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COVID-19

Sam Jones, chair of W&M's emergency management team and Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs sent the following messages to the campus community regarding COVID-19. - Ed.

May 28 | Campus operations through June 30, 2020
 
April 8 | COVID-19 Update XIX: Summer sessions, Zoom and more
 
March 30 | COVID-19 Update XVIII: Governor's "stay-at-home" order
 
March 20 | COVID-19 Update XVII: Office remain closed to public walk-in traffic, other updates
 
March 18 | COVID-19 update XVI -- W&M Building access
 
March 17 | COVID-19 Update XV - Important Campus Update
 
March 16 | COVID-19 Update XIV – Governor’s Directive
 
March 14 | COVID-19 Important Update XIII: Confirmed Case
 
March 13 | Update XII: COVID-19 - Operational Details
 
March 12 | Update XI: COVID-19 - Important Update II
 
March 12 | Update X: COVID-19 - Important Update
 
March 9 | Update IX: COVID-19 - Planning & Preparation
 
March 6 | Update VIII: COVID-19 - Spring Break
 
March 4 | Update VII: COVID-19 - Spring Break & Ongoing Communications
 
March 2 | Update VI: COVID-19 - New Travel Restrictions
 
Feb. 28 | Update V: COVID-19 - Action/Resources
 
Feb. 26 | Update IV: New Travel Advisories/Spring Break
 
Feb. 14 | Update III: Informational Health Advisory – Novel Coronavirus
 
Jan. 31 | Update II: Informational Health Advisory – Novel Coronavirus
 
Jan. 28 | Update: Informational Health Advisory
 
Jan. 25 | Informational Health Advisory

 

Campus operations through June 30, 2020

May 28, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

First, thank you from the Emergency Management Team for your ongoing support in managing campus activities and programs as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move into the summer months, a few reminders follow.

At this time, campus buildings remain locked and closed to the public. As President Rowe mentioned in her May 19 message, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Phase I reopening of state businesses does not change this. Teleworking is, and should continue to be, the norm on campus through at least June 30. Supervisors should continue to be flexible in this matter. Only personnel who must be on campus to conduct university business should be in university facilities.

Employees who must be on campus should continue to follow the CDC’s COVID-19 safe health guidelines. Consistent with those guidelines and the governor’s May 26 Executive Order, all individuals on campus will be required to wear a cloth face covering in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained and in all shared areas of buildings. In the coming days and weeks, additional signage will be going up in campus buildings as a reminder of these guidelines. 

For any employees who must be on campus, please remember to:

  • Lock doors behind you as you enter and leave any building;
  • Maintain a small, dedicated footprint (enter by the same door, visit the same office, use the same restroom);
  • Depart campus as soon as business is complete. Limiting your time on campus helps make the work environment safer for those who must be here.  Note that recreation areas remain closed.

We anticipate more specific guidance from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Education Work Group to be forthcoming and will update these guidelines, including those related to face coverings, accordingly.

The university’s Plan Ahead effort as well as the work of the Emergency Management Team continues as we prepare for students to return this fall.  We continue to monitor CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines as well as guidance from the governor as Virginia stages a phased re-opening. On campus, we are focused on being ready to safely re-open in the fall. The results of these efforts will be phased in throughout the summer.

Please continue to access the university’s COVID-19 website as the central source of information.

Stay well and safe.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair

Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs

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COVID-19 Update XIX: Summer sessions, Zoom and more

April 8, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated many changes in a short period of time in both our work and personal lives. We understand it is a lot to navigate. The university as a whole is working hard to provide you with both regular updates and the resources you need. The central source of all of this information remains our COVID-19 website.

Here are some updates and reminders regarding current university operations.

  • Summer sessions and research. Both summer sessions are planned for remote delivery. The Provost sent detailed guidance about these and other summer programs to the campus community yesterday, April 7. Additional guidance for students, including information about final move-out, will be forthcoming.
  • Telework. Telework should be the norm not the exception. All employees who can should be teleworking. This directive is now extended through June 12. Because the university remains operational, some employees still will be on campus. EH&S is working with all departments to ensure this is being done with care for the safety of all employees. If your job duties require that you be on campus, please follow all the social distancing and health safety guidelines recommended by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Employees who have concerns or supervisors who have questions should contact HR.
  • Zoom security. Make sure that you are regularly applying Zoom software client updates and utilizing the best practices IT has shared for meeting security.
  • Hiring freeze. The university is under a hiring freeze until further notice and is filling only positions that are required to maintain continuity of operations. Already extended offers are proceeding. The state’s hiring freeze announced last week does not further impact the university’s hiring freeze.
  • Events and travel. University event and travel restrictions are also extended through June 12.

Also a reminder that President Rowe is conducting live-virtual Community Conversation events each Wednesday at noon. A complete archive of these events is available online.

Stay well and safe.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs

 

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COVID-19 Update XVIII: Governor's "stay-at-home" order

March 30, 2020

Dear William & Mary community,

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order this afternoon. This order reinforces the guidelines on social distancing and restriction on congregating in groups of ten or more people he previously recommended. The new order does not impact our current operations.

The directive is based on the advice of national and state health officials and continues to mean that all employees who can telework should do so. Faculty who must be on campus to conduct a lecture, should maintain a dedicated footprint (enter by the same door, visit the same office, use the same restroom) while in a university facility and then leave campus as soon as possible. Essential personnel should continue to be in contact with their supervisors.

While the COVID-19 outbreak is far from over, either in our region or nationwide, we are at a pivot point operationally on campus. Moving forward, in addition to communication from the Emergency Management Team you will also receive communications directly from departments and units.

The university’s COVID-19 website will remain a central source of information. We encourage you to refer to it often. This site was redesigned last week, we hope you find that helpful. If you have a question that is not addressed in the FAQs, you may continue to submit them at the bottom of that page.

Stay well and safe.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs
COVID-19 Update XVII: Office remain closed to public walk-in traffic, other updates

March 20, 2020

Dear William & Mary community,

Last weekend we announced that university offices would be temporarily closed to the public for walk-in access. Given the advice of federal, state and local health officials, we are extending that restriction through at least May 1.

University offices remain operational and all employees who can work remotely should plan to telework through at least the end of the semester. This measure is part of a coordinated effort to support social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our area. Employees should not be on campus just because they prefer to work from their W&M office. Additionally, any member of this community who has been asked by public health officials to self-quarantine or self-isolate must follow those directives and should not be on campus.

Please understand that these steps are being taken with the health and wellness of our entire community in mind. Everyone’s cooperation is greatly appreciated. Essential employees should continue to be in touch with their supervisors for their assignments.

There has been a lot of information on a variety of topics this week. Our COVID-19 web hub, www.wm.edu/coronavirus, is the best central source for all information related to the university’s COVID-19 response. Highlighted below are a couple of items announced this week:

  • Residence halls will close for the remainder of the spring semester for all students on Wednesday, March 25. Details related to this closure are available on the Residence Life website. Any residential student, including graduate and international students, with an issue or concern related to this should contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@wm.edu. We want to emphasize that in these difficult times, we remain committed to our William & Mary values of belonging and respect. This office is assisting students, international and domestic, in identifying viable options for accommodation based upon their individual situations, and they are in touch with those students.
  • In addition to university offices being closed to the public, university buildings are in a “locked, but not closed” status. Under this status, employees are reminded they need their card key or manual key to enter buildings. Students who are still on campus have access to their residence hall (until March 25) and the Commons.
  • And a couple of academic updates:
    • Pass/Fail. The Provost’s Office has announced that Pass/Fail grading will be available for undergraduate courses through the end of the semester. Additional details are available on the University Registrar’s
    • No Decision on Commencement. As President Rowe announced in her March 19 message to the W&M community, any decision on Commencement has been postponed until April.
    • Summer Study Abroad. In light of COVID-19 developments around the world, including the US Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel as well as increasing travel restrictions in many countries, W&M has made the decision to cancel all summer study abroad programs.  Students and faculty directly affected by these cancellations have been notified, and we are working to help support students as they adjust their academic plans.
    • Remote Teaching & Learning. All in-person classes will be taught remotely beginning Monday, March 23 and continuing through the end of the semester. Resources are available online to faculty, staff and students for both connecting remotely to university resources and faculty for remote teaching and learning strategies.

Also, we’d liked to remind each of you to take care of yourself. We have all experienced a lot of change in recent weeks and we need to take care of both our physical health and mental health. To aid in this, the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center has transitioned its in-house services to online delivery. We understand they had 160 members of our community “at” a yoga class this week. See the options at www.wm.edu/wellness/virtual. On that site is a special article on flourishing during unexpected change. We hope it will be a valuable resource for this community as we explore how to healthfully manage the wide range of emotions and thoughts associated with this challenging time. 

In true W&M fashion, look out for yourself and one another.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs
COVID-19 update XVI -- W&M Building access

March 18, 2020

Dear William & Mary Community,

In accordance with local and federal guidance, William & Mary continues to take steps to protect the campus community and do our best to slow the spread of COVID-19.

With that in mind, effective this morning, William & Mary is instituting a “locked, but not closed” policy for all W&M buildings, including VIMS. This means W&M buildings will be locked and only accessible by electronic or manual key to faculty, staff and students who require entry. The university is also asking our community members to always lock doors behind them when entering a facility. If you require entry, but do not have a key, please contact W&M Police at 757-221-4596.

William & Mary closed all offices to the public on March 16, and advised employees to work remotely wherever possible. Students have been strongly urged to physically leave campus if they can; only limited services are available and access may be restricted further in the coming days.

The W&M Post Office is currently open with limited access from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The post office can be accessed through the sliding doors next to the Sadler Center loading dock. Community members whose buildings are locked can call 757-221-4491 to make arrangements for pick-up or delivery.

University leadership continues to work diligently on this situation and we will provide updates as we know more. Please continue to reference www.wm.edu/coronavirus as the best source for all W&M-related information, including answers to frequently-asked questions, on COVID-19.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair

Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs

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COVID-19 Update XV - Important Campus Update

March 17, 2020

Dear William & Mary community,

We know you have received a number of messages from the university in recent days regarding COVID-19. Thank you for your time. We want to be sure we are keeping you informed about this fluid situation. 

To that end, we wanted to make you aware that we learned today that a resident in Old Dominion Hall showed symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19 and is being tested. There is not a confirmed case.The university is in contact with the Virginia Department of Health and we are following all recommendations. 

You may have heard or seen that we had crews cleaning in that building. We did this out of an abundance of caution.The individual will remain under self-quarantine at another location and the university is currently providing support, including meals and healthcare. In accordance with privacy laws and our own policy, we will not be releasing detailed information in order to protect their privacy. 

William & Mary is a close-knit community and we know this message will generate both empathy and concern, especially for those who live nearby. Unless you are contacted directly by local or state health officials, you do not need to do anything specific as a result of this news. Please know we are doing all we can to not only support this member of our community but also protect the health and wellness of our entire community. If you have questions specifically related to area impact of COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health has opened a call center at 757-594-7069. Please check the Peninsula & Hampton Health District Facebook page for hours of operation.

We announced earlier this week that all William & Mary campus offices would be closed to the public until at least March 23 as part of a coordinated statewide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additionally this week, Gov. Ralph Northam also announced the state was banning gatherings of 10 or more people. The university remains operational and just those students with extenuating circumstances remain on campus with limited services.Given the rapidly changing nature of this situation, we encourage any of those students still on campus to leave if you can. If you cannot leave, we encourage you to be ready with your personal emergency evacuation plan should it become necessary for us to close residence halls. If you have questions, you may contact residence life at living@wm.edu.

As a reminder, the www.wm.edu/coronavirus website is the most up-to-date source about William & Mary’s response.

We will provide updates as we know more. 

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs

COVID-19 Update XIV – Governor’s Directive

March 16, 2020

Dear William & Mary community,

As part of a coordinated statewide effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a directive closing executive branch and state facility offices in the Peninsula Health District, which includes William & Mary.

In support of this directive, the university is closing all offices to the general public, effective noon today, for one week through March 22. This includes all W&M campuses, including VIMS. Classes remain on schedule to resume via online and distance platforms on Monday, March 23. Online classes currently underway will continue uninterrupted.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience as we navigate this rapidly changing situation. Please review the following guidance related to today’s announcement:

Telework

Employees should contact their supervisors and plan to work remotely if at all possible. Advance approval is not required for telework.

Essential personnel should report as normal, unless advised otherwise by their supervisors. Other personnel may need to report as requested by their supervisors. 

Emergency Leave

According to the governor’s directive, hourly wage employees, including adjunct faculty, who are unable to telework may use Public Health Emergency Leave provided by the state. The employees will be paid based on the hours they are normally scheduled to work each week. HR will provide additional details to eligible employees.

Limited Campus Services

We strongly advise all students to physically leave campus if they can. While William & Mary is not open to the public, the university will continue to provide essential services to students who remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances. We will provide students with additional information today on modified dining operations.

Resources and Training

IT developed a resource page of tools to assist with employees’ telework. Additionally, employees who need to take university desktops or laptops home to facilitate their work may do so for the duration of their telework arrangement.

Supervisors received an email last week from HR regarding two virtual training sessions this week on supervising teleworking employees. One is scheduled for today and the other is planned for March 19. Please plan to participate in one of these sessions. Supervisors who have urgent questions on matters related to telework and alternate work arrangements, please e-mail hrguy@wm.edu. Employees with questions should contact their supervisors.

University leadership continues to work diligently on this situation and we will provide updates as we know more. Please continue to reference www.wm.edu/coronavirus as the best source for all W&M-related information on COVID-19.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs
 
COVID-19 Important Update XIII: Confirmed Case

March 14, 2020

Dear William & Mary community,

The university received confirmation today that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. As of this notification, this is the first and only case of COVID-19 involving a member of the W&M community.  That is very likely to change in the near future as more cases are diagnosed in the surrounding Williamsburg area. 

In accordance with privacy laws and our own policy, we will not be releasing detailed information about this positive case or any subsequent cases. The Virginia Department of Health is in the process of contacting people who may have been in close contact with this individual. If you have received a call from VDH regarding self-quarantine, please follow their instructions. If you have not received a call, you do not need to take specific action related to this case but please continue practicing good preventative hygiene measures and limit close interaction with others as much as practically possible. 

We are in contact with VDH and are closely following their recommendations. Please remember that amidst this serious pandemic, the vast majority of affected individuals will develop only mild to moderate symptoms. Preparation, not panic, will provide the best assurance that the health of our community is protected.

The campus remains open and operating under the interim policies announced March 11.

William & Mary is a close-knit community and we know this message will generate both empathy and concern. Please know we are doing all we can to provide this member of our community support and protect the health and wellness of our community. 

If you have questions specifically related to area impact of COVID-19, VDH has a call center available at 757-594-7069. Check the Peninsula & Hampton Health District Facebook page for hours.

We will continue to update the community with new and important information on the university’s response to COVID-19. Please also continue to follow www.wm.edu/coronavirus for the latest W&M-related updates.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs


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Update XII: COVID-19 - Operational Details

March 13, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –        

William & Mary leadership continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and develop the university’s response. We want to provide you additional details on the interim policies President Rowe announced in her March 11 message. Information and links are below and please remember that www.wm.edu/coronavirus is the best source for all W&M-related information. 

Thank you to all members of the community who continue to reach out and contact us via the website question box and the Call Center. Your feedback and information is very helpful in our planning and communications.

Yesterday, we posted detailed frequently asked questions for faculty, staff and students. We are also reopening the Call Center this afternoon until 5 p.m. That number is 757-221-1565. 

Here are some important updates and reminders:

Working Remotely. Over the coming weeks the university will continue normal administrative operations, albeit with some adjustments.  These adjustments — in relative order of priority — include a) utilizing telework if appropriate b) practicing social distancing in work spaces, c) using flexible scheduling of staff and d) developing creative solutions.

The health and safety of our employees is a priority and following CDC guidelines for social distancing and hygiene are the first and best courses for action.

If an employee does not already have a current telework agreement, they should start the approval process by speaking with his/her supervisor. Supervisors will be flexible in allowing employees who have appropriate work and are able to work remotely to do so. Ultimately, approval by the unit vice president, vice provost, dean or their designee(s) is required to telework during the COVID-19 emergency. That approval will be obtained by the supervisor. Not all requests to telework can be approved due to the nature of the job.

HR will be providing training sessions for supervisors on telework principles and policies March 16 and 19. Contact HR for details.

Emergency Leave. With Governor Northam’s declaration of a state of emergency, university employees have access to Emergency Health Leave. This leave is available to both salaried and hourly employees and may be used for an employee’s own illness or to take care of an immediate family member. The leave is for illness or care directly related to COVID-19 and is to be used prior to any existing leave an employee may already have. Please contact HR if you have questions regarding eligibility. 

Residence Hall Access. Yesterday, Residence Life provided detailed information regarding residence hall access and student services. Swem Library has modified operating hours on its website and a list of building access times is available on the university’s COVID-19 website. 

Grading Guidance. The deadline for faculty to enter midterm grades for undergraduate courses has been extended to Sunday, March 29. Additionally, the deadline for undergraduate, graduate A&S and marine science students to withdraw for a grade of “W” from full-semester classes has been extended to Monday, March 30.

Online instruction. As a reminder, the university has prepared this website to support the online instructional, remote learning and technology needs of faculty, students and staff as we transition to remote and online platforms.

COVID-19 exposure/suspected exposure. Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider. Staff should also call their supervisors, and faculty should also call their deans. Students on campus should call the Student Health Center. Supervisors and deans should contact the Emergency Management Team and the Student Health Center.

We will continue to update you regularly as the situation warrants. We recognize that this is a challenging and potentially anxious time. As we work through this together remember our shared goals and the strength of our community spirit.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs
The above message was updated to relect that the president's message regarding interim policies was sent March 11, 2020. - Ed.
 
Update XI: COVID-19 - Important Update II

March 12, 2020

Dear William & Mary community -

Many of you have contacted EMT or your supervisors following our message this morning and we want to provide you with information on available resources for members of the community.

Below are responses to some of the most common questions we have received. Please review these carefully. We have also set up a call center and it is open until 6 p.m. today to receive any additional questions you may have. That number is 757.221.1565.

Who should I contact at W&M if I think I have been exposed?

Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider. Staff should also call their supervisors, and faculty should also call their deans. Students on campus should call the Student Health Center. Supervisors and deans should contact the Emergency Management Team and the Student Health Center.

Should I get tested if I’ve been on campus or in the Business School?

The CDC and VDH do not recommend testing in individuals not showing symptoms. As always, the health and wellness of our community remains our top priority. We continue to respond to a rapidly evolving situation. Please continue to follow https://www.wm.edu/coronavirus for university updates.

I was recently in Miller Hall at the Business School. Am I in danger?

There is no known threat to the broader community. In these circumstances broad self-quarantining is not recommended by the CDC or the Virginia Department of Health. We are in direct contact with the Virginia Department of Health and are following all guidelines in accordance with university policy.

To reiterate what we stated this morning, the university was notified that an employee in Miller Hall may have been exposed to a case of COVID-19. The actions taken at Miller Hall this morning in reaction to this news were made out of an abundance of caution. We stress that there is no broad risk to our Williamsburg campus community.

We understand the information about COVID-19 is very fluid and there is concern in our community. Please continue to follow messages from the EMT and refer to the www.wm.edu/coronavirus website for the most up-to-date information.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs

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Update X: COVID-19 - Important Update

March 12, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

The university has been notified that a staff member in Miller Hall has potentially been exposed to a possible case of COVID-19. That staff member is asymptomatic but is self-quarantining and monitoring for symptoms. Other employees who had close contact with this individual have been asked to also self-quarantine and monitor until we learn more.

Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, all employees in the same building have been asked to work remotely until Monday and monitor for symptoms while the university thoroughly cleans that entire facility. There is no known threat to the broader community.

We are in direct contact with the Virginia Department of Health and are following all of their guidelines in accordance with university policy. The CDC and VDH do not recommend testing in individuals not showing symptoms.

As always, the health and wellness of our community remains our top priority. We care about each other and we take care of each other. That will continue as we respond to a rapidly evolving situation. Please continue to follow https://www.wm.edu/coronavirus for university updates.

Sam Jones, Emergency Management Team Chair
Ginger Amber, Vice President for Student Affairs

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Update IX: COVID-19 - Planning & Preparation 

March 9, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

There remain no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, however there are now three presumptive positive cases of the disease in patients in Northern Virginia.

The Emergency Management Team and university leadership continue to meet regarding potential impacts of COVID-19 on campus. Specifically, we are looking at potential impacts to instruction, future events and university travel following the break. We will have additional information to you on Wednesday, March 11.

As always, the safety and well-being of this community drive our decision making process. The most up-to-date information we have is available on the www.wm.edu/coronavirus website.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

This message was updated online to reflect the correct reference to the Virginia cases as presumptive positive cases - Ed.

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Update VIII: COVID-19 - Spring Break

March 6, 2020

Dear William & Mary community -

Spring break is here. Please enjoy a safe, healthy and relaxing time.

Many of you have had questions regarding campus events. At this time, the only changes announced by the university involve study abroad and university-sponsored international travel.

Anyone taking a personal trip over the break is reminded to follow CDC guidelines regarding restricted travel locations and, in the case of international travel, protocols and requirements for reentry into the United States. Links to those resources are available at www.wm.edu/coronavirus. This website remains the best source for information and updates related to our campus community and COVID-19.

Also included on that site are FAQs regarding actions the university has taken and preparations related to COVID-19. There is also a comment box should you have a question that isn’t already addressed in the FAQs. Feedback and questions received via our online form will help inform future campus messages and information we include on the website.

Over the break, please pay extra attention to the recommendations of health officials for the prevention of catching and spreading COVID-19, especially washing your hands regularly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face and following CDC guidelines for quarantine or self-isolation if you have traveled.

Upon your return, we expect the university to be operating under a normal class schedule.

The Emergency Management Team will continue to monitor this situation and inform you of any updates.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update VII: COVID-19 - Spring Break & Ongoing Communications

March 4, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

As you prepare for spring break and potentially leaving campus, please pay close attention to recommendations and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health. The status of COVID-19 is changing rapidly both the United States and a number of countries overseas. Domestically, Covid-19 is now reported in 13 states and more than 75 other countries worldwide. 

If you are planning personal travel abroad over the break, please be advised that travel warning and restrictions are very fluid. Leaving the country at this time includes the risk of potentially not being able to leave the country you visit and/or delays or quarantines in returning to the United States. Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen should be especially aware of the possibility of U.S. government restriction on reentry. State Department and CDC websites are the best sources of the most up-to-date- information related to overseas travel.

All official information on COVID-19 and the university’s response to it will continue to come from the W&M Emergency Management Team (Sam Jones in your Inbox). The information we share is important and we ask that you review each of these messages carefully.

The Reves Center, and its Global Education website, are the information source for those who are currently studying abroad, or plan to do so in the summer or fall.  Please contact the Reves Center as you have questions.

The university will continue to update the website https://www.wm.edu/coronavirus on a daily basis so it remains a primary source for the most up-to-date information.

Once you return to William & Mary, our focus will continue to be on prevention.  All the standard rules apply.  Wash your hands frequently and long enough to make a difference.  Do not share water bottles, etc.  If you are sick, go to the doctor.  If you are sick, do not go to class, and faculty and staff should not come to work.  Cough into you sleeve, or into a tissue which should be immediately discarded. Wipe down work and study spaces with a disinfectant.  While these actions may seem basic, they are fundamental to preventing the spread of Covid-19 as well as other diseases.

This video from Student Health Center Director Dr. David Dafashy is a good reminder of general COVID-19 information and prevention tips.

Have an enjoyable and safe spring break. We look forwarding to seeing you back on campus and expect to be operating under a normal schedule for both classes and events.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update VI: COVID-19 - New Travel Restrictions

March 2, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

You have likely heard that travel warnings to both Italy and Iran were elevated over the weekend due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Given these additional warnings, all university-sponsored undergraduate student travel is now currently prohibited to Italy, China and South Korea and all other countries on our restricted destinations list. This new prohibition means that undergraduate students may not remain in Italy on university-sponsored travel at this time. The university’s Global Education Office is working individually with any of our students impacted by this. 

No decisions have been made yet regarding summer study abroad. The university is currently assessing the viability of specific summer programs and will be in contact soon with applicants. If you have additional questions regarding study abroad visit the Reves’ Global Education Office webpage.

Centralized information and resources related to COVID-19 are available at https://www.wm.edu/coronavirus. Please continue to reference this site for the most up-to-date information.

The Emergency Management Team continues to look at the best preventative actions for the university moving forward and the administration will ask each department and unit on campus to think about its continuity of operations plan should COVID-19 spread to our region. Again, all of this is preparatory. To date, there remain no confirmed cases of the disease either at William & Mary or in the state of Virginia.  

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health are encouraging anyone who has not yet had the flu vaccine to get one. If you have not had a flu shot this year, please consider doing so. Most local pharmacies are good sources for the vaccination.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update V: COVID-19 - Action/Resources

Feb. 28, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

The university continues to take preventative and preparatory steps related to COVID-19 in accordance with university policy and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Virginia Department of Health guidelines. Centralized information and resources related to the disease are now available at https://www.wm.edu/coronavirus. You may continue to reference this site for the most up-to-date information as this situation moves forward.

Members of William & Mary’s Emergency Management Team are in regular contact with VDH and are coordinating with other state agencies and community partners to implement COVID-19 containment strategies, should they be necessary. Facilities Management staff continue to disinfect high-touch areas across campus including doorknobs, railings and banisters. As a reminder, dining services has hand sanitizer stations available in the Commons, Center Court at Sadler and at the Marketplace.

If you are studying abroad, or are planning to do so soon, there is additional information for you on Reves’ Global Education website.

If your spring break travel plans have changed, a reminder that the residence halls will remain open during spring break though dining services will have limited operations. Visit dining.wm.edu for spring break hours. Chick-fil-A on Richmond Rd. will be open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. over spring break and Dominos will also be open, both locations accept dining dollars associated with meal plans.  Any student planning to remain on campus over the break may also stock up on convenience/grocery items from the Student Exchange and Tribe Market using meal plan dining dollars before it closes on Friday March 6.

While there are still NO confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Virginia, the CDC and VDH are urging citizens to follow official guidelines regarding travel and take extra precautions against contracting or spreading the disease. The most recent information may be found on their websites.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update IV: New Travel Advisories/Spring Break

Feb. 26, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

The university and its Emergency Management Team are monitoring developments here and around the world related to the COVID-19 virus. We are closely following university policy as well as guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the Virginia Department of Health. Thankfully, there remain no reported cases of the virus at William & Mary and no confirmed cases in Virginia.

Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued additional travel warnings based on growing reports of COVID-19 cases in Europe and Asia. With spring break just a week away, we wanted to be sure to alert you to those updates. Currently, CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to both China and South Korea. Additionally, they advise travelers to consider postponing nonessential travel to Iran, Italy and Japan due to the growing number of cases in those countries.

Spring Break and Other Travel

Spring Break runs March 7-13. Please follow all travel restrictions or warnings issued by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the State Department if you are planning to travel outside the country.

Based on CDC and State Department warning levels and in adherence with university policy, all university-sponsored undergraduate student travel is currently prohibited to China and S. Korea. All university-sponsored faculty, staff and graduate student travel to those countries must be reviewed and approved by the university’s International Travel Review Committee. As we have previously communicated, information related to overseas travel is available on the Reves Center’s Travel Alert page. Travel warnings and alerts are quite fluid; if you are planning to travel overseas please continue to reference this webpage.

Health Matters

For any questions you may have related to COVID-19, its symptoms, reported illnesses and how it can spread the most up-to-date and detailed information is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health.

Preventive measures for COVID-19 are the same as those recommended for colds and seasonal flu. The CDC recommends the following guidelines – stay home when sick; wash hands regularly; avoid touching public surfaces; cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing; seek medical care if feeling ill. Students may contact the Student Health Center at 757.221.4386.

We expect additional guidance from the U.S. government over the next 24 hours and will share any new information at that time.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update III: Informational Health Advisory – Novel Coronavirus

Feb. 14, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

Health officials continue to report rising numbers of novel coronavirus COVID-19 cases, particularly overseas. While there have been several additional cases reported in the United States there remain NO confirmed cases in Virginia. The few illnesses in northern and central Virginia that were under investigation have all been cleared.

Spring Break and Other Travel

As you know, Spring Break begins March 7. As you begin to look toward your plans for that period, we encourage you to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the State Department if you are planning to travel outside the country.

For anyone planning university sponsored travel we remind you that given CDC and State Department warning levels for China in adherence with university policy, all university-sponsored undergraduate student travel is prohibited to China at this time. All university-sponsored faculty, staff and graduate student travel to that country must be reviewed and approved by its International Travel Review Committee. More information is available on the Reves Center’s Travel Alert page: https://www.wm.edu/offices/revescenter/safety_health_security/travel_alerts_and_warnings/index.php

Health Updates

This is also the time of year where we see many cases of seasonal flu virus, so the William & Mary Health Center still encourages all members of the community to follow the guidelines for prevention set by the CDC – wash hands regularly, avoid touching public surfaces, cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, seek medical care if feeling ill. This video of Dr. David Dafashy, medical director of the health center, is a good reminder of those steps good for prevention of spread of novel coronavirus: https://youtu.be/BEsXFbvzyEs

With coverage in the national and international news of novel coronavirus continuing it is still important to keep these additional things in mind as you view those reports:

- There are no reported cases at William & Mary. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Virginia, to date.
- Based on current information the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to emphasize the immediate health risk from this virus to the general American public as low.
- There is no medical basis for changing business as usual regarding housing, campus events, and other ordinary university activities. There is no indication for use of masks by the general public at this time.
- As we each address any concerns we may have about this virus, we should all keep in mind our university values of being a caring, supportive and respectful community and maintain an inclusive, welcoming and caring space for all our members.
- W&M’s Emergency Management Team is actively monitoring developments here and around the world and following recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and the WHO.

Detailed information related to COVID-19 remains available on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

We will continue to update you as the situation warrants.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update II: Informational Health Advisory – Novel Coronavirus

Jan. 31, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

In recent days we have heard from a number of you regarding the novel coronavirus, 2019n-CoV. Understandably, the rapidly changing news coverage of this virus can cause concern and questions. As you review these reports, please keep the following facts in mind:

- There are no reported cases at William & Mary. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Virginia or the east coast of the United States, to date.
- There is no medical basis for changing business as usual regarding housing, campus events, and other ordinary university activities. There is no indication for use of masks by the general public at this time.
- Based on current information, including the World Health Organization’s Jan. 30 declaration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to emphasize the immediate health risk from this virus to the general American public as low.
- W&M’s Emergency Management Team is actively monitoring and following recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and the WHO.
- Members of our community should continue to follow the guidelines for prevention set by the CDC – wash hands regularly, avoid touching public surfaces, cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, seek medical care if feeling ill.

Additionally, please remember that our community is a caring one. A community that not only cares about its members but supports and respects them as well. As we each address any concerns we may have about this virus, we should all keep in mind those university values and maintain an inclusive, welcoming and caring space for all our members.

Detailed information related to 2019-nCoV, its symptoms or how it can spread is available on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

The university’s Health Center continues to recommend the following:

If You Feel Ill

If you are ill and are concerned that you may have 2019n-CoV, the Health Center has the following guidelines for assessing risk of infection from that virus:

Are you exhibiting all of the following –

• typical cold symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, runny nose)
• a fever (temp. above 100.4)

And do you also meet one of the following conditions –

• recent travel to Wuhan City, China and/or surrounding provinces in the last 14 days
• contact with a laboratory confirmed case of 2019 novel coronavirus or close contact with individual who is currently under investigation for the virus

Anyone who meets these criteria, and has not already done so, should seek care from their health care professional. Students should contact the Health Center at 757.221.4386.

If You Do Not Feel Ill

If you do not meet the above criteria, you should feel comfortable resuming your normal activities of attending classes, going to work, etc.

Preventative Steps

• wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
• avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
• clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

Travel

The CDC travel warning level for all of China remains at Level 3 – Avoid All Nonessential Travel and the State Department issued a Level 4 – Do Not Travel warning. The university adheres to these guidelines so, in accordance with policy the university currently requires all university sponsored faculty, staff, and student travel to China be reviewed and approved by its International Travel Review Committee. More information is available on the Reves Center’s Travel Alert page: https://www.wm.edu/offices/revescenter/safety_health_security/travel_alerts_and_warnings/index.php

Anyone with specific questions regarding university sponsored travel should contact Steve Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies. He may reached at sehanson@wm.edu.

We will continue to update you as the situation warrants.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Update: Informational Health Advisory

Jan. 28, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

The university continues to follow guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department related to the novel coronavirus, 2019n-CoV as well as its own policies. Thankfully, the Virginia Department of Health has no confirmed cases of the virus in Virginia to date.

Based on current information, the CDC continues to report the immediate health risk from this virus to the general American public as low. As a reminder, information related to 2019-nCoV, its symptoms or how it can spread is available on the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

Additionally, the university’s Health Center recommends the following:

If You Feel Ill

If you are ill and are concerned that you may have 2019n-CoV, the Health Center has the following guidelines for assessing risk of infection from that virus:

Are you exhibiting all of the following –
• typical cold symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, runny nose)
• a fever (temp. above 100.4)

And do you also meet one of the following conditions –
• recent travel to Wuhan City, China and/or surrounding provinces in the last 14 days
• contact with a laboratory confirmed case of 2019 novel coronavirus or close contact with individual who is currently under investigation for the virus

Anyone who meets these criteria, and has not already done so, should seek care from their health care professional. Students should contact the Health Center at 757.221.4386.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you should feel comfortable resuming your normal activities of attending classes, going to work, etc.

Steps We All Can Take
• wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
• avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
• clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

Travel

The CDC has elevated their travel warning for all of China to Level 3 – Avoid All Nonessential Travel. The university adheres to these CDC guidelines so, in accordance with policy the university will require all university sponsored faculty, staff, and student travel to China be reviewed and approved by its International Travel Review Committee. More information is available on the Reves Center’s Travel Alert page https://www.wm.edu/offices/revescenter/safety_health_security/travel_alerts_and_warnings/index.php

Anyone with specific questions regarding university sponsored travel should contact Steve Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies. He may reached at sehanson@wm.edu.

We will continue to update you as the situation warrants.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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Informational Health Advisory

Jan. 25, 2020

Dear William & Mary community –

Given the media attention surrounding the spread of the 2019n-CoV virus, we wanted to provide you with the following information.

Information related to 2019-nCoV, its symptoms or how it can spread is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html On that website the CDC says that while they consider the virus a “serious public health threat,” they see the immediate health risk to the general American public as low based on current information. The university has no reports of the virus on campus and we are aware of no cases in Virginia. The university continues to monitor this situation and is ready with its infectious disease protocol when warranted.

If you traveled in areas now impacted by the virus over the recent winter break and have any concerns about your health, please contact the Health Center at 757.221.4386.

The CDC issued a “Warning – Level 3” travel alert – the agency’s highest – for Wuhan, China on January 23 advising travelers to avoid all nonessential travel there. The agency has indicated an expansion of the travel warning could come as early as next week.

Anyone planning to travel to China in coming weeks should contact Steve Hanson, vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies, if you have concerns related to university-affiliated travel. He may reached at sehanson@wm.edu. The Reves Center monitors travel alerts and advisories closely. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources are available from their website: https://www.wm.edu/offices/revescenter/safety_health_security/travel_alerts_and_warnings/index.php

We will continue to update you as the situation warrants.

Sam Jones, emergency management team chair
Ginger Ambler, vice president for student affairs

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