Friday, March 6, 2020

Dear members of the Wilkes community,

As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow in the United States, we want to share the plans we have in place to support the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.

These are the steps we have taken so far:

  • Updated travel restrictions. Consistent with CDC guidelines, University travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran is suspended. We are not aware of any members of the Wilkes community who have visited these areas; if you have and recently returned, please contact Health and Wellness Services at (570) 408-4730. The CDC recommends you stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you leave heavily impacted areas. Wilkes can provide further guidance on monitoring your health.

  • New procedures in health services. Effective Monday, March 9, students need appointments to visit Health and Wellness Services and Campus Counseling. This will help minimize the number of students in shared waiting areas, limiting the spread of illness. Please know that this new policy is not designed to delay care. In most cases, you will be seen on the same day. Please call (570) 408-4730 to schedule an appointment. As always, emergencies should be promptly addressed by calling 911.

  • Housing and student life. Student Affairs is distributing information on healthy hygiene measures and what steps to take should students feel ill. It is always best for students to stay home when they are sick. Should it be required, Residence Life and Facilities are identifying alternative housing and food service options for students who reside on campus. If you have any questions about student life, please contact Mark Allen, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, at (570) 408-4103.
  • Online and alternative learning. The Provost’s office in partnership with our deans and the Office of Technology for Teaching and Learning has developed a plan to deliver classes remotely, if the situation requires. If you have any questions about academic life, please contact Jon Ference, Associate Provost, at (570) 408-4271.

This is a new virus and it understandably prompts anxiety. As of today, there are no confirmed cases at Wilkes University. But this is a developing situation and we will continue to assess our policies and procedures. I encourage you to review these health and safety tips which include ways we can reduce illness on our campus.

We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. In the meantime, you can find the latest information on the Wilkes COVID-19 planning page. I appreciate your cooperation to take all necessary precautions.