February 26, 2020: Update on global coronavirus emergency

From: Rob Rosenthal and Mike Whaley
Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 6:02 PM
Subject: Update on global coronavirus emergency

To the campus community:

We are writing with an update on the global coronavirus emergency, as it impacts the Wesleyan community. There are no suspected cases at Wesleyan, nor in Connecticut.

To date, clusters of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and its spread is difficult to predict. Moreover, the U.S. Department of State has made the decision not to allow re-entry into the U.S. for travelers returning from mainland China who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. As the threat of COV-19 expands, these restrictions could very well extend to other countries. Therefore, the University is recommending that students, faculty, and staff do not travel internationally.

If there are urgent conditions, such as a family emergency, that require you to travel, please take precautions by registering with International SOS and using their service for pre-trip advice. You should also closely track and follow the relevant advisories from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has indicated it is likely that COVID-19 will spread widely in the U.S. in the future, and we are actively making preparations for such a scenario. We encourage everyone to take reasonable, common sense measures to keep yourself healthy such as washing hands and not sharing drinks.

As you may know, our campus remains open over spring break and students are permitted to remain in residences. Food services and other supports will be available on campus.

Given the rapid spread of coronavirus around the world, we’re also closely monitoring the situation in countries where our students are studying abroad, particularly those with confirmed clusters of coronavirus. A program in South Korea, in which several of our students are enrolled, has been cancelled, and our Office of Study Abroad is working to either enroll these students in different study abroad programs or bring them back to the U.S. We are consistently evaluating the situation in Italy, and making determinations about our Bologna program there. Our Paris program is not currently affected, though France has recommended isolation and quarantines for travelers returning from affected areas.

If you have questions about services over spring break, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at (860) 685-2772. Questions about study abroad can be directed to Associate Director of Study Abroad Emily Gorlewski at egorlewski@wesleyan.edu.

As this disease spreads, we are mindful of members of our community from these areas as well as their families and friends dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic. Please let us know if there are ways that we can offer support in the coming days and weeks.

We will keep the university community updated as this situation evolves.

Rob Rosenthal

Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mike Whaley

Vice President for Student Affairs