Update to faculty and staff from St. Norbert College: Travel Restrictions and Other COVID-19 Updates

March 5, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We want to briefly update you on steps currently in progress as our campus responds to COVID-19. Please know that as of this writing:

  • Leadership in Academic Affairs and the President’s Cabinet have each met multiple times to make decisions related to COVID-19, especially as pertains to study abroad and international travel.
  • working group crossing multiple college divisions has met three times in less than a week with its next meeting scheduled for Friday. That group has initially focused on the most imminent questions related to students returning from Study Abroad in Italy, but is turning its attention to wider topics of how to respond to a domestic epidemic should that impact campus.
  • The office of communications has built a webpage that will serve as a hub of information – it contains communications sent to various campus groups, FAQs and links to useful information.

At this time we are alerting faculty and staff to new policies related to international travel. These are in effect immediately. While we recognize there could be disappointment or frustration with some of these decisions, the President’s Cabinet (informed by the input from the groups noted above) is making decisions based on two primary values: 1) the health and well-being of all in our campus community and 2) supporting the ability of our students to make academic progress this semester.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, St. Norbert College is requiring that all work-related, professional travel be canceled to all countries with a CDC Travel Health Notice at Level 2 or above. If you are currently in a country at or above a Level 2 Travel Health Notice, you need to return to the United States immediately.
  • Upon return to the U.S., in accordance with today’s advisory to higher education institutions from the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, individuals returning from countries at or above Level 2 will not be allowed on campus for a period of 14 days from the date of return to the U.S., to allow for self-monitoring for any coronavirus symptoms.
  • While the college does not have the authority to place limits on personal travel, we want to ensure you are aware of the following:
    • International travel has the potential to increase your risk of contracting COVID-19, even if you do not travel to destinations currently at a high-risk level.
    • If personal travel takes you to a country that is at or above Level 2, or rises to that level during your stay, you will be required to stay away from campus for 14 days of self-monitoring before being permitted to return.
Any faculty or staff with questions about these restrictions should speak with their direct supervisor who, in turn, can consult their vice president as needed.

The college is taking every step to ensure the safety of our campus community. We value the role of international travel in higher education. We feel these restrictions are necessary at this time. As much in this situation is volatile, we will continue to monitor and adjust recommendations as new information warrants.