Dear AUS Community:
We continue to watch the Coronavirus situation as it develops in Washington State. You may have seen news reports about the possibility that there are more cases of Coronavirus in the Seattle area than were previously known, and of course, this is concerning. It is clear also that the circumstances are changing by the day, and my team and I are in constant contact to ensure that we are doing what we should to keep our campus safe and prevent the further spread of the virus.
At this point, our campus has not been impacted and I do not expect us to close for any length of time under current circumstances. However, we expect to take precautions, and I would like the whole community to work together to help those precautions succeed and to keep each other healthy:
- Do not come to work or class if you are sick or symptomatic. Seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. Initial symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and a fever. Students, please work directly with faculty members about any accommodations you might need if you are sick or symptomatic. Faculty, please consult with chairs if your own situation demands accommodation or if you are concerned about a class. Much of what happens over the next few weeks and months will have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and we’ll all work together to ensure as much continuity and as little disruption as we can.
- We are increasing our wipe-downs of all surfaces and watching soap dispensers to ensure they are filled and operable. If you see something that needs attention, please contact our front desk.
- Please wash your hands thoroughly and frequently when you are on campus or traveling. Doing so can help prevent infection of yourself and others.
- Public events are still happening on campus unless they are canceled by their organizers.
If the situation requires a change in the way we do instruction, we are prepared to adapt using online modes of connection. Lessons might be offered via Zoom and materials made available on Sakai. Again, this will vary from course to course, and I am asking for flexibility and maximum communication as we make adjustments to adapt to changing conditions.
The very best thing we can do in a situation like this is to stay informed and work together to make decisions that maximize the well-being of our community. Unfortunately, there is misinformation being spread, and it is difficult sometimes to discern what is trustworthy. Here are some of the sources we are monitoring to stay informed;
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCov), Public Health Seattle and King County (this site includes FAQ in English, Spanish and Chinese)
- Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020, Washington State Department of Health
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Guidance for Travelers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Public Health–Seattle and King County coronavirus webpage will be continually updated as more information becomes available.
- The New York Times and the Washington Post have both done some excellent reporting on the outbreak and can help give context for some of the news you receive elsewhere.
Please contact me at any time via email if you have any concerns about our handling of this situation. I will stay in touch as it develops.
Benjamin S. Pryor, Ph.D.
Antioch University Seattle