NOTE: SINCE THIS BLOG POSTED WE HAVE ISSUED NEW GUIDANCE TO THE TRINITY COMMUNITY. PLEASE VISIT THE TRINITY CORONAVIRUS WEB PAGE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION.
In my previous blog, below, I provided the first guidance from Trinity about responding to Coronavirus. This message provides an update on the guidance at Trinity, the District of Columbia and Centers for Disease Control concerning Coronavirus.
Dear students and colleagues,
This message provides an update on the communications you received last week concerning Coronavirus (copied below). As of this morning, March 9, two cases of Coronavirus were confirmed in DC, five cases in Maryland, and two cases in Virginia. The departments of health in each jurisdiction are monitoring the spread of the virus and providing continuing advisories consistent with those issued from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As of this writing, we have no reason to change our earlier advisories to you. Our Trinity campus community remains at low risk. We urge everyone to follow the essential directions for good hygiene including frequent hand washing, using tissues when coughing or sneezing. Most important, please stay home if you are sick or if you have been in a situation where you might have been exposed to coronavirus. No one will incur any penalty for choosing to stay home if you are ill or have been in a situation of exposure to the virus, and we urge you to do so in order to help prevent the spread of infection. We ask all faculty and staff supervisors to honor this direction by supporting students and colleagues who have coronavirus-related absences.
- Students will not incur academic penalties for coronavirus-related absences and we will work with you to make sure you stay on track in your coursework.
- For employees, Trinity will not charge any short-term coronavirus-related absence against your general leave; HR will work with you if you have a need for more extended medical leave.
Communication is vital!
- If you believe you have been exposed to coronavirus even if you do not have symptoms, or certainly if you do have symptoms, please (a) stay home, and (b) contact your doctor or healthcare provider directly.
- Additionally, please notify Trinity Director of Health Services Dr. Jacqueline Newsome-Williams (202-884-9618, Newsome-WilliamsJ@trinitydc.edu) who is responsible for tracking all cases involving the Trinity community. We want to know about every case affecting the Trinity community even if you are not symptomatic; please let Dr. Newsome-Williams know your circumstances.
- If you are a resident student please stay in your room and call Health Services (202-884-9618) for further instructions. Dr. Newsome-Williams will assist you directly. We do have the ability to quarantine students who are unable to go home.
There is one important area of preparation that involves faculty and students even now, and that is being ready for any potential interruption in classroom-based instruction. This can and has happened in the past with snowstorms, power outages, and other problems that hinder “live” instruction on campus, so we are familiar with these preparations. Faculty should make sure that your course sites on Moodle are all current and sufficiently robust to support remote instruction if necessary. Dr. Ocampo and the deans will provide additional guidance on this. Students should make sure that you are using Moodle and are able to access your course web pages remotely. We will provide additional guidance for any student who is not able to do so.
For students and faculty who work in clinical settings, Dr. Ocampo and the deans will also provide additional guidance should there be any interruption in clinical accessibility.
Events and Travel
As of today, we do not see any reason to cancel any events or change any plans for campus activities. We keep evaluating the situation and this can change as new information arises.
We ask you not to travel internationally for leisure at this time. We do recognize that there may be specific circumstances requiring business or family emergency travel abroad. However, if you do need to travel abroad for business purposes or family emergencies, please be aware of CDC travel warnings for the country you are visiting, and please inform us of your plans. Please know we will likely ask you to have a two week quarantine at home upon return. You should consult with your healthcare provider prior to any international travel.
As of now, domestic travel and attendance at events off campus is at your discretion, but we do urge everyone to be cautious and follow the good hygiene rules even more carefully if you are in public settings with large crowds.
Circumstances can change quickly and we will certainly keep you informed if there is any reason to change our advisories. Dr. Jacqueline Newsome-Williams is in contact with the D.C Department of Health, and the health service directors of the Consortium of Universities are in constant contact with each other to make sure we all have the right strategies in place. Should we need to take more aggressive steps at Trinity to protect your health and to limit the spread of coronavirus, we are prepared to do so.
Many thanks to everyone for your cooperation and pro-active efforts to reduce the risk of infection by following good hygiene practices. Please let me know, as always, if you have comments or questions.
President Pat McGuire