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Campus News

Coronavirus Update from Brandeis University

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Since the coronavirus emerged in January, Brandeis University has been tracking developments, making recommendations about travel, and reminding our community to be supportive of one another during this uncertain time. As you are an important member of our community, we want to update you on how the university is responding to this situation, and how it may impact you and your plans with respect to Brandeis events and travel.

Brandeis has appointed a Coronavirus/COVID-19 Task Force with a number of working groups to consider all aspects of prevention and preparedness. We also have established a coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage with the most current answers to frequently asked questions and are posting frequent updates on our campus updates webpage.

While much remains unknown about COVID-19's characteristics, after consulting with leaders in the medical community in Boston, Brandeis has implemented these new policies, effective immediately through May 3, based on the concept of increasing social distancing.

As a member of the Brandeis community, you will find the new policies impact our event programming for both on and off campus events:

  • Effective immediately, any in-person Brandeis event with more than 100 attendees, on-campus or off-campus, will be postponed, canceled or “virtualized” – that is, made accessible via remote technology.
  • While athletic events on campus will continue, for the time being, we will not permit spectators at the games/meets. This includes both members of the Brandeis community and those from off-campus.
  • Even for events with less than 100 people, organizers will consider postponing the event and using remote technology instead. Evidence to date suggests that COVID-19 hits certain vulnerable populations harder, including older individuals and those with additional health conditions. Whatever the size of an event, organizers will consider postponing it if many attendees will be over the age of 60.
  • Given this policy, we have canceled Admitted Students Day on April 19 and will be offering a range of virtual and online events in April for the Class of 2024 to connect with faculty, staff, and current Brandeis students.

In addition, the new policy includes:

  • A requirement for visitors from outside campus, from countries which the CDC has declared Level 3 (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) or Level 2 (currently Japan) to successfully complete 14 days of self-quarantine before joining us;
  • A suspension of all international and non-essential domestic travel for Brandeis faculty, staff and students.

Review this recent letter to the community for more details on the new policies. In the meantime, we will provide updates on Brandeis events through our web pages, social media, and individual event listings on our event calendar. If you have already registered for an event that may be cancelled, postponed or virtualized, you will be notified via email of the change.

We will continue to review these policies, provide regular updates and offer guidance about activities after May 3, such as Commencement and Alumni Weekend, as soon as we are able. If you have questions about the status of a particular event, you may email alumni@brandeis.edu.

We understand that there are likely to be differences of opinion with respect to how we should respond to the uncertainties associated with this new virus. At the same time, we know that Brandeis is a community where care, concern and compassion for others are long-standing values. This is a moment when we must embrace these values more than ever. We thank you for your patience, flexibility and understanding as we manage this difficult situation.

Categories: Campus News
Date: March 10, 2020