Coronavirus Preparation Update from President Daniels and Provost Akridge
March 2, 2020
Dear members of the Purdue community,
No objective surpasses in priority the health and safety of the campus community. As you all are aware, people and institutions around the world are working to address and respond to the evolving nature and implications of COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus. In every way, we at Purdue are doing the same.
It is our hope that we are preparing for many eventualities that will never occur. But we are discussing, planning and taking all necessary actions to protect the safety of our faculty, staff, students and visitors against possible threats, likely or unlikely.
It is important to note that currently there are zero incidents of COVID-19 at Purdue or in Indiana. We know that may change at any time, and to that end, we will address this problem in layers, which we describe below.
First: Precaution. As we have previously communicated, Purdue has suspended university-sponsored travel to countries listed by the CDC with level 2 or level 3 travel advisories for coronavirus. This includes study abroad trips planned for spring and summer. Those countries currently are China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan. Additional decisions will be made if and when levels change for these or other countries.
Effective immediately, we will not extend invitations to or host visitors from those countries at our Purdue West Lafayette, Purdue Northwest or Purdue Fort Wayne campuses or at our research parks. Faculty, staff or others who were expecting to host campus visitors from these countries may wish to check in with Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs, at email@example.com.
Second: Containment. Should this virus appear on campus or should there be a potential of the problem on or near campus, we have identified steps for assessment and containment, including identification of spaces for quarantine and best practices for attending to those who are in quarantine and those with whom they have interacted.
Third: Continuity. It is very unlikely that the problem will progress to the point of needing to impose ‘social distancing’ and pause face-to-face instruction as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. However, we are currently working with the Innovative Learning team (Purdue Online) on approaches that will allow us to continue to deliver courses. Faculty and staff should begin to consider how, through Purdue learning management systems or other means, they would deliver classes and continue communications with students to keep their educational programs on track.
In addition, all units on campus should consider their own continuity plans and remind the units and staff of emergency planning procedures that are already in place, including identification of essential personnel and essential operations. Assistance with emergency preparedness can be found at Purdue’s emergency planning website at https://www.purdue.edu/ehps/emergency_preparedness/.
In order to help keep everyone up to date, today we launched a website
that will include the latest guidance and information for the campus
community, including links to key resources, answers to our most
frequently asked questions, and contact information for additional
information and direction. The site,
https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2020/Q1/need-to-know-info-about-covid-2019.html, will be updated frequently and your questions and suggestions are welcome.
We thank each and every one of you for your continued assistance in keeping our campus community safe and healthy.
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
Jay T. Akridge
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity