Message on March 4 Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-29) | Benedictine College

Message Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation - Mar. 4

Sent to Benedictine College students, faculty and staff on March 4, 2020.
Edited March 5, 2020

Hello Raven Community -

We know that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is causing anxiety for Benedictine College students, their families, and the local community. I want you to know that the well-being of our entire campus community is a top priority and as the circumstances surrounding the virus evolve, I want to update you on how the college is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and refining strategies to keep our community healthy.

Florence Campus - As you have seen, we have been working with the coronavirus situation in Italy and its impact on our campus in Florence. It was a difficult but necessary decision to close the campus for the semester and ask everyone to return to the United States. We have made it clear that all students returning from Italy are to return home and cannot come to campus for 14 days. We have also recommended that students follow instructions from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment or their local health department regarding self-quarantine.

Campus Preparation and the Task Force - We are now turning our attention to the situation in the United States itself and how that might impact our Atchison campus. This week, I created a multi-discipline Coronavirus Response Task Force to work through other issues that may affect the college. That group began meeting on Monday and has already had two meetings, with more scheduled for this week. The Task Force is charged with refining campus strategies for dealing with contagious diseases. They are looking at things like preventive measures, protocols and available resources. There will be continued communication from that group in the coming days and weeks.

You should also be aware that our Student Health Services personnel are in regular contact with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and we are acting on any recommendations they pass down.

College Sponsored Travel - We are assessing the situation regarding Mission Trips over Spring Break. At this time, we are cancelling any trips to countries that have any known cases of COVID-19, regardless of the CDC or State Department alert levels. So our trips to India and Ecuador are cancelled due to the existence of COVID-19 in those countries. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will implement any changes, precautions, or cancellations that might be appropriate.

Spring Break Travel - Regarding Spring Break travel in general, we are asking everyone to use their best judgement on where they are travelling and avoid high-risk areas, even in the United States. We strongly encourage students to visit with their parents regarding their upcoming travel plans.

Helpful Links - There are many other resources online:

We are working on setting up a page on the website to house this and other information as the situation demands. We will publish that shortly and will keep you informed as we continue to take action in the best interest of the health and well-being of everyone on campus.

Forward. Always Forward.

Stephen D. Minnis
President, Benedictine College