March 5, 2020
Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community,
At Emmanuel, our greatest commitment is to the safety and well-being of all members of our community. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread, we are fortunate that, in Massachusetts, the risk of contracting the virus remains very low, and we have had no identified cases of the illness on campus.
With the approach of Spring Break, however, it is important that all of us—in particular those planning to travel outside of the United States—remain aware of developments related to COVID-19 and take careful measures to safeguard personal and public health. Please take a few moments to read the guidelines and information below from our Emergency Preparedness Committee.
I wish all of our students and faculty a safe, enriching and joyful break.
Sister Janet Eisner, SNDdeN
Spring Break: Know Before You Go
- It is important to note that there are no identified cases of COVID-19 within the Emmanuel College community, and the risk within Boston remains low. That said, this is a fluid situation that we are monitoring daily. We encourage all members of the community to remain vigilant and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
- If you feel ill, contact your healthcare provider by phone for guidance. Symptoms including fever, coughing and shortness of breath should be reported. Students on campus during spring break should contact recommended urgent care providers or primary care physician.
- Anyone traveling to a CDC Level-3 or Level-2 country may have difficulty returning to the U.S. and may be subject to a quarantine based on changing protocols on the national and international level. Members of the Emmanuel College community returning from these countries would be asked, at minimum, to remain off campus and self-quarantined for 14 days.
- The College is developing plans for any students not able to self-quarantine off campus due to distance and other factors, as well as for business continuity protocols for faculty and staff who may need to work from home.
- On a case-by-case basis, the College’s administration will work with any student who may be asked to self-quarantine to develop a plan to address the academic responsibilities occurring during the 14-day self-quarantine period.
- In the future, the College may use the RAVE emergency alert system for communications related to COVID-19. Students, faculty and staff can log into RAVE here using Emmanuel credentials to update information, including parent and family contacts. Please note, you do not have to establish or change your password.
- Any questions or concerns about any of these updates should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful Links for Travel Updates on Coronavirus
International SOS Assistance App
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
March 3, 2020
Emmanuel’s senior administration has continued to monitor the recommendations coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department, and the Boston Public Health Commission as it relates to the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Based on the latest developments and risk assessment, the following are updates since the college-wide communication sent on February 27th.
- We learned late last week that our study abroad partners planned to cease operations in Italy, which is at a CDC Warning Level-3, and we have been working to support 14 students as they prepare to return to the U.S. in the coming days. These students will be able to complete their studies remotely via the program provider, and we have instructed them to refrain from visiting the Emmanuel College campus for 14 days. Based on local and national agency recommendations, we are asking these students to self-quarantine/self-isolate at home to monitor for any symptoms during the 14-day time period. An FAQ has been developed for these students and is being updated daily.
- Additionally, Emmanuel students are studying abroad in countries that have not been assigned a formal risk level. Our program providers are continuing to operate as planned in these countries at this time. Based on the CDC’s Guidance for Student Foreign Travel for Institutions of Higher Education, which encourages postponing or canceling study abroad programs, Emmanuel College is reaching out to these students and their families to offer assistance in returning to the U.S. should they choose to and in developing an academic plan for the remainder of the semester.
- Upcoming college-sponsored short-term trips abroad in the spring, summer, and fall have been canceled. At this time, these include faculty-led trips to Greece, India, Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, and Spain. This is also based on the above CDC recommendations.
- On February 28th, Emmanuel sent travel surveys to all students, faculty, and staff to gain an understanding of planned personal travel. Those planning trips outside of the U.S. which are not college-sponsored are strongly encouraged to take CDC recommendations into consideration. Any member of the community returning to the U.S. from a country identified as a risk may be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine away from the Emmanuel College campus.
- While the current risk in Massachusetts is very low, we continue to encourage all members of the community to recognize symptoms of illness, which can include a high fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. Practicing good hygiene, including thorough hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding sharing food, cups or utensils, is critical to minimizing the spread of any illness.
- Additional updates will be shared with the community over the course of the week, as all travel-based programs are discussed and recommendations of local and national agencies are considered. We advise all to read the CDC’s FAQ on COVID-19.
February 27, 2020
To the Emmanuel College Community:
The College’s senior administration has been closely monitoring updates on the rapidly changing novel coronavirus outbreak worldwide. Cases of this respiratory disease, first identified in China, are being diagnosed in increasing numbers in other countries, most notably in South Korea, Italy, and Japan. As students, faculty and staff are preparing for travel during the College’s upcoming spring break, we are tracking daily the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department, and the Boston Public Health Commission.To that end, it is possible in the coming days that changes will need to be made to plans for college-sponsored travel programs, particularly ones with overseas itineraries. The College is also working closely with study abroad partners to monitor the safety of students currently studying internationally.
While the risk for residents of Boston is currently very low, with only one confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Massachusetts, the College encourages vigilance in terms of protecting your health, particularly for those who have traveled to an affected area recently. It is important for all members of the community to:
- recognize the symptoms of illness, which can include a high fever, cough, and difficulty breathing
- seek care and immediately notify the College if you have recently traveled within the affected region and are experiencing these symptoms
- always practice good hygiene, wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing food, cups or utensils
- get a flu shot, which is having a positive effect this year; while the flu shot does not protect from this particular virus, it is recommended that all members of the Emmanuel community be vaccinated
Any member of the Emmanuel community who has traveled from China or an international location where there is substantial, sustained transmission of coronavirus within the past 14 days and is experiencing symptoms such as those described above should immediately contact the Director of Health Services Lauren Davis at email@example.com.
The offices of Student Affairs and Human Resources will be reaching out to all students, faculty and staff to gather information on upcoming non-college sponsored travel plans. Following spring break, new protocols may be in place, depending on the latest developments and recommendations of national and local agencies.
Please note that all communications both internally and externally are being handled centrally by a campus preparedness task force. Official information will continue to be shared with the Emmanuel community by email in addition to updates posted to the dedicated webpage as this situation develops. Any media inquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions on this information should be directed to email@example.com.