Coronavirus Update for Students

February 28, 2020

Westminster College is closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). College safety and health experts are in frequent contact with state and local health departments and will continue to follow guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC and State Department. A college working group was formed to lead responses to the outbreak that include communications, risk planning, and travel abroad experiences. At this time, the Utah Department of Health reports NO cases of COVID-19 anywhere in Utah.

Additional information regarding the coronavirus may be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Westminster College has created a COVID-19 news item on the college news webpage, where communications to the campus community and additional relevant information is posted.

If deemed necessary, the college will communicate procedures through email, social media and our emergency communications system. If you have not yet updated your contact information to receive email, text and phone alerts through our college emergency system, please do so in Self-Service under user options.

Westminster Recommendations

The College strongly recommends avoiding professional or personal travel to any country with a CDC level 3 or State Department level 4 advisory based on the novel coronavirus. These advisories change frequently and currently include China and South Korea.

Italy, Japan, and Iran are also experiencing sustained spread of the virus and travelers are encouraged to take precautions if visiting these countries.

The College is assessing all academic travel abroad and making appropriate decisions to reroute or cancel the course trips from areas impacted by COVID-19. If you have specific questions about your international travel, please reach out to Global Engagement. Either Sara Demko (sdemko@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2825) or Alison Vasquez (avasquez@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2829) can provide assistance.

What You can Do to Protect Yourself

While there is no coronavirus currently spreading in the United States, you may be able to reduce the risk of spread of coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Behaviors of Bias

Be aware that concern around this emerging issue can lead to stigma and bias.

  • Coronavirus doesn’t recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity.
  • Wearing a face mask does not mean that a person is ill.
  • Submit a Bias Report if you see, hear, or read misinformation or harassment.
  • Show compassion and support for those who have been most closely impacted.

If you would like more information, please utilize the contact information below.

Campus Safety: Bri Buckley bbuckley@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2529

Global Engagement: Sara Demko sdemko@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2825 or Alison Vasquez avasquez@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2829

Student Health Services: April Greener studenthealthservices@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2239

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