March 2, 2020 Coronavirus Update: Self-Isolation Procedures

Dear Wheaton students, faculty and staff:

This email contains important information regarding the procedure for returning to campus after traveling during spring break, personal travel or college-sponsored travel. Please read this information carefully.

In the face of ever-changing information about the coronavirus, college officials are closely monitoring ongoing developments and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With this in mind, we are advising students, faculty and staff returning from Italy, South Korea, Japan, China, Iran and any country or region designated in the future by the CDC as one with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Advisory to practice:

  1. Self-isolation
  2. Social distancing

This means that we expect students, faculty and staff to return to your family home or to an off-campus residence AND to refrain from close contact (within 6 feet) of individuals (students, staff and faculty) currently on campus for a minimum of 14 days after your return to the U.S. You will not be permitted to return to campus during this time. Additionally, we encourage students, staff, and faculty to be mindful when inviting guests to campus.

Self-isolation means:

  • Limit contact with others; staying at your family home (not on campus).
  • Monitor for fever by taking your temperature twice a day (morning and night).
  • Remain alert for signs of fever, cough, sore throat, wheezing and/or difficulty breathing during the 14 day self-observation period.
  • Seek health advice by telephone from a health care provider if you develop any symptoms of illness; call ahead before entering a medical facility; and notify emergency personnel of your travel history and symptoms if you call 911.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use a 60% alcohol-based hand rub after coughing and sneezing. Throw used tissues in an appropriate receptacle.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, straws, smoking devices, cell phones, towels, eating utensils, bedding or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
  • Clean surfaces that you share with others, such as doorknobs, phones, any objects that you sneeze or cough on, and bathroom surfaces (including sinks, countertops and toilets) with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.

Social distancing means:

  • Avoiding locations where large groups of people congregate, such as: public transportation, shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, supermarkets, stadiums, workplaces, schools and classroom settings. Again, we include campus in this category.
  • Maintaining a distance (approximately 6 feet) from others. This includes limiting contact with persons living in your residence.

All students, staff and faculty returning from those countries listed above and other regions with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Advisory designation may return to campus only after the allotted time has passed and the re-entry process with the college has been completed. Separate correspondence regarding the details of the college’s re-entry process will be forthcoming.

We will continue to remain in contact with you and your families as updated information becomes available and we thank you in advance for your cooperation as we strive to keep our campus community safe and healthy in these unprecedented times.

For Questions and More Information:

If you are a student and have questions or concerns, please contact Cynthia Maricle, Associate Director of Student Health Services, or Zack Irish, Dean of Students.

If you are faculty or staff and have questions or if you will be traveling to or have recently returned from a country or region with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Advisory, please be in contact with Omaira Roy, Associate Vice President of Human Resources at ext 3544 or via email at [email protected].

Kind regards,

Zachary Irish, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Renee White, Provost
Omaira Roy, Associate Vice President of Human Resources