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Information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Spring Break travel

Dear parents,

I am writing to provide you with the information that was sent to your student last week regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Spring Break travel. As you see below, Vassar’s Crisis Response Planning Group is working closely with all areas of the College to ensure a rapid response to fast-moving conditions locally and globally. Please be assured that the health and safety of our students is paramount. We will continue to update students and ask for your continued partnership as we navigate this situation.

Regards,

President Elizabeth H. Bradley 

Message to Students:

As Spring Break approaches and many in the Vassar community are planning to travel, we wanted to take the time to offer an update and important guidance about COVID-19 so that you are able to make informed decisions before you travel.

The Crisis Response Planning Group—made up of Vassar senior officers, department heads, Health Services, and other administrators—is reviewing and revising its contingency plans, should the virus start spreading in the U.S. We will continue to monitor the situation in real-time and will adapt our procedures in accordance with the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. State Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and the New York State Department of Health. We will communicate all relevant updates as they become available.

With student health and safety as our top priority, we are working with our travel insurance partner, On Call International, who provides regular updates from their Global Security and Medical Teams as well as itinerary-specific assessments of potential health and safety risks of scheduled study trips.

Vassar College’s travel policy follows the guidance of the regularly updated Travel Advisories issued by the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control, which use the following advisory systems: 

State Department     

CDC

Level 1

Exercise Normal Precautions

Practice Usual Precautions

Level 2

Exercise Increased Caution

Practice Enhanced Precautions

Level 3

Reconsider Travel

Avoid Nonessential Travel

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Full details on Vassar’s policy for Student travel, including study abroad and academic study trips.

Students who are studying abroad should continue following the guidance communicated from your on-site program staff and the Office of International Programs. Students abroad with further questions may contact the Office of International Programs at 845-437-5260 or internationalprograms@vassar.edu.

If you are considering travel over Spring Break, we strongly encourage you to regularly monitor and check the CDC and US State Department websites for travel guidance and relevant alerts.

In addition, US citizens may enroll in the smart traveler program step.state.gov. This site contains important messages about travel destinations, including timely alerts and updates for travel advisories from the local embassies and consulates. All community members can access this information on the same website, travel.state.gov. People who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise ship line companies for further information on the current rules and regulations and should continue to monitor the travel.state.gov website for updated information.

As a reminder, please take extra precautions to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face and mouth. When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue—throw the tissue away and immediately wash your hands.

If you feel sick and have a fever, deep cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days after you return from travel, it is important that you visit the Vassar College Health Service to be evaluated as soon as possible.

For general questions or comments about COVID–19, please call 845-437-5800 or email health@vassar.edu.

Additional Resources