What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus

Information about COVID-19 guidelines and protocols at Brandeis has changed frequently as public health guidance has changed; please be aware that the information in this letter may be outdated. For the latest information, please visit the COVID-19 Response website.

March 2, 2020

The information and news about the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, may at times seem overwhelming and frightening. In addition to general concerns, Brandeis community members likely have questions about how their study or work could be affected. A new page on the Health Center website now offers a central location to find information about health, travel, university operations and support services as they relate to Coronavirus/COVID-19. This page will be updated frequently as developments occur.

Coronavirus is still rare in the United States and there has only been one recorded case in Massachusetts. Still, especially now during the flu season, all members of the community are urged to protect themselves and others through frequent hand washing, staying home when they are ill, and using other precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These precautions can also be found on the new webpage.

As Provost Lynch indicated in her message on March 1, a working group of university leaders is in communication daily, meeting multiple times each week for as long as necessary to monitor the situation, refine short- and long-term contingency plans and respond rapidly to emerging issues. Brandeis is prepared to provide housing and other care should students need to quarantine or isolate on campus. We are working closely with students studying abroad and are preparing contingency plans for international students who may be unable to return home over the summer. Brandeis has provided and will continue to provide our community with information about prevention, travel restriction updates and other information.

At times like this it is easy to feel anxious or overwhelmed. Any student who needs emotional support should contact the Brandeis Counseling Center, which can be reached at 781-736-3730. Staff and faculty can get assistance in finding counseling support through Tufts Health Plan if they have university insurance, or through the Employee Assistance Program. If you are in need of additional support during this difficult time, we encourage you to visit the Support at Brandeis website for a full list of resources available on campus.

An unfortunate aspect of this illness has been bias and discrimination directed toward people who observers think may be from the regions most affected. At Brandeis, we are committed to maintaining an inclusive and equitable environment for all our community members. Anyone who encounters bias or discrimination at the university can contact the Office of Equal Opportunity for advice on reporting.

Please remember to treat each other with extra care, concern and respect as we all navigate this situation together as a community.