Coronavirus Update: New Event and Travel Policies Effective Immediately

Mar. 9, 2020

Dear Brandeis Students and Faculty and Staff,

We are writing to update you on a series of new policies that Brandeis University is implementing, effective immediately through May 3, in response to COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. During this period of time we will continue to review these policies, provide regular updates and offer guidance about activities after May 3, such as Commencement, as soon as we are able.

As you may have read in the news, the number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts is rising as more people are tested. We are not aware of any cases among Brandeis students, staff or faculty at this time. While the state of Massachusetts continues to believe that the risk of transmission in our state is low, we know that community spread is occurring in various parts of the United States, with six states already declaring a state of emergency. While much remains unknown about COVID-19's characteristics, after consulting with leaders in the medical community in Boston, we are implementing the following policies based on the concept of increasing social distancing. We understand that these and other measures that we will likely implement in the future will cause significant disruption and inconvenience to the campus community. But on the basis of medical advice we believe that these policies will help mitigate and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We should all be prepared, given the fluid nature of this health crisis, for additional restrictions and updates in the coming weeks.

We understand that there are likely to be differences of opinion with respect to how we should respond to the uncertainties associated with this new virus. But at the same time, we know that Brandeis is a community where care, concern and compassion for the other are longstanding values. This is a moment when we need to embrace these values more than ever. We thank you for your patience, flexibility and understanding as we manage through this difficult situation.

New Brandeis University Campus Restrictions Related to Coronavirus

(Effective immediately through May 3)

On- and Off-Campus Events

Brandeis Classes

All meetings and classes attended by members of the on-campus community will continue to be held as normal. However, if you are not feeling well please do not attend class (this applies equally to faculty and students). A working group is reviewing resources for faculty, especially those with larger classes, who would like to switch to online teaching. More information regarding online options for courses will be shared by next week.

International Travel

Effective immediately – and in step with new advice from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health – we are suspending all international travel on Brandeis business or with Brandeis programs, for all faculty, students, postdocs and staff. This includes any travel associated with one’s scholarly activities as a Brandeis employee, even travel funded by a government grant, foundation, company or another university. Rare exceptions to this policy will be considered, but the request must be made in writing to the Provost.

We strongly discourage any personal international travel but if you do we request that you fill out this international travel form. This information will be used for the purpose of advising you on your return to campus. If you (or a spouse, partner or housemate) travel to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) or Level 2 country (currently Japan) you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Students who travel to one of these countries and who live on campus will not be able to complete the 14-day self-quarantine on campus.

U.S. Travel

All University-related non-essential domestic travel is suspended. In addition, we strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel. Please consider alternative methods to communicate and hold meetings, such as teleconferencing. For the time being Brandeis varsity athletic teams will be able to continue to travel for games and meets, but this may be revised in the near future. Rare exceptions to this policy will be considered but must be requested in writing to the Provost.

Visitors From Outside Brandeis

Visitors from countries which the CDC has declared Level 3 (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) or Level 2 (currently Japan) cannot join us on campus until they have successfully completed 14 days of self-quarantine.

What You Can Do to Help Reduce the Impact of Coronavirus on Our Community

Additional Resources

We understand many of our community members have questions related to the University response of this outbreak. The COVID-19 website has many resources, including an FAQ page that is being updated daily to address new questions that may arise during this fluid situation. We have also established an email address,, for you to direct your questions.


Lisa M. Lynch, Provost

Stew Uretsky, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration