03/03/2020: An Update to the Sarah Lawrence Community Regarding the Coronavirus

Filed under:

As the global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, Sarah Lawrence College is actively monitoring disease-spread in the U.S., in the New York region in particular, and at overseas sites where students attend exchange or study abroad programs. This morning, we were informed that a second case in New York State has been identified as a Westchester County resident, first diagnosed at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville and currently under care in a New York City hospital. We are continuously monitoring the situation as it unfolds and will keep the campus updated with advisories and actions.

Please note: at this time (March 3, 2020) we have no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 on the Sarah Lawrence campus or at its global studies sites.

These are extraordinary times and together we will continue to act thoughtfully, carefully, and in keeping with the best medical guidance available to protect the Sarah Lawrence community. The collective welfare of the College will continue to be a foremost priority in the months ahead.

With that in mind, due to recently elevated travel warnings from the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, one international program enrolling a small number of Sarah Lawrence students has advised its participants to return home and we are providing guidance to these students accordingly. In connection with this development and in keeping with current best medical practice, the College has implemented a new health and safety protocol, effective immediately, that applies to any Sarah Lawrence student, faculty, or staff who may in the future be returning from nations or regions identified by the U.S. State Department as Level 3 or Level 4—Do Not Travel. The protocol requires these individuals to return directly home, not to the Bronxville campus, for a mandatory 14-day period of self-isolation. The ability to return to campus will be based on the following conditions:

  1. Remaining symptom-free for at least 14 days
  2. The Sarah Lawrence campus is working under normal operations and classes are in session
  3. We are in compliance with any requirements or restrictions on travel and return to campus mandated by state or federal authorities; this includes any restrictions associated with international student visas 

To provide for the continuousness of academic studies, College staff and faculty will work as closely as possible with students who may become subject to the self-isolation requirement. 

This protocol applies to any students, faculty, or staff who travel to Level 3 or Level 4 nations or regions during the spring break period. If you are planning to travel internationally during spring break, we recommend that you monitor the State Department’s travel advisory website daily and avoid travel to any nation or region under a Level 3 or Level 4 warning. Faculty, students, and staff visiting a location that is elevated to Level 3 or Level 4 over the break similarly will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days following their return to the U.S. Consideration should be given as well to possible bans on re-entry or quarantine requirements that the United States might place on individuals returning from these locations.

Please remember that you can reduce the risk of infection and help keep our community healthy by: 

  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Using hand sanitizer frequently
  • Coughing and sneezing into your arm (or tissue) rather than your hands (use cough etiquette)
  • Disposing of tissues immediately after use
  • Cleaning hard surfaces and frequently touched objects with disinfectants
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home (out of class and work/social events/dining halls) when you are sick
  • Bookmarking the Health & Wellness Center's coronavirus update page on MySLC to see previous and ongoing communications regarding the virus  

As we move through this period of uncertainty together, the College will continue to act with the community’s best interest in mind, and will provide updates as relevant information becomes available.

About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.