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March 4: Information about travel abroad

March 4, 2020

Augustana College has established an institutional response team regarding COVID-19. That team is carefully monitoring information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state departments, as well as our state and local health departments, and will create contingency plans as appropriate. The response team meets regularly and is prepared to respond to changing developments.

In particular, this response team will continue to evaluate all of Augustana's international travel programs and consult the appropriate agencies prior to making decisions or recommendations.

The college will take deliberate actions about students traveling abroad based on three things: (1) the State Department and CDC travel warning/advisory system, (2) Augustana’s guiding principles, and (3) Augustana’s interim policy on international travel. (Information available here: https://www.augustana.edu/about-us/news/information-statement-regarding-coronavirus)

As of March 4, Augustana has decided to cancel the spring semester programs in China, South Korea and Japan, based on the CDC’s risk assessment. At this time, eight study abroad programs still are scheduled to take place this summer. Decisions about whether or not to postpone or cancel summer trips will be made in April.

Additionally, because the public health situation is continually changing and we know that risk tolerance varies by individual, students and their families should make the final decision about what is best for their situation. Augustana staff will work with students on a case-by-case basis to support and help them navigate the completion of their academic work. Students who have questions about plans for future travel should contact me at pedrobidegaray@augustana.edu or 309-794-3463.

Augustana's focus is on the health and wellness of all members of our campus community and their families. Our campus community also has a tremendous network of family members, alumni and prospective students around the world. While our hearts go out to all impacted, our focus is squarely on the health of all of our students, employees and visitors.

Sincerely,

Dr. Pedro Bidegaray
Director of International and Off-Campus Programs
pedrobidegaray@augustana.edu
Phone: 309-794-3463