Thank you to all members of the Clarkson community for your diligence in reviewing information on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website and taking additional precautionary measures regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) as you go about your daily routines and make decisions. The University has established a website with easy access to Federal and New York State resources as well as campus information.
We recognize that many of you will be leaving campus during Spring Break. As of March 10th, University-sponsored Spring Break international trips will continue with some changing their original itineraries. All travelers are reminded to follow University protocols as previously communicated.
The current plan is that we will return to campus following spring break to continue the semester as planned. We will continue to monitor and take guidance from New York State and Federal representatives on all plans. As a precautionary measure, students are advised to take what they need from their rooms before leaving campus for spring break, i.e.: all textbooks, notes, course materials, laptops, etc., with them so that if they had to continue their coursework online without returning to campus, that they have these materials.
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory illness that can cause a range of symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and fever. It can be more severe for some and lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the Student Health and Counseling Center will shift from having walk-in hours to a call-in center to get an appointment for ALL medical and counseling needs to ensure the health and safety of all students who may be in the clinic. Students who have symptoms or think they may have been exposed should call the Student Health Center at (315) 268-6633 for guidance. For assistance after hours, please call Campus Safety at 315-268-6666.
For background, the following are the CDC Travel Alert Levels protocols regarding countries where you may travel during Spring Break:
- Watch Level 1 – Travelers should practice usual precautions
- Alert Level 2 – Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing travel.
- Warning Level 3 – no nonessential travel
- Warning Level 3 alters your travel itinerary
- Protocol will require return from country and enact 14-day stay at home protocols
- Warning Level 4 – no travel and potential travel restrictions to U.S.
- Strong potential for mandatory quarantine through U.S. Department of Health
Every effort will be made to identify academic progress needs and implement a solution to allow for semester completion if these restrictions impact your return to campus.
The New York State Department of Public Health is also asking institutions to report student travel to countries impacted by COVID-19 since February 3, 2020. Refer to the earlier campus email announcement.
Personal Travel During Spring Break
Members of the Clarkson Community who plan to travel during Spring Break should be aware of the above guidelines and potential impacts to return travel, here and abroad. If returning from personal travel abroad, there may be an increased likelihood of a quarantine period, depending on areas visited.
Clarkson is asking anyone who travels to a country with a Level 2 or 3 Alert to follow the current 14-day isolation protocols and confirm they are not sick before returning to campus. At this time, we are asking anyone who has traveled to a location designated by the CDC as a Level 2 or 3 risk to not attend any Clarkson events within 14 days of travel, and the same from individuals who have been active in specific geographies or groups with known outbreaks. We are asking anyone who is sick or believes they may have been in contact with someone who is sick to stay home.
Employees should contact Human Resources if you have questions regarding the isolation protocols and how it impacts you. Human Resources can answer questions surrounding leave options and concerns you may have with continuation of your salary. Contact Traci Giffin in HR at 315-268-2222.
Students should contact Jeffrey Taylor, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and International Initiatives if they have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 315-268-5978.
We will continue to monitor updates and implement directives from local, state and federal agencies and international health organizations. Members of the Emergency Planning Team are convening regularly to ensure coordination of information and best practices including increasing custodial staff time focused on disinfecting fixtures such as railings, door handles and dispensers.
Just as we are monitoring international travel advisories, we are also monitoring domestic notices/advisories from the New York State Department of Health and relevant Federal agencies. Community members who will be traveling domestically during their break are encouraged to exercise appropriate personal hygiene habits that prevent the spread of germs – see the preventive steps below. For those who believe they have encountered someone who is ill or traveled to an area with reported illnesses, please seek the guidance of your health care provider before returning to campus.
Please continue to exercise good personal health practices and take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. This includes:
- Washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Seek medical attention if you are sick and limit contact with others.
For more detailed information about COVID-19, we encourage you to reference the materials being shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.