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March 10: Communication to campus and parents

March 10, 2020

With spring break approaching, we want to offer guidance and steps the college is taking in relation to travel to help keep community members safe.

It is important to note at this time there are no confirmed cases in the Quad-Cities region, nor on campus. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is, however, spreading quickly worldwide, and we actively are preparing for the appearance of the virus in our region.

Members of the Augustana campus community — students, staff and faculty — with personal international travel plans over spring break are strongly encouraged to reconsider their travel plans. Travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) based on the spread of COVID-19 are quickly evolving and must be carefully monitored, along with guidance and expectations issued by the college.

The college's travel policies also are informed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which may impose additional requirements of travelers, including quarantine periods, separate from the requirements listed below.

Travel to an international location designated by CDC as Level 2 or Level 3

Any member of our community — including staff, faculty and students — who plans to travel to a country designated as Level 2 or Level 3 by the CDC due to the coronavirus must inform the Dean of Students Office if they are a student, or the Human Resources Office if they are an employee, of their travel plans in advance of departure. Should the designation of an international destination be increased to a Level 2 or above during a trip, the individual traveling must provide notice to the college as soon as possible.

Upon return, the individual traveling will be required to:

1. Inform the Dean of Students Office (if a student), or the Human Resources Office (if an employee) of their return date; and
2. Complete a self-isolation period (currently 14 days) before returning to campus; and
3. Confirm in writing to the Dean of Students Office or Human Resources that they have exhibited no symptoms of a COVID-19 infection before returning to campus.

Students who need assistance in identifying a location for self-isolation should work with the Dean of Students Office, as limited options will be available to provide for self-isolation in college-owned houses.

Employees must work with Human Resources to discuss leave options available during any required self-isolation period.

Domestic travel

At this time, there are no restrictions on domestic personal or college-business travel. Of course, travelers should follow all steps outlined by the CDC to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses such as COVID-19. There are areas in the United States that are experiencing community spread of COVID-19, and travel to these areas should be limited or canceled.

Future changes and flexibility

Please be aware that the situation is being monitored on a daily basis, and restrictions on travel — whether internationally or domestically — are subject to change. This means hat a trip that was approved today could be declined tomorrow.

We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to promote the safest environment for everyone.