services team will be exceptionally focused on keeping our campus clean; however, employees can support these efforts by keeping their workspaces and common areas tidy and spot clean or sanitize as appropriate.  

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FINANCES AND TUITION 

How will charges be adjusted for students during spring term? 

For students who leave campus and participate in distance learning from home or another location, student accounts will be updated to refund room and board fees and adjust need-based financial aid accordingly. For students approved to remain on campus for spring term, student accounts will be adjusted to reflect a modified board fee. Students experiencing extraordinary financial hardship should contact Financial Aid. Our goal is to maintain Lawrence’s strong commitment to affordability and ensure that finances do not prevent any Lawrentian from completing this academic year. 

More information about student accounts, bills, financial aid, and refunds can be found HERE, and this page will be updated in the coming days. 

I have made payments for a non-Lawrence but affiliated off-campus study program, including airfare. What reimbursement options do I have? 

Many programs have policies regarding reimbursement if the program does not move forward. Please work with the Office of Off-Campus Studies regarding your options.  

Can I take a leave for spring term and get reimbursed for tuition as well as room and board? 

Yes, students may go on leave for spring term. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor and the Center for Academic Success before making this decision and should carefully consider how a term of leave may affect their path to on-time graduation. Tuition, room, and board would be reimbursed following normal procedures for students going on leave for a term. If a student decides to go on leave after Term III classes commence, tuition, room and board charges may be pro-rated. See the catalog for details here

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CAMPUS EVENTS, SPRING SPORTS, THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC

Will concerts and lectures that are open to the public be held? 

No. All of the University’s public performances and lecture events during Spring Term have been canceled. If you purchased tickets to a Jazz Series or Artist Series event, please contact the Lawrence University Box Office for refund information. Box_Office@lawrence.edu or 920-920-832-6749.

What about non-University events that are booked on campus?

With an increased risk of outbreaks at gatherings and large community events, and following guidance from state and local public health agencies, we decided to cancel all events on the Lawrence campus between March 19 and June 10. Lawrence will be assessing events that will be happening over the summer as well. 

Will athletics teams continue to compete during the spring seasons?

No. After consultation with the spring sport coaches who have been in more than daily communication with their scholar-athletes and with the continuing shift toward Midwest Conference institutions suspending portions, if not all, of their own spring sports seasons, Lawrence University will be cancelling the remainder of the spring sports seasons effective immediately.

Will lessons at the Academy of Music continue?

No. Due to the COVID-19 virus, all Academy programming will be suspended until further notice. The Academy building will be closed to the public during this time. See this letter from the Academy of Music Director for more details.

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What if I have questions about the admissions process?

You can find answers to frequently asked questions about the admissions process and visits here.

Have more questions? 

We are providing contact emails that relate to particular areas of concern. If you have questions about your particular personal situation, we encourage you to reach out to those contacts with your question.

Academics: dean_faculty@lawrence.edu 

Conservatory: brian.g.pertl@lawrence.edu

Technology: helpdesk@lawrence.edu 

Off Campus Programs: OffCampusPrograms@Lawrence.edu 

Housing: deanofstudents@lawrence.edu 

Financial Aid: financial.aid@lawrence.edu 

Student Accounts: (billing and refunds): student_accounts@lawrence.edu 

Campus Life: deanofstudents@lawrence.edu 

On-campus events: events@lawrence.edu 

Athletics: christyn.abaray@lawrence.edu 

International student services: leah.d.mcsorley@lawrence.edu 

Travel restrictions: deanofstudents@lawrence.edu   

Faculty & Staff: humanresources@lawrence.edu 

Wellness Services: wellnessservices@lawrence.edu 

Center for Academic Success: cas@lawrence.edu     

Admissions: admissions@lawrence.edu        

Additional Questions Email: coronainfo@lawrence.edu