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University Update on COVID-19

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*Published on March 10, 2020*

To all Students, Faculty, and Staff:

In light of the continuing global impact and community transmission of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)—and in accordance with public health recommendations—we are writing again to share important updates designed to protect the Northeastern community, while maintaining continuity of education and research.

Travel

To safeguard the health and wellbeing of the university community, we will suspend all non-essential university-sponsored travel—both international and domestic. In select cases where in-person participation remains vital, decisions to approve air travel will be determined by one of the university’s six senior vice presidents, with input from Northeastern’s Global Safety and Security Assessment Committee.

Faculty and staff with questions about this change should consult with their supervisor; students should contact WeCare: wecare@northeastern.edu.

Large Gatherings

Effective immediately, and consistent with recommendations of the CDC and other public health authorities, large gatherings on Northeastern campuses will be limited to essential events only—subject to the approval of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Approved events will be limited to 50 percent of available seating capacity to comply with appropriate social distancing guidance. In cases where compliance with social distancing recommendations is impractical, events will be rescheduled. Whenever possible, all non-essential large events will move to virtual format.

Dialogues of Civilization

The university will work to reprogram all planned Summer I Dialogue of Civilization global experiences, moving program locations in some instances and offering them virtually in others. In cases where faculty members leading programs determine doing so is impractical, affected students will be refunded all associated fees. The Global Experience Office will be in touch to discuss options available to students. A decision about Summer II Dialogues will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Flexibility for Employees

We realize that some faculty and staff have concerns about exposure to the virus at work and the risk of disease transmission. To that end, we want to reiterate that if you are sick, or think you are sick, please stay at home. Do not go to class, and do not go to work, and please contact your medical care provider. In addition, the CDC has identified several high-risk groups:

  • People 60 years of age or older;
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, or diabetes;
  • People who have weakened immune systems; and
  • People who are pregnant.

Faculty and staff who are considered high risk will be able to work remotely. Anyone with questions about their ability to work remotely should consult with their supervisor and the Senior HR business partner assigned to their college or department.

We continue to be guided in our decision-making by the recommendations of public health authorities, and we remain poised to respond quickly to changing circumstances as they become warranted. We encourage you to check the university’s COVID-19 website for the latest updates and changes to university programs.

Sincerely,

Kenneth W. Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning

Michael Armini
Senior Vice President for External Affairs

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