Message Regarding Coronavirus
Wednesday, March 11, 2020; 1:50 p.m.
We know there are many questions related to coronavirus, and in an effort to keep you fully informed, below is everything that we know at this point.
- There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at LSU. We know of at least one person who has expressed concern about exposure to the virus, and that has led to much public speculation. After investigation, it was determined that the individual in question is asymptomatic and not within the threat parameters set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Louisiana Office of Public Health. As of this time, there is no reason to believe anyone at LSU is clinically affected. We continue to follow the advice of public health officials to protect the health and well-being of our community. We encourage you to be cautious of rumors and speculation on social media or in other sources where factual information is not provided.
- If anyone at LSU has concerns about being exposed to the virus, they should contact their health provider, and students may also contact the Student Health Center. We pledge to immediately inform the campus if there are any confirmed cases of coronavirus at LSU.
- We are aware that other universities around the country are closing and/or moving to online classes. LSU is also considering these options, and last week, asked faculty members to prepare for the possibility of moving to an online format. At this time, with no confirmed cases at LSU, we are not yet opting to close or move entirely to online classes. Other universities have made those decisions based on what’s happening in their cities and on their campuses. LSU will do the same. The goal is to complete the spring semester, whether in person or online, so that all students get full credit for the semester and can matriculate or graduate without delay.
- If LSU were to close, students who live on campus who are unable to leave will be accommodated. We recognize that some students are unable to travel home, and we absolutely will continue to provide those students with a place to live and with meals. Even if dining halls were to close for eating in, meals will still be provided to students who cannot leave campus.
- Spring break is coming. We encourage the campus community not to travel during spring break. We realize many students had plans for spring break, and some have already spent money on those plans. But we ask you to consider where you would be traveling to, and what the situation would be like when you get there. Would the travel put you in close contact with others? Would it expose you to people from places where the virus is more prevalent than it is in Louisiana? Please use good judgment.
- We realize that some of you will still travel during spring break anyway. We are considering whether closing after spring break would be beneficial. We will keep you posted on that decision when it is made. At this time, all options are being considered to enable you to complete the semester in a safe way.
- International travel of any kind is not recommended, and university-related travel must go through the university’s High-Risk Travel process. Travel to countries with a Level 3 or 4 designation will be denied, and travel to countries with a Level 1 or 2 designation will be seriously examined before a decision is made. While the university cannot control your personal travel, please know that international travel of any kind is not advisable, and that you may be required to self-quarantine when you return from that travel, depending on what country you have visited.
- Non-essential business travel is strongly discouraged at this time. In general, it is best to avoid any travel that is not absolutely essential, whether that travel is business-related or personal.
- We have received questions about upcoming events for the spring, from awards ceremonies to State Rally to commencement to athletic events. Currently, because there are no cases of the virus at LSU, most events are still being held as planned. However, we are closely monitoring this situation, which is constantly changing, and are looking at all upcoming large-scale events and will communicate any cancellations to you as soon as we know them.
- We have also received questions about summer classes, intersession, and summer camps. Since those events are still several months away, we will continue to follow developments and make decisions on those things as we get closer to them.
For the latest information on the virus, on travel advisories, and for any updates for the LSU community, please visit lsu.edu/coronavirus and follow LSU’s official social media channels.
We know this situation requires patience, as not all of these questions can be answered at this time. But we assure you that we are taking this situation very seriously, and your safety and well-being is our utmost concern. We are working with state and federal agencies to make these decisions, and we plan to make decisions based on factual information. We pledge to keep you informed of all decisions, and of any confirmed cases of the virus at LSU. As we all respond to the coronavirus pandemic, we need to remember to be considerate and kind. Now is not the time for inappropriate jokes or comments directed at individuals or groups. Please reconsider before you say or do something inappropriate or offensive.
We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans as the need arises. Please know that all options are on the table and there is no scenario that we haven’t considered. We pledge to be transparent and keep you updated, as we all must work together to ensure the safety of our overall community.