PRESIDENT ADDRESSES CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS11 Mar 2020 Portions of this article may not reflect the most current situation, and are preserved here for historical purposes only. Please visit nichols.edu/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information. Since the onset of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, it has been clear that the global viral event would continue to evolve and change as the days and weeks passed. Nichols College, like most organizations today, has been tracking the progression of the virus and the myriad responses to it. We continue to receive daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mass Department of Public Health and trust their guidance in assisting our campus action plan. Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 at Nichols College.Based on current information from the CDC, the World Health Organization and the Mass. Dept of Public Health; Nichols College is choosing to take a cautious, but sensible approach. The information shared below represents Nichols College’s position as of March 11, 2020 AT 2:00PM.What we are doing: Keeping our campus community safe is of utmost importance. Administrators, faculty and staff have and will be, actively engaged in:Our intention, at this time, is to remain open and finish our spring semester.Working to create communication plans to keep all our constituents up to date as information changes and decisions are made; notices will continue to be posted to the Nichols College website for ease of access as well as sent directly through the Nichols College email system.Developing policies for supporting employees and students who may have been in contact with someone outside the institution and may now be at risk of exposure to COVID-19.Developing contingency plans for delivering our academic obligations with minimal disruption to our mission and our semester.While we do not need to look far for examples of how other institutions are conducting business and making decisions – we, like most of our peer institutions are going to try and strike a balance between over-reacting and under-reacting. This situation, however, is ever changing and our responses, actions and policies need to be fluid. We fully anticipate that these policies and positions will require updating in the future with little notice as incoming information continues to take shape and change.What we are not doing: Academic Affairs has developed a contingency plan and is helping faculty prepare to execute that plan if we have to move classes to an online virtual class format. This plan includes holding all classes at their regularly scheduled times in a Canvas based/Zoom based setting.Restricting all travel. Nichols College sponsored trips are being evaluated on a trip by trip basis. It is true, that at this point in time some trips have been cancelled, while still others have been altered and some approved to move forward. We are not prepared at this point in time to make a blanket statement restricting all domestic travel. There are no College sponsored trips scheduled to travel internationally.What you can do:Evaluate your own position and plans. Make smart choices about the locations you visit, the activities you engage in and your own health risks. Take your academic materials with you as you leave for Spring Break. A lot can happen in the next week, in the event we need to keep campus closed after the spring break you should be prepared to work from home/elsewhere.Check your campus email often. In the event that Nichols College must alter any plans or policies, we will communicate primarily via the Nichols College email system. Check your email account often. Students please forward these emails to your parents/guardians or direct them to the Nichols College website for updates.Treat the health precautions seriously. Practice thorough handwashing. Minimize communal food and drink. Avoid sharing a handshake, as well as handrails and communal surfaces whenever possible. Urge those who feel unwell to stay home until they feel better. These are just some of the easiest and proven ways to help mitigate your exposure to COVID-19. Check the CDC and WHO websites frequently. Their postings are updated multiple times a day and represent the most authoritative information on the spread of COVID-19.Thank you for your patience as the College responds to the concerns surrounding Coronavirus; know that Nichols College is taking every precautionary measure we feel is prudent to keep the members of our community safe.