COVID-19 Messages to the Community | St. Lawrence University COVID-19

COVID-19 Messages to the Community

Campus Communications

Important Update from President Fox: Thursday, March 26, 12 p.m.

Dear Laurentian Friends,

I write to inform you that an employee notified the University today that they have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

  • To respect the privacy of the individual, they will remain anonymous.
  • This individual will remain quarantined by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department until their officials have cleared the individual.
  • The individual did not live on campus and has been off campus since Monday, March 16, 2020.
  • The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will notify students, faculty, and staff who may have been exposed.
  • Those notified should contact their primary care physician for guidance.
  • All other members of the community should continue to abide by social distancing and other preventative measures.
  • Affected physical spaces will receive deep cleaning consistent with public health guidelines.

Appropriate precautions are being taken to keep the students who are staying on campus and the essential employees working on-site safe. The University’s Emergency Planning Team continues to meet regularly and address matters related to academic affairs, student life, international programs, and infrastructure. We will continue to send regular updates on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays as well as keep the University’s COVID-19 website updated.

It is important to remember to exercise caution regarding the information you may see on social media. The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health, provides the only official quarantine measures for COVID-19. 

We are in extremely rare times not only for St. Lawrence, but in higher education, and our nation. The situation is complex as anxiety is high, and the future is uncertain. I want to reassure you our top concern continues to be the safety and well-being of our campus community and striving that our students can complete their coursework without interruption. Our work is done always with the best interest in mind of our university, our students, our employees, and all who care about the institution. 

I have been inspired by the spirit demonstrated by our Laurentian community during recent days and weeks. That spirit can be felt throughout the North Country, also in every Laurentian heart and prayer.

Sincerely,

Bill Fox

A Message to the Laurentian Community from President Fox: Tuesday, March 24, 4:15 p.m. 

Dear Laurentian Friends,

There are many messages a University president must deliver, yet today’s is among the most forbidding and personally wrenching in my eleven years at St. Lawrence.

Since St. Lawrence’s founding 164 years ago, Laurentians have looked forward to the cadence of our treasured traditions each academic year. This global pandemic has upended many plans and forced us to make tough decisions that ensure the health and safety of our community. This is a promise we make to each student and family every day, and it’s a promise that has guided us in every difficult moment during this unfamiliar pattern of days.

Late last week, New York State Governor Cuomo directed that all employers comply with 100% work-on-site reduction with defined exceptions for essential business functions. With this mandate and in an effort to provide as much time for students and families to plan for the remainder of the spring semester, we have decided not to wait until April 6. We are announcing several major decisions now. This information is posted on the University’s COVID-19 website.

  • Remote Learning: We will continue with remote learning through the end of the semester, so students can complete coursework from off campus. Our faculty, Information Technology team, and other staff members have done significant work in a short amount of time creating a new environment for learning. Their efforts have been laudable and I also want to thank our students for their quick adaptation to the new normal.
     
  • Commencement: We have decided to postpone the in-person Commencement celebrations scheduled for Sunday, May 17, 2020, and to schedule a live streamed event that day to honor the Class of 2020 on the day you planned to join the Laurentian alumni community. To each member of the Class of 2020: This is the least desirable outcome that any of us wanted, and we all share in your immense disappointment, and even your tears. There are now teams of people who will spend an incredible amount of time in the coming days and weeks reimagining the ways we can celebrate you and your numerous accomplishments appropriately and safely.
    • More details on the virtual celebration for May will be coming soon. 
    • We will definitely find a time to invite you back to Canton to give cheer in person, and those plans will be shared at some point in the future.
  • Room and Board Credits/Refunds: Many students and parents have inquired about University policy concerning partial refunds or credits related to room and board, given the transition to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. These are unprecedented times, and we have focused our initial energy on student/faculty/staff safety and academic continuity.

    Due in large part to variances in financial aid awards, each family's situation is different, so there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. The University plans to provide refunds or credits for room and board charges, but will only be able to calculate the amount that will be credited to a student's account after the end of the semester. By then, we will be able to speak to each situation specifically. I appreciate your patience as we work through this process.
     

  • Retrieving Belongings: The effect of the New York State Governor’s directive is that we cannot grant access and arrange for students to retrieve their belongings at this time, nor may we assist with packing and shipping. We know how important the items that you left behind are to you, but we don’t know how long this directive will remain in effect. We are developing a plan and we will be back in touch with you once we have additional information.
     
  • Students Currently on Campus: Students still on campus have the choice to remain on campus for the duration of the Spring 2020 semester or return to their homes. There will be an individual request process to stay on campus longer for those students who are not able to return home this summer.
     
  • Emergency Student Assistance Fund: Recognizing the financial hardship that is now being faced by many of our students, the University, with the support of generous donors, has established the Emergency Student Assistance Fund, which will help students with uncovered and unplanned expenses. For more information about applying to use the fund, please visit https://www.stlawu.edu/covid-19/form/covid-19-emergency-student-assistance-fund.
     
  • Reunion: Reunion Weekend, scheduled for May 28-31, 2020, has been cancelled. We will work to develop a plan to celebrate with our affinity and Reunion milestone classes at a later date.
     
  • Laurentian Events: All on- and off-campus events are cancelled through June 1. This includes our upcoming Admitted Student Open Houses in April, our spring Admissions Visit Day on April 27, and the upcoming SLU Connect-Boston event, scheduled for May. 
     
  • International Summer Programs: All spring semester international short-term travel components, summer international internships, and summer international travel courses are cancelled.
     
  • Other Summer Programs: We expect to maintain our summer online course offerings. We are in the process of evaluating other summer programs and will provide more details by April 1. 

Even in times of personal sorrow, Laurentians persevere, show compassion, and support one another, as these are the common threads that bind up the bundle of our community. In this historic moment, St. Lawrence needs you to be the best Laurentian you can be. And so will your family, friends, neighbors, and the world.

With abiding hope, always,

Bill Fox
President

A Message to Students from the Deans: Friday, March 20, 9:40 a.m. 

Dear Students,

We wanted to write to you today as you prepare to begin your coursework in the coming weeks through remote learning, with a few reflections, some advice, and a request for your help.

First, if you have not yet seen it we wanted to recommend to you President Fox’s statement to the campus community earlier this week.  It captures what many of us are feeling.  We love the St. Lawrence campus, our friends and mentors, and the patterns of our lives here.  These things have been taken from us, and there is no denying the tragedy in that fact.  We feel it daily in the distance that separates us; it is, as President Fox says, the “utter heartbreak about being ripped away from college life, as if by an immeasurable natural force, abruptly departing from a place so deeply cherished.” 

We are all feeling this absence, and we all need to share in our grief over this loss, to help one another.  We want you to know that every member of the St. Lawrence community, your professors along with staff and students, feels this more deeply than we can say.  We are struggling too with the uncertainties of the world around us, and it is important to recognize that we all are experiencing these feelings together as well. 

The challenge of undertaking classes remotely in the coming days brings its own sense of uncertainty, and as students we ask you to recognize that this is felt by your professors just as it is by you.  At St. Lawrence we value outstanding teaching and strong relationships between faculty and students above all else, and we promise you that your professors will continue to bring that deep commitment to their work with you in the weeks ahead.  We ask that you return that commitment in kind, and recognize that they will need your help, your patience, and your understanding of the challenges we all face together, just as they will offer that understanding to you. 

This experience which none of us wished for is new for all of us, and we will need to help one another navigate it day by day, with flexibility, empathy, and good humor along the way.  In doing that though, we can make this moment not merely one in which we find a pathway through a time of uncertainty.  Instead we can look back to say that it was our best moment, because in adversity we found strength in one another, and a deeper meaning in the bonds of our community.  We will help each other to learn in ways we cannot yet imagine, and in the future we will know that when confronted with our most profound challenges, we faced and overcame them together, as Laurentians.

There will be many questions and challenges to address in the coming days, but today we wanted to offer this as our wish for you and our community.  We each have a part to play, needs we must express to one another and help we can give.  We offer our promise to you, on behalf of St. Lawrence, that we will do this work together. 

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs 

A Letter to Laurentians from the President: Wednesday, March 18, 4:00 p.m.

Dear Laurentian friends,

All the practical advice about personal precautions and community behavior will settle soon into a repetitious habit as the world faces up to a dangerous moment. Pandemics in history have never been exclusionary, making no exceptions in their effects upon city or countryside. One hundred years ago, our campus was infected by pandemic influenza and all students survived, but the worst of it was in the Canton community when high numbers of farm families and mill workers died.

My intention is not to bring news to you in this letter. St. Lawrence University will continue to post specific messages about the mechanics and the calendar of the spring semester. Additional information is promised as we learn more and more each day, as we develop our best responses, and decide on the most desirable probabilities in adapting our plans to be a community of experience and learning by other means. When we begin remote learning and distant working protocols, it will be trial and error. Education gets messy, ask any senior professor, so count on degrees of imperfection as we do our best to make matters mostly positive.

Meanwhile, I wish to pause for the purpose of acknowledging and reflecting on the sudden and deep feelings among us about the cascade of disorderly events, very personal in all cases. I have heard from students individually, and in unison, a voice crying utter heartbreak about being ripped away from college life, as if by an immeasurable natural force, abruptly departing from a place so deeply cherished.

To students: the campus, its landmarks, and all its inhabitants have become your mental and social reference point in a short amount of time. Nevertheless, it can, must, and will become a vital presence in this next chapter of your life, ever unchanged in your “fondest memory.” For seniors, the sentimental journey of the final semester was all on track when we began in January. Your lifelong friendships were only going to be more enriched by the coming weeks together. Your class will unknowably and somehow be different from those recent classes that preceded you.

The singers, dancers, actors, organizers, and athletes among us worked incredibly hard to prepare for performances, activities, and competitions. I am mad, too, about seasons being cancelled. I love watching you achieve excellence, doing very difficult things extremely well, particularly as teams and ensembles. But there is nowhere to place blame, really. And there is no percentage (yes, I’m still competitive and can do splits in my head) in staying mad. For your parents, I am fully confident, as a parent myself, about the incalculable loss they feel in missing the experience of being your cheerleaders, your gallery, your audience at all the weekend games, races, or concerts we had all anticipated with an almost sublime pleasure.

Two hundred St. Lawrence students were selectively placed all over the world this semester in their course work and touring. Unfortunately, when the United States Peace Corps (where St. Lawrence earns best-in-the-nation renown) brings home its volunteers, we have warrant to follow. It will be more than jet lag they will experience in their return. There is understandable sadness about missing what might have been, about deferring uncertain opportunities.

I know faculty members had planned extraordinary field trips and practicums this spring with all the delight of being “renewed” students again themselves. That’s the passion and joy of teaching, of returning to the kick of discovery. And then, within days, a flash, the syllabus is busted. These developments leave all of us in a state of unnamed dismay. All of us.

The campus, at the moment, is absolutely still. The shadows remain long at dusk and dawn, east and west. The chanticleer of the chapel spire casting a recognizable silhouette nearly reaches the stone work of Kirk Douglas Hall at evening; at dawn it practically touches the windows of ODY Library. There are students in residence here whose family homes are in other time zones and lands. They have worries about loved ones that are also intense, not easily relieved or distracted by the familiar, quiet, slower patterns of a recess. They need a reassuring word from the rest of us that Laurentians look out for each other. A word from American parents and well-travelled alumni would be welcome, too.

When John Adams and Thomas Jefferson resumed their friendship after years of mutual disdain, maybe each kept in pocket an ounce of grudging respect, they did so remotely. Their correspondence is a trove of wisdom and insight for the capacity to evolve, think differently, and adapt to changed realities. Adams wrote one day, revealing to Jefferson the personal effects of missing members of his family’s second generation. Our sons and daughters “cost us grief, anxiety, often vexation, and sometimes humiliation.” Then he rushes to finish the more important thought, that it is always “cheering to have them hovering about us. And I verily believe they have contributed largely to keep us alive.”

Our students, even when they are not everyone on campus, all 2,400 of them, will keep us alive. They will drive the show; they will show us the way. It may be a distant day, but it will come again when they are “hovering about us.” Their dreams, theirs loves, their hopes are, for now, safe beneath the shadows cast upon the beloved Quad. Let’s stay close. St. Lawrence’s genius is in knowing how to do that and mean something by it.

With abiding hope,

Bill Fox
President

Campus Message from the President: Tuesday, March 10, 7:15 p.m.

Dear Laurentian Friends,

The COVID-19 virus has continued to spread, and many parts of the United States and the world have been impacted. I would like to reinforce that to best protect the health and well-being of our campus community, we need to focus on mitigating its possible effects. At this writing, March 10, 2020, no St. Lawrence University student or community member has been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.

We realize that many people will be traveling during the upcoming Spring Break.  Our nation’s goal at this moment is mitigation, and we believe the threat to our rural campus community when hundreds of people return from break is far too great to continue a traditional semester plan.  We are required to act now to slow the spread of COVID-19. Below are the major decisions that the University has made with additional information that follows.

  1. St. Lawrence University will move to remote learning after Spring Break, beginning Monday, March 23, so students can complete coursework as much as possible from off campus.
  2. As of now, on-campus classes are planned to resume on Monday, April 13. We will continue to assess the situation and provide clear guidance by Monday, April 6, about returning to campus.
  3. All University-sponsored Spring Break travel, including international, domestic, and athletics trips, has been canceled.
  4. Both on- and off-campus athletic competitions are suspended until Monday, April 13.
  5. All students are expected to leave campus by Saturday, March 14, at 5 p.m. Only those students who have been approved by the Office of Residence Life to remain on campus over Spring Break will be allowed to stay on campus for the remote learning portion of the semester.
  6. Campus will remain open and fully operational, and all faculty and staff should continue their regular work schedules. As the situation develops, employees who are able to work remotely may request approval to do so from their supervisor until classes resume on Monday, April 13.

Additional Information:

How do I apply for permission to stay on campus through Spring Break and until April 13? 
We understand that for a limited number of students, going to or staying at a location away from campus is not possible. For that reason, students may contact the Office of Residence Life to apply to stay on campus during Spring Break and through April 13. The deadline for submitting a request is 5:00 p.m. this Wednesday, March 11, and students will be notified of the University’s decision by Thursday, March 12.

What should I take home with me?
We strongly recommend that students take with them all books, other course materials, and any essential personal items they may need for the remainder of the semester. While we plan to start in-person coursework again on April 13, the situation is evolving and subject to change. Students who are not approved to stay will not be permitted to return to the residence halls once residence halls close on Saturday, March 14.

Will the University be closed through April 13?
Our campus will continue to operate during this period. Continuing to educate our students and providing a safe environment for those who remain in residence will continue without interruption. Faculty and staff are expected to continue with their work. As the situation develops, employees who are able to work remotely may request approval to do so from their supervisor until classes resume on Monday, April 13.

Individual events scheduled to be held on campus will be evaluated and updates will be provided as soon as possible.

What support is available for the community about remote instruction?
More information will be coming shortly regarding training and resources for individual faculty to support remote instruction. Some information for faculty can be found here.

What about University-sponsored domestic business travel?
University-sponsored domestic (United States) business travels may be restricted as different areas of our nation are affected over the next weeks. Travel plans to conferences or other purposes should be communicated to the respective senior staff member as soon as possible and senior staff will advise if such travel must be cancelled or postponed.

Will advising and course registration continue as planned?
Yes, the advising period of March 24-April 3 and class registration for Fall 2020 courses April 6-10 will take place remotely as scheduled.  We ask advisors and students to prepare their devices for advising and registration before leaving campus for Spring Break.

What is the status of our international study programs?
With the exception of Italy and Japan, our international programs are operating, and the Student Safe Travel Committee will continue to carefully assess the situation in each off-campus location.

Where can I get more information or ask additional questions? 
Please check your email and the University’s COVID-19 website for updates and more information.

Our top concern continues to be the safety and well-being of our campus community and ensuring that our students can complete their coursework without interruption. I know that these decisions have a significant impact on everyone. We make this decision out of an abundance of caution and to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19. I know many of you share in my disappointment of the need to make this decision. We strive to make decisions in the best interest of our entire campus community, using the best public health information at our disposal, and with a sense of empathy that is a hallmark of the Laurentian spirit. 

Sincerely,

Bill Fox
President

Campus update: Monday, March 9, 4:30 p.m.

Dear Members of the St. Lawrence Community,

We write with updated information regarding the University’s response to COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus).

The health and safety of our campus community is our top concern, and we are monitoring updates from state, federal, and international health organizations daily. Members of the Emergency Planning Team are meeting daily to ensure coordination of information.

Despite rumors: At this writing, March 9, 2020, no St. Lawrence University student or community member has been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. According to the CDC, a novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the common coronaviruses that regularly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

While New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency for the purposes of expediting community access to resources, the New York State Department of Health has said no one in St. Lawrence County has been diagnosed.

Below are our most recent updates, many based on questions we’ve received from community members.

Health and Counseling Services

Effective Tuesday, March 10, 2020, the Diana B. Torrey ’82 Health and Counseling Center will shift from having walk-in hours to a call-in center for ALL medical and counseling needs due to the developing COVID-19 situation and continuing flu season. Should you begin to experience symptoms including cough, fever (100.4), and difficulty breathing you should call the Center at (315) 229-5392.  If you experience these symptoms at a time that the Center is not open, we ask that you contact Safety and Security at (315) 229-5555. 

University-sponsored Domestic Spring Break Travel

As of March 8, 2020, following review by the Student Safe Travel Committee and advice from public health officials in San Francisco, California, the University has cancelled planned trips by the Laurentian Singers and SLU Connect to San Francisco.  University-sponsored Spring Break trips within the United States, including athletics, are planned to continue as scheduled. The Student Safe Travel Committee will continue to carefully assess the situation and updates will be provided if needed. 

Upcoming Personal Travel

With the increased likelihood of quarantine upon return to the United States, the University advises that students as well as faculty and staff do not travel internationally (including Canada) for the foreseeable future, including during the upcoming Spring Break, and that they continue to monitor if their destinations within the United States are being affected by COVID-19.  Students who are directed to quarantine by the U.S. Government after traveling internationally will not be able to return to campus until the quarantine timeline has been reached, which may put their academic progress at risk.

Any person who has been in a Level 3 area within 14 days must notify Health & Counseling Services before returning to St. Lawrence University, and may be required to observe the 14-day quarantine recommended by the New York State Department of Health prior to returning.

The University strongly advises against independent travel by students, faculty, and staff to regions of the United States which are currently experiencing major outbreaks. At this time, these areas include Washington State and the San Francisco region of California. 

Returning to Campus after Spring Break

We plan to conduct all classes in-person and all University offices will remain open. In addition, we are discussing a number of actions as warranted by changing guidance and conditions. As planned, residence halls will reopen at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020, and classes will resume after Spring Break on Monday, March 23.

Out of an abundance of caution, we strongly recommend that all students traveling over break take with them all books, other course materials, and any essential personal items they may need for the remainder of the semester, in case they encounter any difficulties in returning to campus for any reason.

Students whose travel plans change due to concerns about public health issues may contact the Office of Residence Life to apply to stay on campus during spring break.

Important Information (shared in previous communications)

University-sponsored International Spring Break Travel

The University has decided to cancel all University-sponsored international trips during the upcoming Spring Break. The decision was made after careful consideration and discussion with the Student Safe Travel Committee offering wisdom to the University’s senior staff. The situation is evolving but our understanding is that some travelers to the United States from abroad are likely to be quarantined at this point. It is important to understand that the decision to quarantine or to test for COVID-19 is at the discretion of the U.S. Government for individuals returning to the United States from abroad.

International Programs
The Center for International and Intercultural Studies is in contact with directors of St. Lawrence University off-campus programs, the directors of our partner programs, and with the students and their families enrolled in our Spring international study program.  The University has cancelled its spring off-campus programs in Italy and students on those programs are completing their coursework remotely.  With this exception, our off-campus programs are operating and taking account of all appropriate health and safety advice in their regions, and we will continue to carefully assess the situation in each off-campus location.

Employee Travel and Telemedicine Information 

For faculty and staff who have made plans to travel to conferences in the next few months: If the conference is cancelled due to an emergency situation (such as COVID-19 concerns) by the organizers or you wish to cancel your conference travel for those reasons, please work with the conference organizers, airlines, hotels etc. to be reimbursed for any expenses already incurred. As per our policy, any unreimbursed expenses will be charged to the university up to the limit of your annual travel budget.

For employees enrolled in a University-sponsored health insurance plan, you may visit a board-certified doctor by video conference (smartphone, tablet or computer) or phone right from home, or while traveling, for non-emergency medical conditions, including respiratory infections.  Telemedicine benefits are available 24/7/365.Participants may set up a telemedicine visit by visiting the Excellus website at www.excellusbcbs.com and registering for MDLive.  More details available from Human Resources.

Preventive Measures

We urge you to continue to follow these preventative hygiene practices, including:

  • Wash your hands often and carefully with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. This applies to students, faculty and staff.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Use your own pens and pencils as possible.

We encourage everyone to read the CDC’s Anti-Stigma Guidelines and keep in mind that this virus could be affecting the family and friends of members of our campus community. Treating every person with respect and empathy comes with being a Laurentian.

We will continue to provide updates as needed to our community to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to stay healthy and safe.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Campus Health Center at any time with questions or concerns.

Additional Information and Helpful Links

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Campus update: novel Coronavirus Wed, March 4

Dear Laurentian Community,
 
We write with updated information regarding the University’s response to the COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus).  At this writing, March 4, 2020, no St. Lawrence University student has been confirmed to have contracted the novel Coronavirus, and according to the New York State Department of Health, no one has been diagnosed with it in St. Lawrence County. 
 
Below are our most recent updates, many based on questions we’ve received from community members.
 
University-sponsored International Spring Break Travel
The University has decided to cancel all University-sponsored international trips during the upcoming Spring Break. The decision was made after careful consideration and discussion with the Student Safe Travel Committee offering wisdom to the University’s senior staff. The situation is evolving but our understanding is that some travelers to the United States from abroad are likely to be quarantined at this point. It is important to understand that the decision to quarantine or to test for the coronavirus is at the discretion of the U.S. Government for individuals returning to the United States from abroad.
 
University-sponsored Domestic Spring Break Travel
As of March 4, 2020, University-sponsored Spring Break trips within the United States, including athletics, will continue as scheduled. The Student Safe Travel Committee will continue to carefully assess the situation and updates will be provided if needed. 
 
Personal Travel During Spring Break
With the increased likelihood of quarantine upon return to the United States, the University advises that students as well as faculty and staff do not travel internationally during the upcoming Spring Break. Students who are directed to quarantine by the U.S. Government after traveling internationally will not be able to return to campus until the quarantine timeline has been reached, which will put their academic progress at risk.
 
Italy Programs
We are committed to working with our students who had been studying in Italy to allow completion of their academic work from their homes, with the goal that they will receive full credit for the semester and no progress toward graduation will be lost. 
 
Information is evolving but it is our understanding that travelers to the United States from abroad, including Italy, are likely being quarantined in their homes.
 
We do not have housing or course registration at St. Lawrence for students unexpectedly returning from abroad. Those students are not covered by St. Lawrence insurance for University-sponsored activities.  As a result, they may not return to campus in Canton nor participate in local University-sponsored activities this semester, and this includes Titus Weekend.  This decision is in the best interest of the health of our returning students as well as our campus community, whose safety and welfare is our responsibility. 
 
International Programs
The Center for International and Intercultural Studies is in contact with directors of St. Lawrence University off-campus programs, the directors of our partner programs, and with the students and their families enrolled in our Spring international study program. With the exception now of Italy, our international programs are operating, and we will continue to carefully assess the situation in each off-campus location.
 
Employee Travel and Telemedicine Information
For faculty and staff who have made plans to travel to conferences in the next few months: If the conference is cancelled due to an emergency situation (such as coronavirus concerns) by the organizers or you wish to cancel your conference travel for those reasons, please work with the conference organizers, airlines, hotels etc. to be reimbursed for any expenses already incurred. As per our policy, any unreimbursed expenses will be charged to the university up to the limit of your annual travel budget.
 
For employees enrolled in a University-sponsored health insurance plan, you may visit a board-certified doctor by video conference (smartphone, tablet or computer) or phone right from home, or while traveling, for non-emergency medical conditions, including respiratory infections.  Telemedicine benefits are available 24/7/365. Participants may set up a telemedicine visit by visiting the Excellus website at www.excellusbcbs.com and registering for MDLive.  More details available from Human Resources.
 
Preventive Measures

We urge you to continue to follow these preventative hygiene practices, including:

  • Wash your hands often and carefully with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. This applies to students, faculty and staff.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Use your own pens and pencils as possible.

We understand the unsettling nature that news of an emerging illness can bring. The health and safety of our students is our top concern, and we are monitoring updates from state, federal, and international health organizations daily. Members of the Emergency Planning Team are meeting daily to ensure coordination of information.
 
We encourage everyone to read the CDC’s Anti-Stigma Guidelines and keep in mind that this virus could be affecting the family and friends of members of our campus community. Treating every person with respect and empathy comes with being a Laurentian.
 
We will continue to provide updates as needed to our community to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to stay healthy and safe.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Campus Health Center at any time with questions or concerns.
 
Additional Information and Helpful Links
Students experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact the Health Center immediately at (315) 229-5392 or Safety and Security during off-hours at (315) 229-5555.
 
St. Lawrence’s Coronavirus informational website will continue to be updated: https://www.stlawu.edu/university-communications/coronavirus-updates
 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
 
U.S. Department of State
 
World Health Organization
 
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life
Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 - Email to Campus Community

Dear Laurentian Community:
 
We write with updated information regarding the University’s response to the COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus).  At this writing, February 29, 2020, no St. Lawrence University student has been confirmed to have contracted the novel Coronavirus, and according to the New York State Department of Health, no one has been diagnosed with it in New York State. 
 
Italy Programs
Last evening, the State Department Travel Advisory for Italy was raised to a level 3, urging U.S. citizens to "reconsider travel."  St. Lawrence has 15 students studying in three locations in Italy, Cortona, Sorrento, and Rome. The Cortona Program administration has cancelled the balance of semester and students are being assisted in their travel home. The University has advised that students in Sorrento and Rome also return to their homes in the United States. All 15 students will be able to complete their academic coursework virtually, so no loss of academic progress should be experienced. 
 
The health and safety of our students is our top concern, and we are monitoring updates from state, federal, and international health organizations daily. The risk to our campus community at this point is minimal; however, this could change quickly if the number of reported cases in the United States continues to rise.

Emergency Planning Team
The University has an Emergency Planning Team that created and is updating internal guidelines in the event the World Health Organization declares this event a pandemic.  Members of the Emergency Planning Team have worked online and in small subgroups for the past 10 days and will continue to meet often for the rest of the semester to refine plans, create communications, and advise the President.  Staff in our Torrey Health and Counseling Center continue to monitor county, state and federal recommendations related to COVID-19.

Travel Advisory
We advise that, in accordance with U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, Laurentian community members should carefully monitor travel advisories prior to and during any international travel, including travel for the upcoming spring break. This is especially important as other countries, or other areas of the United States, affected by COVID-19 could implement their own travel restrictions, which are subject to change without notice and have the potential to impede return travel to Canton.

Other International Programs
The Center for International and Intercultural Studies is in contact with directors of St. Lawrence University off-campus programs as well as the directors of our partner programs and with the 188 students and their families enrolled in our Spring international study program. With the exception now of Italy, our international programs are operating, and we will continue to carefully assess the situation in each off-campus location. In consultation with the Student Safe Travel Committee, CIIS staff will make recommendations to the University Senior Staff about the wisdom of continuing other St. Lawrence off-campus trips, especially those planned for Spring Break, and will communicate directly with faculty leaders and student participants.

Information Resources
The CDC has established a COVID-19 website with comprehensive information about reducing the risk of infection, advice related to international travel, and what to do if you think you may be sick. St. Lawrence has established its own informational website where updates will be posted as they are communicated to our community. https://www.stlawu.edu/university-communications/coronavirus-updates
 
We urge you to continue to follow these preventative hygiene practices including:
Wash your hands often and carefully with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick AND do not go out in public when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
Use disinfectant wipes to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
 
Students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact the Health Center immediately at (315) 229-5392 or Safety and Security during off-hours at (315) 229-5555.

We understand the unsettling nature that news of an emerging illness can bring. At the same time, we want to reassure our campus community that the University and our campus health professionals are committed to monitoring developments related to the novel Coronavirus.

We will continue to provide updates as needed to our community to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to stay healthy and safe.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Campus Health Center at any time with questions or concerns.

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 - Email to Campus Community  

Dear students,

As you are probably aware from coverage in the national media, the number of reported cases of the novel Coronavirus is growing in a number of countries, including the United States.

As of February 26, 2020, no St. Lawrence University student has been confirmed to have contracted the novel Coronavirus, and according to the New York State Department of Health, no one has been diagnosed with it in St. Lawrence County or in New York State.

The health and safety of our students is our top concern, and we are monitoring updates from state, federal, and international health organizations daily. The risk to our campus community at this point is minimal; however, this could change quickly if the number of reported cases in the United States continues to rise.

The Center for International and Intercultural Studies is in contact with directors of St. Lawrence University off-campus programs as well as the directors of our partner programs and is strongly advising students not to travel to northern Italy. All of our off-campus programs are currently open and operating, and we will continue to carefully assess the situation in each off-campus location.

Students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact the Health Center immediately at (315) 229-5392 or Safety and Security during off-hours at (315) 229-5555.

We urge you to continue to follow these preventative hygiene practices including:

  • Wash your hands often and carefully with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick AND do not go out in public when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We understand the unsettling nature that news of an emerging illness can bring. At the same time, we want to reassure our campus community that the University and our campus health professionals are committed to monitoring developments related to the novel Coronavirus.

We will continue to provide updates as needed to our community to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to stay healthy and safe.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Campus Health Center at any time with questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs