As the global situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) constantly evolves, I want to provide an update regarding Illinois State University’s planning and preparedness actions. Even though the overall threat to campus from the coronavirus is considered low, the University is vigilant and taking steps to ensure the safety of the campus community.

Staff in Illinois State’s Incident Management Team, Emergency Management, Student Health Services, Risk Management, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs have closely monitored developments with the coronavirus and continue to develop contingency plans. The University’s planning and preparedness efforts are guided by current information from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, U.S. Department of State, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the McLean County Health Department, and University emergency management and risk management protocols.

Illinois State is taking a highly coordinated approach to planning for potential impacts to campus in the event of a local outbreak. In addition to the University’s Incident Management Team, working groups from across campus are reviewing and enhancing preparedness and response plans. Academic programs, student services, health and safety, and all other campus operations are being reviewed. As part of the planning process, a University website with information on the coronavirus and campus preparedness actions is being developed.

Staff continue to monitor travel advisories for countries around the world and are acting to ensure the safety of Illinois State students, faculty, and staff participating in study abroad programs or University sponsored travel. The University is communicating with students currently studying abroad. Students currently studying in Italy and Japan have been informed that the University strongly recommends that they return to the U.S. at this time. Illinois State’s individualized attention to students includes assisting them with academic arrangements and some travel costs.

Based on CDC travel advisories the University is restricting university related travel by faculty, staff, and students to countries with Level 2 or higher outbreaks. At Level 2 there is sustained (ongoing) community transmission. Countries currently at Level 2 or higher include China, Japan, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Decisions regarding future university-related international travel and academic credit programs abroad will be made based on guidance from health and government authorities. Those decisions will be communicated directly to the individuals involved in those programs.

This comprehensive planning is just one part of Illinois State’s ongoing commitment to campus safety and security. Preparedness is a community effort and Illinois State remains calm and focused on its work. Updates will be provided to the university community as warranted.