From President Bertolino re: the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

February 26, 2020

Dear members of the Southern community,
As you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that it expects the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to spread across the United States, as the number of cases continues to grow worldwide.
While the immediate risk to the American public and to our students and employees is believed to be low at this time, I assure you that Southern remains diligent in monitoring the most up-to-date information. Collaborating with the CSCU System Office and guided by our Emergency Management Plan --  -- we are prepared to respond quickly and appropriately, should the situation escalate.
Our Office of International Education, following CDC and U.S. State Department protocols, is working to ensure the safety of all our students abroad – including two who are currently studying in Italy – and determine when they may need to return home. Returning students will not come back to campus until after an appropriate period, as determined by CDC guidelines. Further student study abroad in affected countries has been suspended.
Similarly, we are monitoring the travels of any faculty members who may be currently engaged in teaching research abroad and will ensure that the same protocols are followed when they return to the U.S. The System Office has ordered all institutionally sponsored travel to countries designated at a warning or watch level by the CDC to be suspended or canceled.
On campus, you can play your part in public health efforts to limit the reach of the virus by taking everyday preventative actions that help stop the spread of germs:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

 Additional information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website .
Any students with health-related questions should contact Student Health Services at (203) 392-6300, while staff and faculty members should contact their primary care providers.
Thank you in advance for taking proactive steps to help ensure the continued health and safety of the members of our campus community. I will keep you informed of any future developments.
Joe Bertolino