Update: Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Dear Members of the John Carroll University Community,
We are writing today to share the steps that we are taking in response to the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. John Carroll University’s risk assessment team is meeting on a daily basis, in consultation with the Ohio Department of Health and Cuyahoga County Board of Health, to monitor the impact on our institution and prepare for future action. This situation is evolving on a daily and, sometimes, hourly basis. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our community.
OUR CAMPUS: There are presently no cases of Coronavirus on our campus or in the state of Ohio. It remains critically important that all members of our community protect themselves and others by practicing proper hygiene habits as detailed by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
TRAVEL WARNINGS AND RESPONSE FOR LEVEL 3 COUNTRIES: In recent days, in light of the updated travel warnings from the CDC and U.S. Department of State regarding Italy, the University is facilitating the return of students, faculty and staff participating in study abroad or academic trips in Italy.
Although they were not in an area with known cases of COVID-19 and their risk is low, as a precautionary measure, the individuals who are returning from Italy (or any other Level 3 country) will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine off campus at home. They will be returning to campus after the 14-day period. This decision was made with the health of these individuals and our community in mind. We will work with these individuals to minimize the impact on their academics.
HAVE YOU TRAVELED ABROAD IN THE PAST MONTH OR HAVE PLANS TO DO SO IN THE COMING MONTH? In order for John Carroll University to understand our needs and adequately prepare our community for the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please fill out this form to tell us if you have left the United States in the last 14 days or plan to do so in the coming month.
STUDY ABROAD: We have communicated with all students (and their families) who are currently in study abroad programs globally and provided them the option of returning to the United States. At this time, unless these individuals are in a Level 3 country or a country specifically identified as at risk for COVID-19, the University is not requiring them to return. Because the situation is rapidly changing, the decision regarding the the status of these current study abroad programs is being reviewed on a regular basis, and may change.
OTHER INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: Looking ahead, our risk assessment team is assessing the viability of all upcoming academic and study abroad trips for the foreseeable future. Effective today and extending through May 1, 2020, all University- sponsored international travel by faculty, staff, and students is suspended.
If you choose to travel internationally for personal reasons in the coming weeks, please fill out the JCU travel form. You should also monitor the CDC website for travel precautions and general preparedness information, as it continues to evolve every few days.
GENERAL INFORMATION: It is important to remember that, while the risk remains low in our area and there is no need to become unnecessarily alarmed, we should all keep up to date about the progress of the virus and other communicable illnesses (influenza), so that we can work to keep ourselves and our campus healthy. Our top priority is maintaining a safe environment for our campus community. We will continue to monitor this situation and adapt our plans and communications as needed.
Please continue to observe standard good hygiene practices such as:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cough into your elbow rather than your hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- Clean common surfaces such as computers, phones, and door knobs with disinfecting cleanser.
- Refrain from shaking hands when greeting people.
Please continue to refer to the CDC website for disease prevention information and John Carroll’s health updates page for additional information and FAQ’s. We will continue to communicate openly with you as this situation develops.
Steve Herbert, Ph.D.
Provost and Academic Vice President
Mark D. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs