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March 5, 2020 Message to campus From ESU President

Communication from President Allison Garrett

March 5, 2020

Dear Hornet Nation,

As you prepare to leave campus for Spring Break, I wanted to update you on Emporia State University’s efforts to monitor the evolving situation around COVID-19 (coronavirus) and work to keep our campus community healthy.

Currently, there are no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas or on our campus. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus.

In general, I ask you to continue the preventive measures you would use for the flu season over Spring Break, whether you stay here or travel.

Although the CDC does not see an immediate risk in the United States, circumstances around the world have led global health agencies to warn that the COVID-19 virus will cause a pandemic. Because of this, ESU officials are preparing for possible future needs. Those involved serve in our Critical Incident Planning Group and in Student Wellness, Emergency Management and campus leadership. These campus teams meet regularly to update ESU’s pandemic plan and modify it as new information about COVID-19 is communicated. These people are in constant contact with national, state and local health officials, as well as colleagues at other universities.

As classes resume following Spring Break, please pay attention to your own health needs and take precautions not to spread any illness you may have. This includes staying home if you have a fever. Best practices call for self-isolation when you have a fever. It is best for everyone if instructors, students and staff do not have to choose between academic and workplace concerns and staying home while potentially contagious.

Institution-related Travel

Both the CDC and U.S. Department of State currently issue travel warnings about countries dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks. Right now, countries listed by the CDC as Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel by the CDC are China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

ESU’s Office of International Education is aware of all current and future plans for students to study abroad and faculty to lead groups to international destinations. Currently, we have no students located in nor immediate plans for students or faculty to travel to the Level 3 countries listed.

As of today, we will suspend all institution-related travel both to and from countries or regions listed with Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel advisories from the CDC or Level 4: Do Not Travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State based on COVID-19.

In addition, all faculty, staff and students considering international travel are asked to reach out to the Office of International Education at oisa@emporia.edu. This keeps the university aware of potential travel, and gives you access to the latest information about travel advisories.

Finally, we have included Frequently Asked Questions, specific information about prevention and links to the CDC website on a university web page dedicated to COVID-19. You can access that information here.

Please do not let all of this information ruin your Spring Break. You have earned a rest, and I hope you will find time to relax and recharge your batteries to finish the spring semester.

Respectfully,

Allison D. Garrett
President