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Coronavirus update

Coronavirus update: March 15

Additional measures announced in response to COVID-19

Editor's note: UDaily will publish an update each day, summarizing the latest information available about the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on campus life at the University of Delaware. The most current information is available 24/7 on the University’s special coronavirus site at www.udel.edu/coronavirus. Questions may be emailed to coronavirus@udel.edu. The UD COVID-19 Call Center at 302-831-1188 will next be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday, March 16. 

Additional COVID-19 case connected to the University: The Delaware Division of Public Health announced on March 15 that a seventh individual related to UD has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. This individual is an undergraduate student; the source of her exposure is still under investigation. All seven individuals are receiving appropriate medical treatment in a quarantined environment.

UD is working with the Division of Public Health (DPH) to track individuals who may have had close contact with those who have tested positive. University spaces that may have been affected are being disinfected.

Because of state and federal privacy laws, the University cannot release the names or identifying details of those who tested positive for COVID-19, nor can the Division of Public Health.

DPH interviews each individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to determine those people with whom they have had close contact. If someone is considered to be at risk because they were in close contact with one of those individuals who tested positive, DPH will contact them. This process can take some time, and it is not one that UD manages.

Spring Break extended: To provide faculty and staff additional time to complete the conversion to online instruction, the University is extending Spring Break by one week, from March 14 through March 29. 

Residence hall move-out extended: Students will have until the end of the spring semester to move out of the residence halls. Given strengthening recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization for social distancing, returning to campus to retrieve belongings may increase risk for our students, their families, and our community. Therefore, we are asking students to not return until the University determines it is safer for you to do so. Residence Life and Housing staff will provide additional instructions in the coming days. If you have questions about your specific housing situation, please call 302-831-4663 or email reslife-housing@udel.edu.

Research labs and core facilities closed for at least two weeks: Effective 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, access will be provided only for the most critical needs (e.g. maintaining animals, critical cell cultures, unique reagents, essential equipment and materials). Researchers should anticipate very limited access for two weeks and potentially much longer. Additional guidance and protocols can be found on this webpage,including access to Virtual Town Halls, to be held Monday and Tuesday. 

Only employees performing critical functions should report to work on campus this week: This step will help minimize the spread of coronavirus. Workers should check with their supervisors for additional direction.

University-sponsored or -affiliated travel is suspended: This includes domestic and international travel. The University also discourages everyone in the UD community to weigh whether any domestic travel between now and May 15 is essential and to explore options to join meetings or events remotely, especially in the growing number of areas with high infection rates.

Children’s Campus: The Early Learning Center, the Laboratory Preschool and The College School will be closed from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27.  

Campus operations: All buildings will be secured and accessed via UD ID card or by contacting UD Police at 302-831-2222. 

The UD Transportation System will be suspended for two weeks, effective at midnight, Monday, March 16. 

The University’s Parking Services will be operating under the night/weekend policy beginning at 6 a.m., Monday, March 16 for two weeks. 

Effective immediately, all construction activity on campus occurring in occupied University facilities is suspended for two weeks.

All University mail service and building deliveries are suspended effective immediately for two weeks. Mail and deliveries will still be collected at the university’s Mail Services location and distributed when the University resumes normal operations.

UD Cooperative Extension: UD Cooperative Extension has decided to move online, postpone or cancel public events and programs throughout the state through April 19 or until further notice.

For your safety

Remember to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid being exposed.

Protect yourself:

  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and put distance between yourself and others. This is especially important for those who are at higher risk of getting very sick

Protect others:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash or use the inside of your elbow, then immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer.
  • If you are sick, wear a facemask around others. (If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick). Facemasks may be in short supply, and they should be saved for caregivers.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them with detergent or soap and water before disinfecting.

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