Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

Dear members of the Wilkes community,

We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 and its spread. A committee of campus members representing health services, student life, academic affairs and emergency management are meeting regularly to discuss the latest developments and the University’s ongoing response.

Please be assured there are no confirmed or suspected cases of this coronavirus at Wilkes University or in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania at this time. In fact, the risk level within the United States remains low. But this is a developing situation and new cases are reported each day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travel is still permissible to most countries. The CDC only has recommended avoiding nonessential travel in China and South Korea. The CDC also has recommended screening individuals who have returned from these countries for possible presence of the virus. This limit has not been extended to any other countries at this time, though elevated warnings are in place for Iran, Italy and Japan.

With spring break upon us, many members of the University community are traveling. We suggest checking the CDC’s travel web page if you’re traveling and have concerns. This is an evolving situation to which public health officials and government agencies are responding in real time.

We encourage that all members of the campus community follow CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of illness:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol. It is especially important to clean your hands after using the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

The University has established a coronavirus web page that includes travel resources and links to information about the spread of the virus. We will continue to update the campus community as necessary. In the meantime, we encourage anyone with questions or concerns to reach out to Justin Kraynack, assistant vice president of operations and compliance, at (570) 408-4554.