Clemson University officials continue to monitor coronavirus disease 2019 — better known as COVID-19 — which first appeared in the United States in the state of Washington on Jan. 21, 2020.
Officials can verify the following at the time of this communication:
- Recalled all 385 students studying abroad this spring – NONE will come back to campus without significant screening
- The University’s decision is consistent with the latest guidance to higher education institutions from the Centers for Disease Control.
- Important to know, none of the students we’ve recalled are enrolled in classes – nor have living space – on campus; they were planning on being abroad for the semester.
- No changes to Spring Break – we have communicated travel advisories and policies to students, faculty and staff.
- No plans to move classes online.
- No confirmed positive cases on campus.
- No confirmed positive cases in South Carolina.
- The University is committed to keeping the Clemson community informed through regular updates and audience-specific messaging as necessary.
In the days that followed the discovery of the first confirmed case in the U.S., Clemson University officials activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a three-deep group of more than 100 subject-matter experts from a myriad of academic and administrative units at Clemson who came together to closely monitor the situation to inform and reduce the risk to faculty, staff, students and visitors.
Since that initial meeting on Jan. 24, the virus has continued to spread rapidly and EOC members have been diligent in their efforts to forecast its impact on the University and to make informed decisions when necessary.
Some of the decisions made just this week include:
- The recall of 385 students from study abroad programs worldwide. Officials established screening and education procedures to address the health and safety of returning students as well as the community of Clemson students, faculty and staff located throughout the state of South Carolina.
- New restrictions and recommendations were put in place for faculty and staff for both domestic and international travel to outline the heightened efforts the University is taking to address the health and wellbeing of the entire community. Additionally, officials initiated a high-risk travel protocol and policy to govern university-related travel.
It is important to note the situation is very fluid and changes each day. Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit Clemson University’s COVID-19 website for the latest information, resources, travel guidelines, frequently asked questions and more.
Officials are also preparing academic continuity and business continuity plans to ensure minimal disruption to university operations. A large group gathered in Hendrix Student Center earlier this week to discuss planning and preparation for future actions that may be required if COVID-19 continues to spread. Drop-in planning sessions for academic continuity also have been scheduled.
This is not a time for panic, but it is the time for preparation, careful consideration and making well-informed decisions.
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