The message below was sent to Meredith College students, faculty, and staff on Thursday, Feb. 27. This was the third message to Meredith community members to keep them informed about the coronavirus. Please visit Meredith’s Coronavirus Information webpage meredith.edu/health-services/coronavirus-information for updates.
Meredith students, faculty, and staff,
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues making international headlines since surfacing in Wuhan, China in December 2019. On February 25, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised Americans to begin preparing for the spread of the disease in the United States.
With so much information swirling in the news and on social media, you may be wondering about the coronavirus outbreak’s potential to affect our community both here on campus and abroad.
We remain focused on the ongoing health, safety, and well-being of all members of the Meredith community. As we reported to you in a 1/29/20 campus coronavirus advisory, several college offices, departments, and cross-functional teams are actively monitoring the outbreak and planning for any potential impacts. Members of Meredith’s incident response team are meeting regularly to assess this ongoing situation. Meredith also has a plan specific to pandemic conditions that can be activated if needed.
Potential Campus Impacts
While the coronavirus is a serious health threat, it is important to keep in mind that, as of today, there have only been 15 confirmed cases reported in the U.S., and none reported here in North Carolina. The immediate coronavirus risk to our campus remains low. We encourage you to stay vigilant in following CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of any virus, including influenza, which currently poses a far greater risk to our community than coronavirus.
Study Abroad Impacts
On February 25, 2020, the CDC updated its guidance regarding coronavirus to include caution about travel in parts of Europe, including in Italy where Meredith has a permanent study abroad site.
Meredith currently does not have a spring semester program underway in Sansepolcro, Italy. The Provost’s Office, international programs staff, and study abroad faculty are working together to monitor daily updates and determine how to best proceed with forthcoming programs. The Office of International Programs is in direct communication with students who have been accepted to Meredith Abroad programs in Europe this summer.
There are no Meredith students studying abroad in Asia at this time. A small number of students are studying abroad in Europe this semester in affiliate programs. These trusted partners are issuing ongoing guidance to the students. International programs staff are also in communication with these students and affiliate partners.
Spring Break Travel Impacts
Travel advisories are changing daily. Faculty, staff, and students with Spring Break travel plans are encouraged to monitor the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC websites to stay up-to-date on the coronavirus and affected areas.
While we may continue to issue advisory emails if the situation warrants, we encourage you to check Meredith’s coronavirus web page for the latest information about the virus and our response.
Thank you for your attention to this message and for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our community.
Meredith’s Incident Management Team