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Coronavirus Updates

Check here for all the latest updates and announcements related to Warren Wilson's response to COVID-19.

CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund for Students – Public Announcement and FAQs, May 21

About CARES Act Funding

The recently enacted federal CARES Act HEERF has provided federal funding to educational institutions to distribute for emergency student grants.  The purpose of the student grants is to provide financial assistance to students for expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the impact of the coronavirus.

 

Was Warren Wilson College included in this Funding Allocation Under the CARES Act?

Yes, in April, President Morton received notification and information about the CARES Act HEERF funding from the Secretary of Education.  Soon after, authorized personnel signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to the Department of Education as required to receive the funding specifically for Warren Wilson College.  In that certification, the college agreed to appropriately spend the $388,269, representative of the 50% student allocation received under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act, to provide emergency grants to our students.  In addition, the college must certify that they have continued to pay all eligible employees and contractors during the period of disruptions or closures to the greatest extent practicable.  We have also complied with this stipulation to the greatest extent practicable.

 

What Kinds of Expenses are these CARES Act HEERF Student Grants to cover?

Examples of expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the impact of the coronavirus are food, housing, course materials, technology needs, health care, or childcare.

 

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the CARES Act HEERF Student Grants?

Students who meet all criteria below are eligible for the CARES Act HEERF student grants:

  1. Working towards an undergraduate degree at Warren Wilson College
  2. Actively enrolled as of March 13, 2020, in the Spring 2020 semester, in at least one in-person course, even if that course moved to an online format due to the coronavirus pandemic
  3. Have a valid 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with Warren Wilson College Financial Aid Office

 

Per the US Department of Education, international students and undocumented students are not currently eligible to receive CARES Act HEERF student grants.

 

How Much Will I Receive?

Warren Wilson College elected to equitably serve those considered eligible to receive the funding stipulated above.  We have simply divided the total funds received by the total number of those eligible from above.  The total number of those eligible is 535 students.  Dividing our funding level of $388,269 by 535 computes to allow for $725.74  per eligible student.

 

Are there any actions required of those eligible?

Eligible students do not need to take any action to receive these grant funds.

 

When will I receive these funds if I am eligible?

Our goal is to process these grants by the end of May 2020.

 

How will I receive these funds if I am eligible?

All eligible students will receive a check mailed to their address on file.  If you recently completed the room and board refund form, then we will utilize those addresses.  Since this program is focused specifically on student emergency grants, the checks will be made payable to the student only and to the address on file. In order to keep the grant program processes flowing efficiently, we are unable to accommodate special requests at this time due to the heavy volume of inquiries we are experiencing in the financial services area.

 

What if I currently owe tuition or other expenses to Warren Wilson College?

The full amount of the CARES Act HEERF student grants will be given directly to eligible students and will not pay any outstanding balances due to the College.  Any outstanding balances due to Warren Wilson College remain the responsibility of the student.

 

If I am eligible for the CARES Act HEERF student grant, is it taxable? 

No.  Emergency student grants under the CARES Act HEERF are qualified disaster relief payments per the US Internal Revenue Code and are deemed not taxable.

 

If I am eligible, will I need to repay this CARES Act HEERF student grant?

No, this one-time grant received under the CARES Act HEERF funding does not need to be repaid.

 

Has the college distributed any CARES Act HEERF student grants as of 5/22/2020?

No.  As our process stipulates above, our goal is to distribute these funds by the end of May 2020.

 

This Question and Answer format serves to comply with Warren Wilson College’s Department of Educations required 30-day reporting requirement as of 5/22/20.

 

 

Warren Wilson College Intends to Return to Campus in Fall 2020

Warren Wilson President Lynn Morton has issued the following statement regarding the plans for the Fall 2020 semester:

Here at Warren Wilson College, campus leadership is continuing to work with the Pandemic Response Team and is in daily contact with local, federal, and state health authorities as we make plans for the Fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19. At this time, we intend to open in August 2020 and welcome new and returning students to our campus in the Swannanoa Valley.

Our community’s health and safety is our highest priority. For the past month, we have been evaluating all possible scenarios in close collaboration with our regional partners, including health authorities, fellow higher education institutions, and city and county leadership. We are putting in place clear and consistent health protocols to protect our students, faculty, and staff, and we will continue to pay close attention to local, regional, and national events as well as federal, state, and local guidelines as they develop. We plan to be flexible and prepared to adjust our plans as necessary as this pandemic evolves. We believe that our rural location in the North Carolina mountains, combined with our small population, low student-to-faculty ratio, and large 1,150-acre campus, will enable us to minimize risks while providing a safe place to live and learn.

In the next few weeks, we will announce a proposed fall calendar and provide further information about the health and safety planning we are putting in place for the campus. Thank you for all of your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We look forward to moving forward together.

In community,
President Lynn Morton

Details about Virtual Commencement

Warren Wilson College’s virtual commencement will be held Saturday, May 9 at 1 p.m. EST.
Commencement will be shown over our Warren Wilson YouTube Channel:
  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLGdhpOrW_7RmvImSeMRe4A  You can subscribe this week and be all ready for your viewing parties this week.
The final link will be emailed to students this week, along with the Google Hangouts for any Departmental “Receptions” that will follow the ceremony.  It’s such a special time for the class of 2020 and we hope there will be thousands of guests sharing in the celebration!

 

FAQs about the Credit/No Credit Policy

Warren Wilson College has created a FAQ document for students as they make decisions about the credit/no credit option. You can find that document here.

 

Summer Cancellations Announcement from President Morton, April 15

After much discussion and careful consideration of the impact on attendees and guests at our wonderful, traditional summer programming and events, Warren Wilson College has determined that we must cancel ALL on-campus programs and events from mid-May through August. Typically, our campus is alive in the summer with music from the Swannanoa Gathering and the Carolina Chamber Music Festival and bustling with activity from summer camps, low residency Warren Wilson master’s programs, and other groups meeting in our beautiful mountain setting in the valley. It is hard to imagine a summer at Warren Wilson without music, writing, craft and friends on campus. However, the uncertainty about the trajectory of COVID-19 in the coming months and the likelihood of an extended stay-at-home order, along with concern about the health and safety of all who visit here, has led to the difficult realization that canceling events and taking our summer masters programs online is the responsible thing to do. Our campus will remain closed to the public until the beginning of our Fall term in late August. We eagerly look forward to resuming our summer activities in 2021.

– President Morton

 

Giving Back to Help Warren Wilson Students, April 7

We’re grateful that we have heard from many people asking what you can do to help. To answer your call, below are a few opportunities to support our students during this time. Click here to make your gift online.

The Korevec Love Fund: Students facing immediate food and housing insecurity are able to apply for a grant through the Korevec Love Fund. All students are eligible to apply. Unfortunately, the need of the student body has exceeded the amount currently available. Our goal is to raise $10,000 toward this urgent need fund. Some of this funding may also go toward meeting students’ basic needs into the summer months depending on the trajectory of this pandemic.

WWC Fund Scholarships: Perhaps now more than ever and with more than 90 percent of our students receiving need-based financial aid, scholarship support is critical in continuing to make Warren Wilson College accessible to our students. Scholarship support through the WWC Fund immediately goes toward assisting students who otherwise would not be able to attend Warren Wilson.

Split Your Gift: If you would like to make a gift toward the Korevec Love Fund to support the immediate needs of our students, while also supporting their educational trajectory via WWC Fund Scholarships, you can opt to split your gift between these two funds.

Once the goal for the Korevec Love Fund is reached, we will designate all gifts to WWC Fund Scholarships unless you tell us you’d like your gift to remain designated to the Love Fund for future crises. The fund was endowed in 1991 by Virginia Korevec, so it will also continue to generate earnings for future needs.

Here’s the link to support students

 

A Message about Trail Closure, April 3

Warren Wilson has closed down the College Forest Trail System, Farm and Main Campus to non-resident users due to health and safety concerns caused by the spread of COVID-19. For more information about why it is important to observe trail closures, watch this video with Dave Ellum, Dean of Land Resources at Warren Wilson.

 

A Message from President Morton: Room and Board Refunds, April 1

Dear Campus Community,

Here at Warren Wilson College, we care deeply about our students’ well-being and growth. Our college is built around the long-standing shared values of academics, community engagement, and a commitment to work, and grounding all of that is dedication to social responsibility and the common good. What impacts our students impacts us all. When we had to make the difficult decision to move to remote learning and send students away from campus in response to COVID-19, we know it impacted all of you. It has been inspiring to witness the resilience, determination, and community spirit of Warren Wilson during this difficult time.

As events were unfolding quickly over the past few weeks, many students and families reached out about refunds for room and board. We have made the decision to offer students a prorated refund of room and board. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Cabinet, and I have engaged in a deep and thoughtful process of evaluating all aspects of this decision and its potential impact on students, their families and on the College. Despite the complexity and moving parts in making this decision, we wanted to make the decision we knew was right.

We are committed to issuing refunds as quickly as possible, and we hope to announce a specific timeline in the coming weeks. You will receive an electronic form from the Finance and Accounting Department by April 10 that will be used to gather information needed for the refund process. The refund will first settle any outstanding balance due and then the remainder would be refunded if there is a credit.

We appreciate all of your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Our community is strong and resilient, and we will get through this together.

 In Community,

President Lynn Morton

 

Credit/ No Credit Option, April 1

Warren Wilson College has adopted a Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) option for all Spring 2020 Term 4 and 15-week semester classes. Professors will assign letter grades for all classes, and by default that letter grade will be entered into the transcript. Students will be given a one-week window after grades are posted to opt for Credit or No Credit rather than the letter grade, and they will be able to select this option for each class independently. With this option, courses assigned a D- or higher will be converted to “Credit”. Those courses will count toward total credit hours, gen ed credit, and credit toward courses required for the major, but they will not be calculated into the GPA. If students choose the CR/NCR option, courses assigned a letter grade of F will be indicated as “No Credit” on the transcript. Courses with NCR will be included in attempted credits, but will not count toward total earned credit hours, gen ed credit, or for courses required in the major. They also will not be calculated into the GPA.

 

Campus Closure and Trails Update, March 27

Buncombe County has issued a “Stay Home – Stay Safe” order that went into effect March 26 at 8 p.m. through 6 a.m. on April 9.

In response to the county’s declaration, Warren Wilson College has closed down the College trail system to the community and all employees who do not reside on campus.

Our primary obligation right now is to protect the health and well-being of staff and students who have stayed on to maintain the essential functions of the College, as well as our campus residents. At this point, we do not know how long the restriction will last.

 

 

Summer Programming and Conferences, St. Clair Guest House Update, March 27

All summer programming and conferences have been canceled through June 30. Decisions regarding The Swannanoa Gathering and other camps/events after June 30 have not been finalized at this time.

St. Clair Guest House is currently closed through the end of the semester. For more information about St. Clair Guest House, visit https://www.facebook.com/stclairguesthouse.

For questions about summer programming and conferences or St. Clair Guest House, please contact Liz Brace at lbrace@warren-wilson.edu.

 

Commencement Update, March 24

Dear Warren Wilson Community,

This unprecedented public health crisis has been hard on everyone in so many ways. College and high school seniors across the nation are dealing with year-end plans changing significantly. They’ve spent years working their way towards graduation, and to have that special day disrupted is painful to say the least.

We have delayed this decision as long as we could, hoping that perhaps we would be able to get past COVID-19 in time for commencement. It has become clear in recent days that we will not be able to gather in large groups for several more months, and that our responsibility is to do our part to stop the spread of this virus.

On May 9, 2020, we will celebrate a virtual commencement, making it as special for our seniors and their families as we possibly can. Then, in May of 2021, we invite all of our graduated seniors to return to campus to walk in that commencement and celebrate with the Class of 2021. This year’s planned speaker, Andrew Revkin, noted science and environment journalist, has agreed to speak at the 2021 commencement.

Please know that all of us at Warren Wilson College are holding you all close in our hearts and minds. We will send out more specific information about our May 2020 graduation in the weeks to come.

In community,
President Lynn Morton

 

Regarding Refunds for Room and Board

Any decisions regarding potential refunds for housing or dining fees will be made by the College after April 1, or after the College is beyond the immediate challenges being faced regarding the spread of COVID-19. We will share more with you about that decision after April 1.

 

No Classes on Thursday, March 19 or Friday, March 20

In light of our recent announcement about closing campus, Warren Wilson College is canceling classes for Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 in order to give the students who are remaining on campus time to vacate. Remote learning classes will resume Monday, March 23.

We understand that everyone is adjusting to this new transition. Please continue to refer to the FAQ page, and feel free to reach out to the contacts who are listed in it with any questions. The College will support our students as they transition off campus as best we can.

Additionally, the library will close later today, Wednesday March 18 and remain closed until further notice. For more information about the library’s operations during this time, visit the FAQ page. Students are encouraged to please return all ILL materials and any unneeded materials to the library drop box.

 

CAMPUS CLOSURE: MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT LYNN MORTON, March 17, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As you know, when we returned to campus from Spring Break on March 8, it was not clear what local, state and federal guidelines would be, as the COVID-19 outbreak was, and continues to be, a quickly evolving situation. At the time, we made the decision we felt was best for our community. We have been monitoring conditions, in constant communication with local, state and federal health authorities, and we have promised to constantly evaluate and communicate our plans as they evolve. 

Since last week, conditions have changed. Yesterday Buncombe County reported its first case of coronavirus. Governor Roy Cooper has mandated that no gatherings of more than 100 people take place across the state, and NCDHHS recommends cancelling events with more than 50 people. All K-12 public schools have closed statewide. Our nation, the state of N.C., and our local communities have all declared states of emergency. Today the governor mandated that restaurants and other venues close, and Buncombe County has mandated the closure of all government functions including parks and libraries. The nation is mobilizing to respond to the pandemic in order to mitigate the impact of the virus in our country, and all indications signify that these preemptive actions will positively impact public health.

In addition, given more information about local and regional health resources as well as updates on the likelihood of further virus spread, we have come to realize that, should there be an outbreak on campus, we would not be adequately equipped to manage it. The health and safety of our community is of paramount concern. 

Warren Wilson College must act responsibly. To protect our students, faculty and staff, and in the interest of the greater good of national public health, we have decided to close the campus on Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m. for the rest of the spring semester. Please understand that remote instruction will continue and we will complete the semester. Please read the information below carefully.

  • Students are asked to vacate the campus as soon as possible this week. Students who cannot leave campus by Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m. can apply for an extension to Sunday, March 22 at noon using this form found here (https://forms.gle/pFNhrFKH4CnpCjma8). Students who absolutely cannot return home or relocate can apply for a hardship waiver using this form here (https://forms.gle/HzzDyMnkVyhPx4J67). Please note that hardship waivers to remain on campus will be granted to a limited number of students for very specific reasons, and not for a preference to remain on campus.
  • Gladfelter will adjust service and hours as needed in response to state mandates and local conditions please watch for further information from Sodexo. 
  • The Health Center will remain open and fully functioning until further notice. 
  • Resources for storing belongings, vehicle rental, travel and other such supports may be found here. 
  • All administrative offices will remain open and continue working with a combination of remote and on campus presence until Friday at 5 p.m. At that time, all employees except essential personnel are requested to work remotely and physical offices will close, although office work will continue.
  • The campus closure will continue for the remainder of the semester, and academic work will continue online. Decisions about commencement, summer programming, and the collection of personal belongings for students who left last week will be announced within the next several weeks. 

We understand that this announcement is difficult for students for many reasons. We acknowledge the hardship that this decision will cause. However, we are committed to the health and safety of our community. We are also concerned that the window for travel may be closing, which would make leaving campus more difficult. The College will support our students as they transition off campus as best we can. You may also reference a “Frequently Asked Questions” webpage here: www.warren-wilson.edu/about/news-events/coronavirus-faq.

Remember that a community is not solely dependent on location. Our community is strong and resilient, and together we will get through this challenging time. We will be connected to each other differently, but we will be connected. I encourage each and every one of you to continue to support the members of our community and to remain engaged with Warren Wilson no matter where you are for the next few months. I will remain on campus in the president’s house and plan to send regular communications via video and email. Faculty and staff will be reaching out to students to support them electronically. The Owls will return, stronger than ever. 

In Community,

President Lynn Morton

 

Accepted Students Day Update, March 13, 2020

Accepted Students Day will no longer take place as originally scheduled on March 28th, and will instead be postponed to a date still to be determined. As soon as we have additional information about the rescheduled date, we will keep you informed. Please contact admit@warren-wilson.edu with any questions about admissions.

Update on Person Under Investigation, March 13, 2020

We had shared previously that we had one Person Under Investigation being tested per North Carolina Health and Human Services guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19). Those tests results have come back negative. As of right now, there are no coronavirus cases confirmed in Buncombe County or at Warren Wilson College.

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. We will continue to monitor the situation, and we are in constant contact with local, state and federal health authorities as it continues to evolve.

-The Pandemic Response Team

 

Important Message from President Morton regarding COVID-19, March 12, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Our commitment to the health and safety of our community is our first priority. In light of the uncertainty about the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and in order to protect our community as well as those we come in contact with regularly, Warren Wilson College is putting in place a continuation of instruction and alternative scheduling plan from Friday, March 13 until Friday, April 10

Please note that no coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Buncombe County or at Warren Wilson College. We have one Person Under Investigation who is being tested per North Carolina Health and Human Services guidelines, but no diagnosis has been made. The person who is considered a PUI is in isolation in accordance with North Carolina Department and Health and Human Services protocol, and they are receiving care and medical attention. 

We are not closing the college. We are trying to minimize unnecessary contact for the health and safety of our community. Students have the option of returning home if they choose. If students decide to remain here, campus will remain open. We will continuously review conditions as well as state, county and CDC guidelines, and update plans and communicate as necessary. We will continue to update this webpage, and please see below for more details.

Information by area:

  • Academics
    • Classes will continue as usual through the end of today, Thursday, March 12. Classes are canceled for Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16, so that faculty may prepare to begin online instruction. From Tuesday, March 17 until Friday, April 10, all classes will take place online during that time period.
    • Instructors will communicate with students about how to access courses and materials. 
    • There will be flexibility for students regarding academic courses beyond that date for students who choose to return home during this continuation of instruction period.
  • Student Life
    • Residence halls will remain open.
    • The cafeteria will remain open.
    • DeVries Gym will be closed.
    • Bryson Gym will be closed.
    • Athletic events and rentals will be canceled.
    • Outdoor programs will be canceled. 
  • Work 
    • Regular work shifts will continue until 5:00 pm today, Thursday, March 12, and work will then be suspended through April 10.
    • Students will continue to be paid for their work contracts during this time period and will not owe money for unworked hours.
    • We will be working with crew supervisors to cover essential work functions on outdoor crews. 
    • If you have questions, please contact wpo@warren-wilson.edu
  • Community Engagement
    • In-person contact is canceled during the March 12 – April 10 time period. Remote projects can be arranged with community partners.
  • Support Staff
    • Tutoring, financial aid, counseling, and advising will be available online and by phone.
  • Staff
    • Everyone is expected to continue working as the College will remain open during this online instructional period.
    • Work from home where possible connect directly with your Vice President for any specific instructions.
    • Utilize Google Hangouts Meet or RingCentral Meetings for conference calls.
  • Events
    • All events will be canceled or postponed if planned to occur between now and April 10.
    • Events scheduled after April 10 will continue to be evaluated.
  • Travel and Trips
    • All college-sponsored travel and trips are suspended through April 10, including in-state travel.
    • Travel already scheduled beyond April 10 will continue to be evaluated.
    • No new travel should be planned. 

Buncombe County is continuing to keep their webpage updated with information about the county’s response and updates on cases in our county. As of the writing of this message, there are no confirmed cases in Buncombe County.

While we recognize the disruption that these measures will entail for our community as well as for our community partners, we are committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as well as to attending to our duty to the general public health during this challenging time. Please know that college leadership is in close communication with local, state, and federal health authorities and will continuously evaluate and communicate our plans as they evolve. 

In community,

President Lynn Morton

 

Important Message from President Morton regarding COVID-19, March 11, 2020 

Dear Campus Community,
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is closely monitoring several confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state. There are currently no confirmed cases in Buncombe County or on campus. According to the March 10 guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, any patient meeting the following criteria is considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI): fever and signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), negative influenza test and no other more likely diagnosis.

I’m writing to notify you that we have one student who will be tested by the Health Department for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is now considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI), pending laboratory test results. The student who is considered a PUI is in isolation in accordance with North Carolina Department and Health and Human Services protocol, and they are receiving care and medical attention.

I am in constant contact with our Pandemic Response Team, Cabinet and Warren Wilson health professionals, and we are in daily contact with local, federal and state health authorities. Warren Wilson will continue to use current guidance and recommendations on our campus. The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. The Pandemic Response Team will follow up with any new information or campus response. This is a quickly evolving situation, so please be attentive to further communications from the Pandemic Response Team.

President Lynn Morton

 

March 9, 2020 Update

At this time, there are no confirmed cases in Buncombe County. It is important to note that the Buncombe County Department of Health continues to screen for COVID-19. We encourage you to monitor the CDC’s COVID-19 information site for regular updates.

As always, it is important to practice sound prevention precautions, just as those used to prevent cold or flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Take a proactive approach to cleaning/wiping/disinfecting your workspaces, offices, counters, surfaces and residence halls.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are ill (except to visit a healthcare professional) and avoid close contact with others.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (cell phones etc).
  • If you know of someone in our community who needs help or is suffering because of this situation, please tell Residence Life, the Counseling Center or Human Resources. In situations like this, bigotry and discrimination can thrive. Stand up to it when you see it. Turn fear into constructive action.

 

Health questions can be directed to the WWC Health Center at 828-771-2053 or after hours to the on-duty Residence Life duty phone for their living area.

Striving to Minimize Any Disruption to Classes

While doing our best to ensure your health and safety, we are equally committed to making every effort to minimize the potential impact on coursework should access to the College become limited. Faculty, staff, and administration will continue to work together to create plans that would allow most, if not all, coursework to continue during a period of possible disruption. Should it become necessary, students will be notified of any impact on their courses.

We have made some adjustments to the ways that the College operates, and we will continue to adjust as circumstances and guidance from public health experts change.

If a student is ill with cold or flu-like symptoms they should not be attending classes (per CDC guidelines). Such absences are to result in no negative impact on the student’s grade regardless of any absence policy in the course syllabus. This policy has been established by Paul Bartels, interim VPAA and will be in effect until further notice.

Actions Our College Has Taken

The Emergency Response Team continues to monitor guidance from federal, state and local public health experts. We have created a Pandemic Response Team that is working in small task forces that cover various areas throughout campus. Thus far:

  • Emergency Response Team has developed reporting and response protocols for different scenarios, including potential cases on campus.
  • Business Finance and Administration, Academic Affairs, and IT staff in collaboration with the Emergency Response Team are developing preliminary plans for business continuity, including various business services offices that can potentially work from home.
  • Academics and IT are collaborating in developing the protocols and mechanisms needed to implement curriculum delivery online.
  • The Facilities team is increasing the cleaning/disinfecting of all public areas of the campus – a follow-up message from Custodial Services will be sent from the ERT.
  • The Health Center continues to follow federal and local protocols in developing plans for the screening and response of potentially sick students and continues to collaborate with the Pandemic Response Team in campus response planning.

 

Travel, Conferences, and Large Gatherings

As of now, we have not canceled public events, but we will continue to evaluate them and encourage participants to be vigilant about their own health and how it affects those around them.

If you are planning to attend a conference or large gathering, please consider the local circumstances, the size and reach of the gathering (larger gatherings that draw globally pose a greater risk), your personal risk with respect to this virus, the importance of the conference to your professional life, and whether the conference organizers are taking appropriate precautions.

We are all facing a lot of uncertainty, and that can make us feel uncomfortable. Just remember, it is about preparedness and not paranoia.

 

Update to Travel Guidelines (March 4, 2020)

Warren Wilson College’s primary commitment is to the safety, health, and well-being of our campus community, and we are actively monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.

The College has an action plan that is guiding our response to this critical situation for our campus and delineates steps to ensure continued academic and business services.  Our Emergency Response Team is meeting regularly and will continue to monitor the situation and update the community accordingly.

As a result of these recent updates concerning travel warnings, Warren Wilson College will not sponsor travel to, or through, countries listed at a Level 3 Warning on the CDC travel notice rubric https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. All other travel will be permitted.

As such, scheduled trips to countries with a CDC Level 3 travel warning are canceled until further notice. In addition, College-sponsored faculty and staff travel to Level 3 travel warning countries for any purpose including but not limited to conferences, grant work, and consulting are prohibited. If or when additional countries are assigned a Level 3 travel warning by the CDC, the College will cancel trips to, or through, those countries up to the day of departure.

Faculty with questions about College-sponsored travel should contact their division chair or the VPAA.

We recommend that anyone who has traveled to, or through, a CDC Level 3 country and develops a fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, seek medical advice by calling your medical provider or the Warren Wilson College Health Center at 828-771-2053 upon your return to campus. In order to prevent additional exposure,  DO NOT GO DIRECTLY TO THE HEALTH CENTER WITH THESE SYMPTOMS. If you cannot reach your local health provider, call ahead before going to the emergency room to notify them of recent travel to countries with elevated levels of COVID-19 and details of your symptoms.

While Warren Wilson College is not able to stop travel for anyone taking personal trips over spring break, we strongly urge members of the Warren Wilson community to consider such plans carefully at this volatile time and recommend that all heed CDC travel notices.,

As always, it is important to practice sound prevention precautions, just as those used to prevent cold or flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms such as those connected to the Coronavirus while you are on break, stay home while you are ill (except to visit a healthcare professional) and avoid close contact with others. Contact Student Life studentlife@warren-wilson.edu if your return to campus is interrupted due to these symptoms.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Upon your return from break, additional questions can be directed to the Health Center at 828-771-2053. For more information about COVID-19 and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance. Let’s work together to maintain a safe environment for all.