Carlow cancels Alternative Spring Break

Posted: 03/05/2020

Carlow is preparing for the possibility of a Coronavirus outbreak in Pennsylvania.

President Suzanne Mellon has mobilized an Internal Response Team and charged them with actively monitoring the situation as it evolves. This is consistent with the university’s Emergency Response Plan. They are in communication with federal, state and local authorities, as well as the other Universities in the region who are working together to share information. All are using the protocols and information provided by the Center for Disease Control, who is the authority on the disease.

With Spring break approaching, the university recognizes that many within the internal community may have travel plans, and that these plans may involve off-shore destinations, or destinations that rely on air travel for return. The internal community is encouraged to seriously consider their plans and adhere to all travel guidelines posted online at the CDC and U.S. State Department. This is a very fluid situation and restrictions may change rapidly. As a result of this rapidly changing situation, the university has made the decision to cancel its Alternative Spring Break trips for all groups. The students and involved faculty and staff have been notified.

Plans have been implemented to significantly increase cleaning and sanitation of the residence halls, dining facilities, and public areas of the University. In addition, the university is doing a deep cleaning of the residence hall public areas and bathrooms over spring break.

The Response Team is actively taking measures to consider all possible scenarios through the remainder of the calendar year. Academic Affairs is working with the Deans and departments for how to best manage the completion of coursework in the event that a semester is interrupted, including the use of online formats wherever possible to facilitate the completion of coursework.

The university will continue updating the Carlow community on an ongoing basis via established communication modes and regularly updated information on the website.

The internal community is encouraged to be rigorous in practicing basic healthy habits – wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with an elbow or tissue, avoid people who appear ill, and stay home if not feeling well.

If individuals in the internal community experiences illness, especially symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, they are encouraged to contact a medical professional. If individuals have traveled and believe they may have been exposed, they are asked to self-report: students to Student Health Services (412-578-6474) and employees of the University to Human Resources. As with any stressful situation, it is normal to feel anxious and concerned. Likewise, those who may have been at risk for exposure are asked to self-quarantine, reducing movement and contact as much as possible to avoid exposure. The university will work with these individuals if a situation arises.

The university continues to follow the guidelines from official agencies nationally and working collaboratively with agencies across the county to ensure the safety of the campus community, which is the university’s foremost priority.