2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

March 2, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Whittier College has received questions concerning our procedures for monitoring for the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) as it pertains to members of our community who have returned to or are arriving on campus from any of the areas most affected by the disease (including China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea).
In response, the College adopts the following procedure to support faculty, staff, students, and visitors. This procedure covers members of the College community regardless of whether they were in an affected area for College business, educational purposes, or personal travel, as well as visitors coming to the College. This procedure is aligned with the January 31, 2020 declaration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding a public health emergency for the nation.
Arriving from any particular area affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus after February 15, 2020:
 Faculty, staff, students, or visitors arriving on or after February 15, 2020, should not return to campus until 14 days after their arrival in the U.S. This is an expectation of the College for those arriving to the U.S. between February 15 and March 2. It is an expectation of the College and a requirement of the United States for those arriving on or after March 2, 2020.
We recommend that students and campus employees avoid non-essential travel to countries in Asia and Europe (including China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) where the CDC has identified that sustained transmission of COVID-19 has transpired, or where the virus has spread. Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
We also ask that employees inform supervisors prior to their scheduled travel dates if they are traveling to an affected area so that we are aware of employees who are going to those areas and could possibly be exposed to the disease.
Upon your return, we ask that you schedule an appointment with your physician to get clearance to return to your regular work/school duties at the end of the 14-day period. Employees have the option to use sick or vacation time during the 14-day waiting period.
Please note that we are acutely aware of the difficulty that this action places upon the individual and the office/department/area in which you work. The College will work with supervisors to help arrange work/school accommodations while you are away from campus.
Additional information/resources can be found on the following websites:
California Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Public Health Association
U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
World Health Organization
We thank you in advance for placing the safety of your friends, colleagues, and community above your individual needs during this very difficult time.
In addition, we suggest that you take everyday CDC-recommended preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.