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COVID-19 Update, March 3, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Today, I am writing to you regarding the continuing developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. I understand how worried you may be, particularly if you have family and friends who may be impacted by this disease. Please do not hesitate to contact the staff in our Health Services, Student Services, and Human Resources offices who are available to assist you in any way.

As many of us have read or heard in the media, the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly with new outbreaks now being reported in the United States. At this time, there are no cases or threats identified on any of the Bay Path campuses. While we are remaining vigilant, we are providing the following guidance for the entire Bay Path community in two areas: international travel/study abroad and spring break.

International Travel/Study Abroad

The health and safety of students, faculty and staff in the Bay Path community are the University’s top priority. Bay Path is working closely with students who are traveling or studying abroad. Students who plan to travel should refer to travel guidelines and updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control, local departments of public health, and the U.S. Department of State Travel.

Spring Break Travel

Many of you may have already made plans to travel during spring break. We understand the University cannot restrict your personal travel. However, if you are traveling abroad and even within the United States, please be aware that airports and other travel hubs are screening for COVID-19. You may be directed by public health authorities to self-isolate and, in certain situations, be quarantined. We encourage you to check the CDC / U.S. Department of State travel pages for the most updated status level of respective countries.

In addition, we have suspended all University-related travel to Level 3 countries as listed and updated in CDC / U.S. Department of State travel pages for the time being.

Although COVID-19 is “top of mind” for many of us, there are some precautions to take to prevent the spread of this viral illness: practice good hygiene by washing your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds after you eat, use the bathroom, sneeze, cough or blow your nose; don’t share food and drinks with others; avoid close contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick. Specific details about COVID-19 are available on the Massachusetts Public Health Fact Sheet. The University has also developed “Information About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” on our website in the Health & Wellness section that will serve as a central resource for information to the community, updates on the virus, links to the CDC and other organizations, and best practices to combat the disease.

The University has formed a working group that will monitor, put forth recommendations, and provide the best assistance and support for our Bay Path community. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continue to share news and developments, and ask that you bookmark the University COVID-19 pages, check our social media channels, and consult the CDC COVID-19 website.

It is in times like these that we must all be sure to offer support and understanding to one another. I believe that it is our common sense, as well as our innate sense of caring and empathy that will be critical to our response to this global event. We should always be respectful to every one of us within and beyond our Bay Path community, and no one should have to experience unwarranted assumptions or prejudices.

Again, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Health Services, Student Services, and Human Resources staff if you have any questions.

Carol Leary