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Coronavirus Update

Dear TCNJ Community:

As we approach our mid-semester break in an environment of continuing updates on the coronavirus, I write to provide an update on information, decisions, and actions in support of TCNJ community members.

International travel during spring break: We ask that members of our community with international travel plans over spring break keep personal and community health their first priority. Speak with your family and friends and make prudent choices with their and your health in mind. TCNJ requests that community members traveling abroad over spring break, regardless of country, complete this form upon their return. This travel record will allow us to provide you with the latest guidance in a changing situation. According to the CDC, avoid nonessential travel to China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea (Level 3 countries) and practice enhanced precautions when traveling to Japan and Africa, the latter due to a polio outbreak.

Personal and TCNJ-related domestic travel: The CDC reports 80 coronavirus cases in the US. The number will likely rise with increasingly available testing. Most cases are in Washington and California, with 1-5 cases in Oregon, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The CDC has not recommended domestic travel restrictions. TCNJ students, faculty, and staff are asked to take the recommended precautions of frequent hand washing (20 seconds); resist touching eyes, nose, and mouth; and avoid contact with people who are sick. No travel restrictions are recommended at this time.

Students, faculty, and staff currently or recently abroad: Campus offices are in touch with all community members currently or recently abroad, providing guidance upon return to the United States. We are working with students returning early from a semester abroad to identify ways for them to complete their academic credits.

Summer faculty-led and study abroad trips: We are monitoring the situation with the goal of making a “go/no go” decision by March 23. A trip cancellation by that date will give students time to make alternative plans. Trips allowed to continue past March 23 may still be subject to cancellation depending on the situation at that time. While the CDC Level of any country may change by late spring, the lead time in planning these trips necessitates that decisions be made well before the travel date.

Future TCNJ-related international travel: Requests to travel to CDC Level 2 and Level 3 countries and current approved travel to these countries will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Expect approvals to closely follow CDC recommendations. We recognize that individual travel can be changed more readily than group travel.

Reimbursement for canceled travel: Cancellation of an international or domestic conference by the host organization or changes in a travel plan because of the coronavirus can result in the need to seek reimbursement for TCNJ approved travel. In many cases the conference host may be responsible to refund registration fees. Some credit cards have automatic travel insurance that may apply. Please contact your dean’s office or supervisor should you need to request reimbursement due to a trip cancellation.

There is no lack of sound advice for reducing the probability of catching the coronavirus. This TCNJ website provides advice and additional links. Needless to say, the situation is fluid and one that we all hope improves soon. Until then, please exercise appropriate caution to protect your own health and safety as well as that of the campus community. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact Academic Affairs at academic@tcnj.edu.

With regards (and a bit of caution),

William W. Keep
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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