Button Menu

Coronavirus Update March 6

Dear DePauw students, faculty, staff, parents and guardians, 

We are writing to update you regarding COVID-19. The first positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in Marion County, Indiana, near Indianapolis. The individual is an adult who recently traveled to Boston, has a mild case of the virus and followed recommended protocols. Although Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has declared a public health emergency, the individual is currently in isolation and the Indiana State Health Commissioner stated that there is no ongoing risk to the public. 

There are currently no confirmed cases at DePauw and no suspected cases. Public health officials continue to advise that it is safer to remain in place and avoid large events or gatherings rather than travel elsewhere.

We remind everyone that: 

  • Healthy college students are among those least at risk for serious illness from COVID-19; officials have confirmed that, as with the flu, those who are elderly and/or have an underlying condition are most at risk.

  • No one can guarantee there won’t be a case of COVID-19 in any community.

Events and Travel:

Our top priority is the safety of our students, staff and faculty; in that regard, we have made several decisions regarding travel and events, including the following: 

  • The cancellation of all events with guest lecturers or visitors beginning March 8, 2020 at least through Spring Break, including Monday night’s Ubben lecture with Brad Stevens and the Green Guest Artist concert on March 13, as precautionary measures due to the high number of people who plan to attend from out-of-town locations.

  • The suspension of all university-funded international travel (and have already returned students who were studying abroad in Italy earlier this semester) through Spring Break, and potentially beyond, and cancelling planned visits from all international areas. We are also discouraging all university-funded domestic travel.

  • We are reviewing planned off campus travel for athletics and we will make a decision shortly. 

  • We are advising community members to avoid unnecessary exposure and reconsider personal travel internationally and to places in the US with reported cases, but recognize that it is a personal choice to travel.  

Be assured that we will report community-wide if a suspected or confirmed case occurs, with additional recommendations.

Campus environment:

As a reminder, we continue to ask that everyone remain vigilant and prepared. The best public health actions are non-pharmacological interventions (NPI’s) that can slow the spread of emerging respiratory diseases like COVID–19 for which vaccines and drug treatments are not yet available. Please review the following NPI’s for community preparedness.

CDC and WHO recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventive measures:

  • Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.

  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can and wash or disinfect hands. 

  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose.

  • Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.

  • A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask of any type protects non-sick persons. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If an individual becomes symptomatic, it is appropriate to seek medical evaluation by calling ahead before visiting your medical provider and place a mask on your face upon arrival.

  • Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with others.

  • Not travel while sick.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing

If you develop a fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) please call DePauw Health at 765-658-4555 to schedule an appointment; do not come to the office without calling first. If you are asymptomatic, you do not have to be seen by a provider. If you need care outside DePauw Health Office hours, please click the following link with local resources for care http://depauwhealth.org/after-hours-care/

This email and all other communications can be found on our preparedness website. The Critical Incident Management Team and DePauw is planning for various scenarios should a confirmed case appear on our campus. 

If you have further questions about the policy information contained here please use the following contacts:

  • Students and parents: Student Academic Life at 765-658-4270

  • Staff: Human Resources at 765-658-4181

  • Faculty: Dave Berque at vpaa@depauw.edu

Sincerely,
The DePauw University Critical Incident Management Team