Announcement of cancelation of all international travel and study abroad – March 9, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

A task force made up of members of the University’s Emergency Preparedness Committee continues to meet daily to review the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and take actions deemed necessary to protect our community.

With that in mind, today we are announcing the cancelation of all University-related international travel and study abroad through the summer of 2020. This includes all travel by faculty, staff, and students that is affiliated with or sponsored by Framingham State. At this time, university-sponsored domestic travel within the continental U.S. has not been canceled. However, we are watching this situation very closely and will send an update if needed.

We know how disappointing this news may be for some of you. But given the unprecedented nature of this situation, as well as the guidance we have received from Gov. Charlie Baker and the Department of Higher Education, we feel this step is necessary. The safety of our community is our highest priority.

You may have questions regarding reimbursement for canceled travel. Each individual situation is different, so it’s difficult to provide concrete details here, but we will work with students and families to address any financial or academic impact caused by this decision.

At this time, we strongly discourage other professional or personal non-university sponsored or affiliated travel outside of the continental U.S. If you do make the personal decision to travel over Spring Break, we advise you to consider the following factors:

• Anyone returning from a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice should follow the CDC’s guidance to stay home for 14 days from the time you left to monitor your health and practice social distancing.

o Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
o Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
o Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
o Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
o Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters)

• If you find yourself in an affected area, it may become difficult to return to the United States.
• If you become ill overseas, some countries affected may have limited access to medical care.
• Older adults, and anyone with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and immunocompromised states, may be at risk of developing severe disease if exposed to the virus.
• Emergency evacuation travel insurance may not apply.

We promise to keep you updated on the steps we are taking to protect our community as this rapidly-evolving situation continues to change. In the meantime, be sure to visit the website we have setup with the latest information.

F. Javier Cevallos, Ph.D.