Sent March 1, 2020
Ever since the announcement of our decision to suspend our Gonzaga in Florence academic program earlier this week, there has been an outpouring of sympathy and support for our students in Florence and their families. Our students in Florence have immediately set about the task of changing travel plans and our colleagues in Florence, as well as here at the Spokane campus, have been working non-stop to support them in this difficult circumstance. I have been very gratified by the offers of assistance made by faculty, staff, and benefactors, and it is without question the case that our students and community will continue to benefit from our support in the days and weeks to come.
Unfortunately, the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues and has so in Italy. The U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department moved portions of the country to a “Warning Level 4” status, indicating evidence of widespread community transmission and advising against non-essential travel to Lombardy and Veneto, Italy.
The health and welfare of our Gonzaga University students and community members continues to be Gonzaga’s number one priority. As a community, we seek to be supportive of our Gonzaga community members traveling abroad, and we seek to make decisions and provide advice with the aim of doing our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The following guidelines were sent to our Gonzaga in Florence participants and their families today.
Because this is a rapidly changing situation, students returning to the U.S. may encounter differing types of direction from local authorities depending on their entry point in the U.S. and information/guidance from their specific home health district.
At this point, Gonzaga recommends following World Health Organization guidelines for returning students:
- Individuals who have returned from an area where COVID-19 is believed to exist or is spreading should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day.
- If they develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever (i.e. a temperature of 99.1 F or more) they should stay at home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (one meter/3 feet or nearer) with other people, including family members. They should also telephone their healthcare provider or the local public health department, giving them details of their recent travel and symptoms.
In reviewing the most current information available regarding COVID-19 fatalities, it appears that people over 50 are more vulnerable than younger people. Recognizing that Gonzaga University students are members of multiple communities and families, we ask that our returning students exercise self-care and appropriate care for others in their return.
Our thoughts and prayers are especially with our Gonzaga in Florence students and colleagues, and their families during this uniquely stressful time. Please visit www.gonzaga.edu/coronavirus for updated information and a form to submit questions and comments.
Deena J. González, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President