March 2, 2020

COVID-19 remains a serious and growing concern across the globe. With spring break approaching, many of you may be unsure about proceeding with your travel plans, whether personal or College-sponsored. We write with important, new information about all College-sponsored travel and with information and resources that may help you make your personal travel decisions.

Students, faculty, and staff are now required to register all Amherst-sponsored travel with the College via an online registry on the website. We also strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to submit basic information about their personal travel plans on the same site. This registry allows us to gather information so we can be as responsive as possible to anyone who might need assistance as the situation evolves, or in the event Amherst or local health officials need to investigate a local outbreak. Please take a minute now to register your travel plans, both international and domestic.

 The College is now also requiring or requesting the following:

  • Anyone who currently has College-sponsored travel plans of any kind to countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have assigned a Level 3 Travel Health Notice must cancel those trips. (This designation means that the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to those destinations.)

  • Students, faculty, and staff who have traveled to or through any of the Level 3 countries for College-sponsored or personal reasons beginning Sunday, February 23, should remain at home and monitor their health for 14 days following their return. Out of an abundance of caution, this practice covers more countries than the current guidance from the CDC (which only covers travel to or through China). We have begun to communicate and work with members of our community whose travel has included these countries during this time period.

  • If affected by the above practice, faculty should contact the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, staff should contact their supervisor/department chair, and students should contact their class dean, to discuss a plan for the 14-day period.

To our knowledge, no members of the College community have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at this time. The virus continues to spread, however, and we are committed to taking proactive steps with the goal of protecting and supporting our community.

By the end of today, March 2, we will launch a single webpage for information on COVID-19, including prevention tips, College resources, and all related campus communications: COVID-19 Updates | News. Please check the site regularly. We will continue to send updates via email and the Daily Mammoth. Additionally, if you have questions that these resources do not address, you may send them to covid19-info@amherst.edu. Useful external resources include the CDC, specifically its FAQ for travelers, and the U.S. Department of State

Lastly, we ask that you remember that there are people in our community who, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, cannot go home for spring break, are worried about friends or family in affected areas, or are currently in those areas themselves. They need our collective support, understanding, and empathy. Let's do all we can to keep our community safe and well.

Sincerely,

Catherine Epstein
Provost and Dean of the Faculty>

Karu Kozuma
Chief Student Affairs Officer

Maria-Judith Rodriguez
Chief Human Resources Officer