To see the most up to date communications for the college please click HERE.

 

March 3, 2020 10:22AM

 

Dear Agnes Scott Community,

We are writing to update you again on the impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak on our community and the proactive steps we are taking.

As you know we have been monitoring all of our study abroad locations carefully, and had already decided to cancel the Japan global study tour, and postpone the global immersion experiences for Journeys Milan and Croatia. We have been monitoring all relevant sources of information and continually updating you on the rapidly-evolving situation of both the spread of the virus and associated risks. The number of cases outside of China has continued to rise and on Sunday, the CDC issued an unprecedented Guidance for Student Foreign Travel for Institutions of Higher Education saying to “consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs.”  While it includes no new information about health risks in specific locations, it says “students may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges in returning home, or accessing health care while abroad.”  Also, over the past few days, Amazon, Google, News Corp, and other major corporations have canceled all nonessential travel for their employees, even in the US, and a number of major conferences have been canceled.

Based on this new information, the escalating trend in cases, and especially the unpredictability of governmental responses, the risks of sending all of our first year students out to global immersion experiences five days from now seem too high at this time to proceed, and we are therefore postponing all Journeys global immersion experiences. We remain deeply committed to providing all students with global learning, and will update students in Journeys classes on March 24 about their alternative plans. 

We appreciate all community members pulling together to face this unprecedented global challenge.

Leocadia I. Zak - President

Christine Cozzens - Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the College

Elaine Meyer-Lee - Associate Vice President for Global Learning and Leadership Development

Gundolf Graml - Assistant Dean for Global Learning

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

February 27, 2020 6:13PM

 

Dear ASC Community:

 I want to update you on the impact of the spread of “Novel Coronavirus” on the 2020 Journeys program.

 Since its first identification in China in December 2019, the Coronavirus has been identified in over 20 countries around the globe, including the United States. (For an updated list of affected countries, go to the website by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html). 

 While there has been increased news coverage of the Coronavirus, the CDC has not yet  recommended avoiding or reconsidering global travel in general. As of February 26, 2020, the CDC has issued the following travel guidance:

Among these destinations, only Italy is on the list of countries scheduled to be visited by Global Journeys 2020. In response to this Alert Level 2, we have decided to postpone the travel dates for Global Journeys Milan Fashion from March to May, 2020. Additionally, while Global Journeys Croatia is not under a CDC warning, our providers have informed us that several locations on this itinerary have been closed out of an abundant sense of caution. We therefore have decided to also postpone travel for Journeys Croatia from March to May 2020

 Based upon relevant and credible information known through today, all other Global Journeys courses remain scheduled to travel to their various destinations as planned. This could change and we will keep you promptly and fully informed as soon as we receive information that materially impacts any Journeys destination. 

 If any student prefers to opt out of the international Journeys travel opportunities in locations without any elevated CDC and WHO-recommended precautions, we will make a regional alternative available. Also, any student in Milan or Croatia with a conflict with the new May dates can take advantage of the alternative global immersion experience.  Please let me know by 12:00 noon on Monday, March 2, 2020 if you prefer to pursue this alternative. 

 Please check your email on a regular basis as this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will send out more updates in the coming days.

 Our decisions are based on constant consultation with our global risk and medical emergency insurance provider. We are also following the information and guidance issued by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) and we are in close communications with our travel providers for each Journeys course and destination. We will keep monitoring these resources, as well as risk management experts and other schools’ practices, and reevaluate on an ongoing basis. 

 According to current research, the majority of Coronavirus cases resemble the common cold or flu, with more severe symptoms predominantly affecting people who are age 50 or older and who have underlying health concerns. The CDC emphasizes the following precautionary measures as best practices:

  • “Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.”

It is possible that governments could take precautionary measures that might disrupt travel.

Global Journeys students: your wellbeing is our primary concern. To enable us to provide any necessary accommodations for you, please update your Travel Health and Medical Questionnaire on Carta if there have been any changes since you submitted it in December, up until the time of travel. Accuracy and full disclosure on this form is essential for your safety. 

 Please reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.

Best wishes, 

Gundolf Graml 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

February 18, 2020 2:01PM

Dear ASC Community, 
 
The World Health Organization announced COVID-19 as the official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. As of February 17, 2020, there were 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Agnes Scott College continues to closely monitor updates from global and state health officials regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 and college leaders will continue to keep the campus community abreast of new developments. Please refer to the Wellness Center website for more information regarding Agnes Scott College's procedures for managing communicable diseases like COVID-19 on campus Also, The Center for Global Learning still does not anticipate any impact to any of our current global learning plans. There are currently no ASC students studying abroad in China nor planning to do so for the foreseeable future. The Center for Global Learning does not anticipate any impact on the Journeys' destinations. CGL will continue to monitor the situation and update campus with any relevant new information.
 
Key Points about COVID-19:
  • Public health officials consider the American general public to be at low risk of being ill with COVID-19. 
  • To date, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Georgia.
  • Those who traveled to China or had close contact with someone known to have COVID-19 are at greatest risk for becoming ill with COVID-19.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms develop 2-14 days after being exposed. 
  • If you traveled from China in the last 2 weeks or have a close contact who is ill with COVID-19 seek medical attention immediately and avoid contact with others. 
  • The CDC has restricted all nonessential travel to China- this strategy has been put in place to contain COVID-19 and limit further spread. 
  • There is not a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this disease. 
  • Treatment for people who become ill with COVID-19 includes the management of symptoms.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of Infection: 
  • Use good hand hygiene!!-- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer, if soap and water are not available. 
  • Use a tissue to cover your cough and sneezes- do not use your hands. Throw the tissue away when you are done. 
  • If you are ill with symptoms of COVID-19, wear a mask. The CDC does not recommend wearing a mask if you do not have symptoms. 
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Resources for up-to-date information about COVID-19

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

February 4, 2020 3:57PM
Dear Agnes Scott Community:

As promised in our  January 29, 2020 message, the Center for Global Learning continues to closely monitor the Novel Coronavirus health outbreak and its potential impact on our community. Despite the intensified media coverage, the official information released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reaffirms that there is currently no reason to be concerned for Agnes Scott’s campus or for our Global Learning programs. We have no students studying abroad in China nor planning to do so any time this semester. Currently no destinations for our Global Journeys Programs are affected by the Novel Coronavirus travel restrictions. The Center for Global Learning is closely following information shared by the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. State Department, and the World Health Organization. We will continue to update the campus with any relevant new information as it becomes available. 


We also want our community to be aware of the following updates regarding travel to and from China:


On January 30, 2020, the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory for China was raised to “Level 4: Do Not Travel.” Following this decision, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department announced that foreign nationals with a travel history in China will be temporarily barred from entering the United States and temporary quarantine measures will be implemented for U.S. citizens with a travel history in China


The following restrictions went into effect at 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, February 2, 2020:


  • Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time," per a presidential proclamation under INA 212(f), signed by President Trump on January 31.

  • Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei province in the 14 days prior to their entry to the United States will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they have been provided proper medical care and health screening

  • Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been anywhere else in mainland China in the 14 days prior to their entry to the United States will undergo a "proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry," and up to 14 days of "monitored self-quarantine" to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.”

There are currently no expiration dates associated with these proclamations.We advise the Agnes Scott College international student and staff community to consider these proclamations as you make travel plans for the Spring and Summer breaks. 


We understand that these travel restrictions may be especially concerning for our international and exchange students. The Center for Global Learning is actively reaching out to support these students on an individual basis. We invite all impacted students to contact us with questions or concerns at globallearning@agnesscott.edu or 404-471-5380.

Gundolf Graml

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

January 28, 2020 4:39PM

Dear ASC Community:

 As a follow up to Dean Goff’s health alert earlier today, we at the Center for Global Learning, in collaboration with the Wellness Center, want to share additional specific information about the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the context of Agnes Scott College and our many Global Learning activities.

The Center for Disease Control has elevated its current travel warnings for China to Level 3: “avoid nonessential travel.” At this point we have no students studying abroad in China nor planning to do so any time this semester. We have reached out to the few students who we know have recently traveled to China, and learned that they were not in locations near Wuhan or Hubei Province and have no symptoms. Students with questions or concerns about their recent travel history or any symptoms, should contact the Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@agnesscott.edu; 404-471-7100.

There is currently no reason to be concerned for Agnes Scott’s campus or for our Global Journeys courses. None of our foreign destinations are on the list of countries currently affected by the virus, and there is no reported elevated risk for travel in general at this time. The Center for Global Learning is closely following information shared by the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. State Department, and the World Health Organization. We also participate in an ongoing exchange of information with the main study abroad organizations (NAFSA and AIEA) and are collaborating with our providers on the ground, our travel emergency and medical services provider (Geoblue), and risk management consultants from Lodestone Security. We will continue to update the campus with any relevant new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please reach out to the Center for Global Learning (globallearning@agnesscott.edu; 404-471-5380) if you have any concerns.

Gundolf Graml

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

January 28, 2020 9:26AM

 Dear ASC Community:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Agnes Scott College is currently monitoring updates from global and state health officials regarding the outbreak. While health officials deem the American general public to be at low risk for becoming ill with 2019-nCoV, many people have been affected worldwide. Therefore, it is important for us to be aware. Here is what you should know about the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

What is 2019 novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus that causes respiratory illness. It was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms of 2019-nCoV can be treated with supportive care. 2019-nCoV can lead to serious health conditions such as pneumonia, or even death. There is currently no vaccine available to treat or prevent 2019-nCoV.

Who is at risk?

2019-nCoV can be spread from person-to-person. Risk factors include:

  1. Recent travel to an area of concern:

                Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

      2. Recent contact with someone who is or has been ill with 2019-nCoV.

 Please seek medical attention if you have fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath and have recently traveled to or have been in contact with someone who has recently traveled to China.

Individuals infected with 2019-nCoV have been identified in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, France, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. As of January 27, 2020, there have been five cases of 2019-nCoV reported in the U.S. These individuals returned to the U.S. from traveling in Wuhan, China. 

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) “…the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time…”.

How can I protect myself and others from 2019-nCoV?

Avoid travel to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China until further notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization is provided

 Avoid contact with individuals who are sick with respiratory illness and/or fever.

 Use good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot use soap and water

 Use a tissue to cover your cough and sneezes – do not use your hands.

If you develop symptoms of 2019-nCoV, seek medical attention immediately and limit contact with other people. Wear a mask if you do come into contact with other people.

 Where can I find more information about novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

Global and federal organizations such as the CDC are still learning information about 2019-nCoV. Please refer to the resources listed below for the most up to date information about 2019-nCoV.

    CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China

      CDC Health Alert 

   CDC Travel Health Notice

   World Health Organization (WHO)Coronavirus

     Georgia Department of Health

 If you have any immediate questions, please feel free to contact the Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@agnesscott.edu

 Students, if you believe you have symptoms of 2019 novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV), please make an appointment to be seen at the Wellness Center.    

--

Wellness Center