For Students, Faculty, and Staff, from Interim President Laurie Quinn
At this time, there are NO suspected or known cases on our campus or in the Burlington area. Our campus team, including representatives from my office, student affairs, student health/medical director, safety, academic technology, international education, communications, and risk management, are meeting regularly and additionally as needed to respond in real time to conditions.
We have established a coronavirus update page on The View which we will keep current with the latest updates from the College as well as the State Department, Centers for Disease Control, and World Health Organization.
Spring Break begins March 9th, and we know that many faculty, staff and students have travel plans. We are launching a Voluntary Travel Registry for Champlain campus students, faculty and staff, and I ask that you please log the basic information about any travel plans you have in the U.S. or internationally in this form. The information will not be shared beyond members of the planning and response team, but collecting your plans allows us to be informed as conditions evolve.
The coronavirus has spread beyond China and South Korea and appears to be expanding rapidly across Europe from an epicenter in northern Italy. The situation is changing quickly, with new cases reported in the past few days in countries including, but not limited to, the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Brazil, and France. Travel to affected areas, particularly China, South Korea, and Italy, is highly discouraged. We have cancelled the Freeman Foundation summer 2020 program in China.
At this time the College has not cancelled any official travel to other destinations, but the situation is active and being evaluated on a case-by-case basis; we may make such cancellations if the situation warrants. We are experiencing cancellations of events in both international and domestic locations that have affected travel plans by College individuals and groups. Please see an ongoing list of these events here.
The College is in frequent contact with our campuses in Montreal and Dublin and at other study abroad locations; those students have received site-specific recommendations regarding precautions related to COVID-19. If you have questions or concerns about traveling on a college-related trip, please contact the trip leaders or the appropriate college department.
Managers should provide flexibility for any work-related travel obligations. No one will be required to travel on College business, although with prudent evaluation of specific circumstances, travel should continue to be possible.
Champlain community members and others who decide to travel to areas at risk, or areas that become at risk, need to consider that:
- You may not be able to leave an area or you may be placed in quarantine by local health authorities in the country of travel.
- You may be placed in a mandatory quarantine upon return to the United States by local health authorities.
- You may not be allowed to return to the United States should your travel location develop into a risk area.
- You may be told to self-quarantine either in the United States or in another country should you travel in an area that is considered, or is later considered to be ‘at risk’.
At this time, the CDC has issued “Warning Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel” advisories for China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. As the situation evolves, the College may need to screen individuals returning from other locations in accordance with updated CDC Travel Guidelines.
If you choose to travel, maintaining vigilance and good hygiene is critical. The CDC recommends the following:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Preparing and Staying Informed:
Faculty members can best prepare in two ways: 1. Ensure that you have an active Canvas environment for all of your courses. The Center for Learning and Teaching offers excellent resources to help you plan wisely for virtual teaching. 2. Proactively clarify your attendance and absence guidelines with your students. No student should come to class ill, and I ask our faculty for their flexibility and understanding as we all strive for a healthy community.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to communicate with the entire campus community if/when CDC guidelines change and as needed. All of us can prepare by staying home in the event of any symptoms of illness, and supporting colleagues should they need to do so.
To stay informed, please visit the CDC and World Health Organizations websites where you will find the most up-to-date and accurate information:
Our Community Commitments:
On a final note, please be conscious that this virus continues to impact our country and many other countries around the world. While viruses do not discriminate, unfortunately, humans sometimes do so. Please report any concerns regarding bias through the Champlain College Bias Incident Report Form. Resources for our international community on campus are based at the Office of International Student Services (OISS) in Skiff Hall, Rooms 204/205.
Laurie Quinn, Ph.D.