LU coronavirus policies requiring 14-day quarantines, may cancel study abroad

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Merlina San Nicolás Leyva

The CDC suggests using alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% of alcohol. Photo Illustration.

Merlina San Nicolás Leyva, News Editor

Lindenwood released new coronavirus policies Thursday requiring students to self-quarantine if they may have gotten the disease.

An email from the dean of students, Shane Williamson, said students coming from any of five high-risk countries will be required to stay off-campus for 14 days.

Those countries are China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, China, Italy, Iran and South Korea are a level 3, avoid non-essential travel, and Japan a level 2, practice enhanced precautions.

All students, faculty, and staff returning to campus after travelling to any of these countries are required to report to Williamson and are asked to self-quarantine off-campus for 14 days. If a student presents symptoms within those 14 days, they will not be permitted to return to campus without a release certified by a healthcare professional.

According to Lindenwood’s coronavirus information page, if there are no symptoms during those 14 days, students will be allowed to come back to campus and housing.

The university will also utilize online technology to “make other reasonable academic accommodations” to students impacted by the coronavirus.

Molly Hudgins, associate provost for curriculum and experiential learning, said the study abroad program in Italy was shut down due to the coronavirus, and students returned to the United States. Three of them were international students and decided to complete their studies from home by doing late-start online classes, Hudgins said.

Two of the local students that were studying in Italy are currently in the St. Louis area and cannot come back to campus until after their 14 days of self-quarantine. Hudgins said those students haven’t made a decision yet on how they will continue their classes.

“If we have students in another country whose level increases to the level where it needs to end, we will work with them as much as possible both with the study abroad provider we use and our own online classes to make sure that academically, we help them move forward,” Hudgins said.

As far as the study abroad programs scheduled for the summer and the fall semester go, Hudgins said Lindenwood is taking the “guidance from Center for Disease Control, the guidance from the World Health Organization and the partners that we use for our travel abroad, and making a determination based on that.”

All study abroad trips scheduled in May of this year are being reviewed, and depending on the situation, some could be relocated or cancelled either by the university or the program’s host.

Depending on how the situation develops in the St. Louis area and the United States, Lindenwood might turn to online classes, as the coronavirus has already caused some schools to do.

“It’s a matter of what does the Midwest look like, what does the state of Missouri look like, St. Louis and St. Charles, all of those determinations will be done based in the cases that present themselves on campus, that will be the basis of our decision,” Hudgins said.

According to Williamson’s email, Lindenwood employees should report to Human Resources after travelling to any of the five countries that are level 2 or 3. They will be asked to self-quarantine outside of campus and will be placed on a paid administrative leave.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, there is one confirmed case in the St. Louis area and another probable case in the local offices of the pharmaceutical company Bayer. Confirmed cases in the United States has risen up to more than 600, according to the New York Times.

The CDC suggests prevention methods like using at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and if possible, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.