Note: We will continue to update this page with new developments in response to the continuing COVID-19 situation. Please scroll down to view updates in chronological order:

 

March 2, 2020

Good afternoon Spring Hill family,

As we informed you this weekend, the Italy Center was temporarily closed and students there were sent home. This decision was made after the U.S. State Department elevated the travel advisory to Level 3: Reconsider Travel for that region. In addition, in light of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control also issued guidance for colleges and universities with students studying abroad. In effect, every college or university in the United States has now been advised that their study abroad students should return to their homes in the U.S.  At this time, none of the students or staff of the Italy Center are experiencing any symptoms nor has anyone tested positive for the coronavirus.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/student-foreign-travel.html

I also wanted to let you know that we have asked the Italy Center students to follow these two health requirements after they return to the United States:

  • They are to remain home for 14 days before returning to campus. We have also communicated this information to their parents and families.
  • We also require that they provide a clearance note from their doctor before they are allowed back on campus, indicating that they are free of coronavirus symptoms.

For everyone’s information, I am sharing some FAQs we provided to our Italy Center students yesterday. I hope they will answer any questions you might have:

What does the 14-day self-quarantine mean? For the well-being of all involved, yourself included, the College respectfully requests students returning from Italy remain off campus for 14 days before returning. This quarantine period mirrors the CDC recommendation that travelers to Italy self-monitor their health after travel.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-italy

How do I provide a medical note to show that I am OK to be on campus? You can bring your medical note that shows you are symptom-free to the Office of Student Affairs in the Barter Student Center or email it to Kevin Abel at kabel@shc.edu.

Do I return to campus for the semester or remain home? You will remain home and reconvene remotely with the Italy Center.

Can I visit friends on campus? Absolutely. We can’t wait to see you back on campus after your 14-day stay at home and the note from your doctor.

Are we able to talk to counselors at the Wellness Center? Of course. If you want to call or Skype the Wellness Center, that resource is available to you.

How will classes work? You will receive instructions from Italy Center staff later in the week.

What should I do if I get sick? Should you begin to feel any symptoms, please follow CDC recommendations:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out. The College is working diligently and purposefully to ensure this situation is handled in the safest and most positive manner for all involved.

E. Joseph Lee, Ph.D.

President, Spring Hill College

 

February 24, 2020

Dear Italy Center Students,

I am writing in regards to the recent increase of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Northern Italy. Currently, there are two clusters of contagion in northern Italy: one in the Lombardy region and one very small one in Veneto. Both of these regions border us in Emilia-Romagna, but as of right now, there have been no reported COVID-19 cases in BolognaIn collaboration with our colleagues in the Camplus Residence Hall network and American programs across Italy we continue to monitor the situation closely.

We strongly recommend that our students comply with the following measures:

  1. Follow Preventative Measures as recommended by The World Health Organization:
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing—throw the tissue away immediately, and wash your hands
  • Staying in your dorm room if you are sick
  • Not returning to classes until you’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without medication
  1. Not attend service or internship placements until after March 1.
  1. No longer allow overnight guests in the Camplus Residence Hall. If you have pre scheduled a guest, we ask that they find an alternative location. This policy may change after March 1.
  1. Remain in Bologna until March 1. Travel outside of Bologna is highly discouraged due to the fact that airplanes and trains are locations where germs are easily spread. We have cancelled the March 2 day trip to Parma.
  1. Continue to Monitor the following sites for updates as to the Coronavirus:

The World Health Organization (https://www.who.int )

The US Center for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html )

The United States Embassy in Rome

( https://it.usembassy.gov/health-alert-u-s-embassy-rome-italy-february-23-2020/ )

Many of you have expressed concern upon hearing that the University of Bologna and other nearby institutions will be cancelling classes this week. The decision was made because a number of these institutions’ students live in the areas affected by the current quarantines in place, and as such, would be forced to miss their lessons. All administrative offices on these campuses will continue to be open as normal, but classes will be suspended to avoid adversely impacting these students further.

Given this, we do not believe that cancelling classes is warranted at this time due to the fact that we do not have students entering our classes who are arriving from outside of Bologna.  We will continue to reassess this decision as the situation evolves.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Dr. Todd Waller

Director, Spring Hill Italy Center