For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.
Fri, Mar 6, 2020
I am writing to update you on COVID-19 Coronavirus and provide current information about the ways we are responding to this evolving situation. The good news: there are still no suspected cases of COVID-19 at Denison and no confirmed cases in the state of Ohio. However, the coronavirus does continue to spread, both globally and domestically and we are continuing our efforts to anticipate and plan for any outbreaks on campus. We are committed to preventing, the spread of the virus on campus, minimizing the disruption of campus, and helping all of our students complete the semester.
We believe everyone on campus shares these goals.
We have established a COVID-19 webpage and will update it frequently, including additions to the Q&A section based on questions we’ve received from community members. If you have a question that is not included on the website, please email COVID19@denison.edu.
Over the last two weeks, Denison has issued guidance to the campus to exercise extreme caution in planning international travel and to monitor travel advisories. Since then, several US states have declared emergencies in association with the virus and the global environment continues to evolve rapidly. We have restricted university-sponsored travel, both internationally and domestically, and developed post-travel protocols to maintain the health of the campus and our community.
As we head into Spring Break, we ask that you support and help our health efforts by providing information on your upcoming travel plans. We ask too that you review the guidance below, which is informed by official guidance of the State Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Please read the following with care. It is long, complicated and a little bit dense, but really important!
- Travel Registration
We have created a Travel Registration Form to log our campus community’s travel locations over Spring Break and throughout the month of March. This centralizes information on all college-sponsored travel including conferences, professional meetings, class trips, athletic events, etc. Faculty and staff who are planning university-sponsored travel are required to share these plans in the registry.
- We are asking all students to share through this form any college-sponsored or personal travel plans that will take you out of the state of Ohio.
- We are making this same request of faculty and staff with regard to personal travel.
- This information will be used to help us:
- Alert travelers returning from areas where Warning Levels have been raised, especially when self-monitoring or self-quarantining is important.
- Identify anyone who, as a result of changing travel advisories, needs to be asked to self-quarantine, as well as to provide resources and support, such as assisting with arrangements to complete coursework during the quarantine period.
- Assist with and expedite the investigation of any outbreak that might occur in our community.
- Updated International Travel Guidance and Post-Travel Planning
In addition, we are currently restricting travel to countries designated as Level 2 by the CDC.
Any student, faculty or staff member returning from a Level 3 OR Level 2 country will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus before returning. This is consistent with the most recent guidance from the CDC and is important to preventing any spread of the virus to campus.
It will be critical that anyone traveling outside the US to continue to monitor the CDC designation of countries they enter, even just for flight connections or layovers. Designations can change overnight and our practices will continue to correspond with the most recent advisories. If, for example, you travel to a country that is currently a Level 1 but that designation changes to a Level 2 while you are traveling, you will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine off campus.
- Domestic Travel
Denison is reviewing all domestic, university-sponsored travel. There is no established national standard on domestic travel. We are carefully scrutinizing university-sponsored travel to states where a health emergency has been declared. We are reviewing plans on a case-by-case basis, assessing where our students are traveling, the number of confirmed cases and their location within the state, new state and local health alerts, public information about our destinations and points of transfer, and input from the trip’s coordinator.
We encourage all members of the campus community to undertake a similar assessment of domestic locations where you plan to travel over Spring Break. We will follow any emerging CDC guidance with regard to self-quarantining for domestic travelers.
- Campus Housing
We know that the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation may have a disruptive impact on travel plans. Students can access information about spring break housing on our MyDenison page. Regular applications for on-campus housing during Spring Break have closed. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis if there are extraordinary circumstances related to the Coronavirus situation. We encourage you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org over the next 48-72 hours to begin a conversation about changing needs regarding housing.
- Prevention and Care
Finally, it is important that we continue to message that, whatever our plans in the next few weeks, we should all be taking actions to protect ourselves and one another. Below are CDC recommendations about handwashing—the most important preventative measure you can take— and other ways of reducing the spread of germs. You will soon see much more public information on campus about prevention of illness.
- Wash your hands frequently, or use commercial hand sanitizers, especially after touching objects in public areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Avoid coughing directly into your hand. When coughing or sneezing, cough into the bend of your elbow or a tissue.
- Take good care of yourself - i.e., adequate sleep, consume a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water.
If you are sick, please stay in your room and avoid contact with others while you rest and recuperate. If you need medical assistance, please call the Student Wellness Center at 740-587-6200 before traveling to Whisler. The Wellness Center will triage your symptoms over the phone and advise you on next steps. This will help reduce the spread of any illness you are experiencing, reduce your personal exposure, and speed up care in most instances. COVID 19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath and can appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Please continue to check the Denison COVID-19 webpage for additional updates and information.
We know that this is a stressful time for many in our community, and that the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 may be adding to your concerns. We wish it were otherwise, but we’ll get through this as a campus community! Our overarching concern is preserving the health of all Denisonians.
Thank you for being a part of these efforts to keep our community well.