Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As you have seen reported in the news media, there continue to be new updates on the spread of the coronavirus (now more accurately referred to as COVID-19). Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has significant risks designated for China and South Korea (both at a Level 3) and elevated advisory levels for Italy and Japan (at a Level 2).
The College’s Incident Action Group is meeting regularly to address impacts on our community both at home and abroad.
As of now, two of the universities with which Lafayette is affiliated (Gonzaga and Syracuse) have cancelled their study abroad programs in Italy. We have been in touch with Lafayette students in those programs and are working collaboratively with the students and their programs’ leadership to provide support as students transition back to the United States. There are Lafayette students continuing to study through the affiliated program at Temple University’s Rome campus which remains open. The Lafayette students who have had their program disrupted will work with their host institutions to complete their academic coursework through distance learning for the remainder of the semester. The College will work to support these students as we recognize the disappointment of having one’s study abroad program come to an unexpected end. We are also advising all of our students studying abroad to monitor notices from the U.S. government, local officials, program leadership and our study abroad office with respect to health alerts.
Spring Break Travel
Looking ahead to spring break, we strongly encourage members of the campus community who may be traveling internationally to consider the potential ramifications of their travel destinations and utilize resources from the CDC and the World Health Organization for travel advice. In particular, travel to Level 3 countries is not advised. As we have seen in the last several weeks, restrictions can change daily and the possibility of a governmental quarantine could impact travelers’ ability to reenter the United States. All members of the community are advised to exercise special attention to hygiene while travelling and to stay abreast of any new information that may emerge about increased risk in locations in the U.S. or abroad.
On campus, our facilities team has increased cleaning and disinfecting efforts in highly-trafficked areas and residential buildings, as part of the response to COVID-19 and seasonal influenza. As we continue to monitor the situation, the College may deploy additional measures in dining and other facilities. For now, the best defense on our campus is to remain vigilant and take precautions to minimize the risk of all contagious infectious diseases. We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses:
The College has established a COVID-19 information webpage that includes previous campus communications and links to information about COVID-19.
We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with the campus as needed. While the risk to our community remains low, staying well informed about this evolving situation and following the guidance of public health officials will help ensure that our community stays healthy and safe.
Vice President for Campus Life