Update on coronavirus measures, week of February 10

Dear Williams students, faculty and staff,

Steve Klass and I are writing with this week’s update about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

There haven’t been any major developments on campus in the last week, but the college is continuing to closely monitor the situation, including updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We do want you to know the following:

  • There are still no known or suspected cases of the novel coronavirus at Williams. As Maud mentioned in last week’s message, we identified four Williams community members who were in China during January 2020. The Student Health Center has been helping them monitor their health. All four are approaching the end of the likely incubation period for the virus, and are symptom-free to date.

  • If you plan to travel on college business or for Williams academic programs, we ask that you please take advantage of Williams’ membership in International SOS, which provides worldwide travel assistance, including pre-trip review and advice, all the way up to evacuation services. Anyone on college-related travel is asked to please register your trip and take advantage of the SOS services—especially their advice prior to travelling.

  • If you’re planning personal (non-Williams) travel, International SOS and other, similar services also offer personal coverage options that you may want to consider.

  • The College Facilities and Dining staff are following best practices recommended by their respective professional associations, as well as public health experts. We want to thank both teams for their added vigilance, which builds on their already high standards of care.

  • The most impactful ways you can help limit the risk of contagion are also the simplest: wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Clean touch surfaces like cell phone screens often. Avoid sharing personal items. And cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze. Here’s a quick reminder of the steps recommended by the CDC.

While we’re pleased to have relatively little news to report in this case, we’ll continue to share weekly updates until the outbreak has subsided, just to keep everyone informed.

All best wishes,

Marlene and Steve