Update on Coronavirus/COVID-19

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February 28, 2020
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Purce Hall

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

At Evergreen, we value the health and well-being of our community.  We, in partnership with state and county health authorities, are vigilantly monitoring and assessing the spread of the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.

The immediate risk to the public in Washington is considered low by the health authorities.  As of today, there have not been any reported cases of COVID-19 at Evergreen or in Thurston County.

As recently as February 11th, Evergreen leaders conducted a tabletop public health exercise involving an outbreak of contagious disease and a public health emergency as part of our routine emergency planning. In situations involving communicable diseases such as Measles, or COVID 19, Evergreen will work in tandem with local health officials, who will provide guidance about measures to minimize exposure, and would have decision-making authority to close campus if needed to halt the spread of disease.  We are fortunate to have strong relationships with the Washington State Department of Health, and Evergreen has experience with pandemic planning from prior outbreaks of H1N1 flu in 2009.

COVID-19 is a particular type of coronavirus (as is the common cold), and can cause mild respiratory illness. The best way to fight the spread is to cover your cough/sneeze, wash your hands with soap frequently and stay home when you’re sick.  Thurston County Public Health & Social Services has an up-to-date webpage on the status of the disease in our area, as well as multiple fact sheets and resources. 

Additional resources are the Washington State Department of Health: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

CDC information (including current situation summary, how to protect yourself, and travel advisories: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

This is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. A cross-campus group is convening under the leadership of Vice Provost Wendy Endress in the next few days to develop contingency plans for various aspects of campus operations.  We will share those with you soon and update you as needed. 

In the meantime, if you are a student and have questions, please contact studentwellnessservices@evergreen.edu.  Staff and faculty should stay up to date with the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services website. 

Thank you for your help in preventing the spread of disease and keeping our community safe. 

Regards,

President George Bridges

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