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Forester News

Coronavirus update issued

College administrators issued a coronavirus update via a campus-wide email last week. Read here.

February 26, 2020

Students, faculty, and staff,

Many of you have become aware that yesterday the CDC recently increased the level of concern about the likelihood of coronavirus (COVID-19) appearing in the United States in greater numbers. 

Experts’ best advice for preventing the spread of this virus – as well as influenza – includes washing your hands, covering your cough, staying home/in your room if you are sick, keeping workspaces clean, keeping your distance from people who are sick, and getting your flu shot. 

It’s also important to stay calm and continue to be kind and supportive to members of our campus community. Too many campuses are reporting anti-Asian sentiment, and such microaggressions are clearly unacceptable in our community.

We’d like to take this opportunity to reassure you of a number of things:

  • Throughout this semester, Kathy Salinger (Nurse Practitioner in Health & Wellness) has been in regular contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health and has been monitoring the Centers for Disease Control in order to respond and provide guidance to other administrators as needed. 
  • Student Affairs has been in contact with a few students directly affected by the coronavirus, including students currently outside the United States who have had interruptions to their study abroad plans, as well as those with impacted family members outside of the United States. 
  • Relevant staffers on the College’s Safety Committee recently discussed general preparedness for coronavirus and considered the challenges we’ll need to consider in the event that isolation and/or quarantine instructions are given by local, state, or federal authorities.
  • The Crisis Management Team will meet this week to review the College’s Emergency Operations Plan and our existing pandemic plans, to better prepare for a coronavirus outbreak, if one were to occur in weeks ahead.  We will be guided by recommendations from the American College Health Association, Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.
  • Rick Cohen (Director of Public Safety) is a member of the Emergency Management Coordinating Council of Lake County. He will be meeting with that organization next week and will provide guidance developed from that discussion.
  • If you are interested in learning more, here are two recent articles and the CDC website:

o   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/health/prepare-for-coronavirus.html

o   https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/26/how-to-prepare-for-coronavirus/

o   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

We will keep the campus updated of any significant changes, and will send another update next week before Spring Break travels begin. 

Thank you,

Andrea Conner, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Rick Cohen, Director of Public Safety
Mary Grigar, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Health & Wellness
Kathy Salinger, Nurse Practitioner