University Update Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Precautions

Updated Information as of April 22, 2020

To protect the health of its community of students, faculty, and staff from the dangers of the COVID19 pandemic, on March 19, 2020 Duquesne University ceased all classroom instruction as well as all on-campus operations not related to the feeding and housing of students remaining in campus residences. All other continuing operations moved to remote work arrangements, where possible.

Duquesne took this action in accordance with Governor Tom Wolf's order for non-essential businesses to close and for shelter-in-place in Allegheny County. On April 1, Governor Wolf extended the shelter-in-place order to the entire Commonwealth. The University will remain in compliance with those orders until they are lifted.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the University to persist in serving students, keep its community safe, and provide service to constituents as it is able. In the face of that unprecedented challenge, Duquesne has taken several steps to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff, and community while providing our students a means to continue their academic progress.
General operational changes include: 

  • Classes now will be conducted remotely through the end of the spring 2020 semester and through summer 2020.
  • Pass/no-pass grading options are in place for spring semester 2020.
  • A virtual event to observe commencement will occur on May 8, 2020, with an on-campus event for the Class of 2020 to occur at a later time.
  • Spring 2020 campus events are cancelled.
  • Duquesne's Pittsburgh campus (and satellite campuses in Rome and Dublin) are all closed. The only persons remaining on campus are staff whose work is essential even under vastly reduced operations and can be conducted on campus using proper safety protocols.
  • Fewer than 30 students remain on campus, all of whom have circumstances preventing their ability to return home. Minimal staff are on campus to serve their needs.
  • Research activities have been reduced or stopped.
  • The vast majority of faculty and staff members are working remotely and University operations continue.

Below are all official updates that were sent prior to the University's closing.

Updated Information as of March 19, 2020

At around 5 p.m. today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses by 8 p.m. today, March 19, 2020. The governor's order does not categorize colleges and universities as life-sustaining businesses, with the exception of staffing the needs of our student residents who remain in our residence halls who have no other housing option.

As a result, all University operations not related to the feeding and housing of the students remaining in our residences are supposed to cease all on-campus operations effective 8 p.m. tonight, March 19, 2020.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE ABLE TO LEAVE CAMPUS DO SO IMMEDIATELY. We recognize that those families at a distance may need time to complete this move. Please note that Governor Wolf has indicated that enforcement of this order will begin at midnight on Saturday. Therefore, time is of the essence in moving out of the residences.

Only students with no other safe housing option should remain on campus as we wind down operations dramatically.

Please share or update your plans for departure as soon as possible with the Office of Student Life through the web forms

IMPORTANT:

  • Because our faculty have planned well and transitioned to online delivery of courses, classes will continue
  • Library services will remain available online, as will other academic support provided remotely.
  • All academic and student services offices will be open, staffed remotely. Phone numbers and emails for those offices, available on our website, all have been forwarded so that service can continue.
  • Administrative offices will be open with staff working remotely.

Efforts will continue to ensure students intending to leave are able to do so, with full support of the University.

The state will take enforcement actions for non-compliance with this order starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. Those businesses found non-compliant "will forfeit their ability to receive any applicable disaster relief and/or may be subject to other appropriate administrative action . . . includ[ing] termination of state loan or grant funding, including Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) grant funding and/or suspension or revocation of licensure for violation of the law."

The Governor's measures are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and therefore align with the measures Duquesne already has adopted.


At around 5 p.m. today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses by 8 p.m. today, March 19, 2020. The governor's order does not categorize colleges and universities as life-sustaining businesses, with the exception of staffing the needs of our student residents who remain in our residence halls and who have no other housing option.

As a result, all University operations not related to the feeding and housing of the students remaining in our residences are supposed to cease all on-campus operations effective 8 p.m. tonight, March 19, 2020. 

The state's enforcement will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. Employees who wish to retrieve items from their offices that are essential to their ability to work remotely must do so by noon tomorrow, March 20, 2020. Individuals will not be able to return to their offices for an indefinite period of time.

All administrative offices and academic offices must be prepared to move to remote work immediately. No employees are to come to campus offices other than those identified as proving for the needs of our student residents.

Efforts will continue as possible to ensure students intending to leave are able to do so, with full support of the University.

Vice presidents and deans will be in contact with directors, department heads and other supervisors regarding business continuity of their respective units. Remote working will continue per plans already established, for those whose work permits such arrangements.

Once you have removed your essential belongings, DO NOT RETURN TO YOUR CAMPUS OFFICE UNTIL NOTIFIED.

The state will take enforcement actions for non-compliance with this order starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. Those businesses found non-compliant "will forfeit their ability to receive any applicable disaster relief and/or may be subject to other appropriate administrative action . . . includ[ing] termination of state loan or grant funding, including Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) grant funding and/or suspension or revocation of licensure for violation of the law."

The governor's measures are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and therefore align with the measures Duquesne already has adopted.


Dear members of the Duquesne University Community,

The continued patience and dedication of all members of the Duquesne community has been evident over the past several days as we have navigated the ongoing changes made necessary by our preventive actions to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

University administration, again in consultation with faculty, staff, and students impacted by our measures, is taking additional actions, as outlined below.

Campus buildings are moving to card-access only

All University-owned buildings will be accessible only by card-swipe, 24 hours a day, effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. Access will be limited to faculty and staff who work in each building; students will not have access to those buildings.

The Duquesne Union will be closed to students effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. The building will be accessible only by card-swipe, 24 hours a day, for those employees who work in the building.    

  • Health ServicesCareer Services and the Center for Global Engagement will be by appointment only.
    • To schedule an appointment with University Health Services (UHS), call the UHS main line at 412.396.2617.
    • To schedule an appointment with Career Services, call 412.396.6644 or email careerdevelopment@duq.edu.
    • To schedule an appointment with the Center for Global Engagement, call 412.396.6113 or email intladmissions@duq.edu.

All remaining offices and dining locations within the Union will be closed effective Friday, March 20, 2020, at 5 p.m.

Gumberg Library will be closed to students, effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. Library staff will be able to deliver services remotely.

For questions about library resources and access, contact the library at 412.396.6130 or email ask@duq.libanswers.com.

Effective March 23, 2019, the Hogan Dining Center will be the only dining option open. All students remaining on campus will be relocated to the Towers living learning center. The Power Center and campus bookstore are closed.

Student move-out encouraged

The University strongly encourages students and families to finalize their plans to move off campus as soon as they can. While Duquesne is committed to supporting those students whose circumstances demand that they remain here, the campus should be aware that facilities and services will be significantly reduced. We will meet needs, and will do so in a safe manner, but options will be much fewer.

The Office of Residence Life is coordinating an orderly process to help students move out of the residence halls. We aim to accomplish most of this process by this Sunday, March 22. However, an additional week will be available for those who need more time to make the transition. We strongly urge those who can move to do so as swiftly as possible and to communicate their plans, if they have not already.

Appropriate University-owned housing and dining plan charges will be prorated and a credit toward a future semester's charges will be issued as follows:

  • Departure today through Sunday, March 22, pro-rated credit of 43 percent.
  • Departure Monday, March 23, through Sunday, March 29, pro-rated credit of 37 percent.
  • Departure after Sunday, March 29, no credit.
  • We ask students to make this transition as soon as possible, and to let the University know the details of when they will depart.
  • We have established an online site to record the day and general time period (morning, afternoon, evening) students plan to move out. This will help ensure we have sufficient parking, staff members to assist, bins for moving, etc.
  • Please go to the following link to indicate which time will work best for you: https://duq.edu/life-at-duquesne/residence-life/residential-student-move-out-information.
  • Duquesne's Office of Residence Life, resident directors and RAs (resident assistants) are in communication with students to assist them in making their plans.
  • It is helpful to know of each on-campus student's plans as soon as possible, and no later than Sunday, March 22.

We continue to appreciate the efforts of so many as we navigate these challenges together. We will also update regularly as more information or any changes arise.

Updated Information as of March 15, 2020

Dear Duquesne University Students and Families,

I'm writing to provide a critical update regarding operations at Duquesne for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, given the swiftly changing situation relating to the coronavirus. I appreciate your reading this message carefully.

I know how difficult and frustrating this unexpected situation has been for everyone, particularly our students, since it is occurring in the middle of the semester and disrupting our academic year in mid-stream. All of us at the University continue to do everything possible to make the most prudent decisions to ensure our students' wellbeing. As a community, we're thankful for the cooperation and patience you have shown every step of the way.

In my message last week, I indicated we would evaluate our plans by March 31, in order to decide whether we would resume face-to-face classes on campus before the semester concludes. Since then, the U.S. President has declared a national emergency. Pennsylvania's Governor has closed K-12 schools across the state and, over the weekend, encouraged institutions of higher education in impacted counties to do the same. As of today, we have four cases identified here in Allegheny County.

Throughout the weekend and again this morning, I have been meeting with my leadership team at the University. We have concluded that, given these recent events, it is nearly impossible that the situation will resolve by March 31. Therefore, I wanted to let you know that  the University has decided to move entirely to online instruction for the rest of the semester. We also are asking students currently living on campus to return home, if they are able to do so, this week (with a few exceptions, noted below).

I have reached this decision after consulting with Allegheny County health officials, fellow local university presidents, my leadership team, our Student Government Association president and other student leaders. This approach, I believe, will provide our students and families a higher level of certainty and a better ability to plan.

Starting tomorrow, March 16, we will facilitate the transition for on-campus students still living in their residence halls, enabling them to finalize plans to move out in an organized fashion. We recognize that this will require some time and coordination, so we want to allow as much flexibility as possible for each family. For those students who do not feel they have a safe place to which they can return, or who are unable to return home, we have created a simple form to request continued on-campus housing and meal services. These services will be scaled down as we take steps to minimize any health risks.

I'm truly grateful for your patience, support and help. I deeply appreciate the work of our staff and faculty-many of whom have been working around-the-clock as we adapt to a situation that is unparalleled in modern history. These are extraordinary times we all are facing. By proceeding carefully and strategically, we will maximize our ability to safeguard our students and every member of the Duquesne community.

Our students bring life and a spirit of energy to this campus, and there is no joy in completing the academic year without many of them on campus. We are a family here. It will not be the same without them here in the upcoming weeks, including for me, personally, as I prepare to teach my own undergraduate course online. But our mission is to serve God by serving our students so that they, in turn, can serve others, so I am confident that this is the proper course to take.

Thank you for your patience, your persistence and your prayers as we get through these weeks ahead, as a Duquesne family, and emerge even stronger. If any new developments come to light, I will be sure to be in touch.

Warm regards,

Ken Gormley
President

The Following Summary Provides Vital Information Information That You Should Review:

ABOUT SPRING CLASSES:

As previously announced, classes tomorrow, Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, have been cancelled. This will enable on-campus resident students and their families to determine a timetable that works best for them to make an orderly transition back home this week.

  • Online classes will be held, as planned, this Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19. This will allow faculty and students to get comfortable with this new mode of educational delivery and work out any issues that may occur.
  • CLASSES WILL THEN BE CANCELLED ON FRIDAY, MARCH 20, TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL TIME FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES (PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO LIVE AT A DISTANCE) TO MOVE OUT AND GET SITUATED.
  • Starting Monday, March 23, Duquesne will continue with online learning for the remainder of the spring semester.

ABOUT RESIDENCE HALLS:

The Office of Residence Life will coordinate an orderly process to help students move out of the residence halls starting tomorrow. We aim to accomplish most of this process by Sunday, March 22. However, an additional week will be available for those who need more time to make the transition. 

Appropriate University-owned housing and dining plan charges will be prorated and a credit toward a future semester's charges will be issued as follows:

  • Departure today through Sunday, March 22, pro-rated credit of 43 percent.
  • Departure Monday, March 23, through Sunday, March 29, pro-rated credit of 37 percent.
  • Departure after Sunday, March 29, no credit.
  • We ask students to make this transition as soon as possible, and to let the University know the details of when they will depart.
  • We have established an online site to record the day and general time period (morning, afternoon, evening) students plan to move out. This will help us ensure we have sufficient parking, staff members to assist, bins for moving, etc. Please go to the following link to indicate which time will work best for you:https://duq.edu/life-at-duquesne/residence-life/residential-student-move-out-information
  • Duquesne's Office of Residence Life, resident directors and RAs (resident assistants) will communicate with students starting Monday, to assist them in making their plans.
  • It is helpful to know of each on-campus student's plans as soon as possible, and no later than Sunday, March 22.

Some students may need to remain. We understand that some students will have no alternative place to which they can safely return. We will make accommodations, in specific cases, for students who have a valid reason to stay on campus. A simple form will be made available to make such a request. For those who need to remain: 

  • Please go to https://duq.edu/life-at-duquesne/residence-life/residential-student-request-to-remain-in-university-housing to make a formal request. 
  • Beginning next week, once a sufficient number of on-campus students have left the residence halls, the University will conduct an enhanced cleaning of the buildings.  The University will then move students who need to remain into a single residence hall, most likely Towers, and assign as many students as possible into single rooms to comply with social distancing recommendations of health officials.
  • If students are prepared to move earlier and space is available, the University will help them as soon as space is available.
  • Students who will remain on campus should understand that, for safety purposes, not all buildings and amenities will be operational at the University if they remain on campus. Indeed, the University will be scaling back to essential operations. For example, the work-out facilities in the Power Center will not be open for use. Likewise, Food Services, University Health Services, and the Student Union will operate with more limited services.

Please remember to use good judgment, safe practices, and show respect for others. All students-whether living on campus, living in off-campus housing, or living at home-should follow best practices to prevent exposure to the coronavirus. Follow this link for guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html.

Students returning from a country on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Level 2 or Level 3 warning list are required to self-isolate off-campus for 14 days. Please take this requirement seriously.

If you already have left campus and are experiencing symptoms, or are currently self-isolating, please DO NOT return to campus. We will help you make alternative arrangements to have someone retrieve your belongings. The health and safety of all members of the Duquesne community remains of utmost importance.

ABOUT PARKING:

Students with parking passes can contact Duquesne's parking office at parking@duq.edu regarding pro-rated credits against a future semester's parking pass. 

ABOUT UNIVERSITY OPERATIONS:

The University remains open and operational for the rest of the semester. We will continue to provide the best services possible under these extraordinary circumstances. Our goal is to enable our students to complete their coursework in a timely and effective manner despite these unplanned disruptions.

Some Duquesne employees who are able to work from home and who have made necessary arrangements with their supervisors may be permitted to do so. The University will continue to provide services throughout these challenging times.

Any employees returning from a country on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Level 2 or Level 3 warning list are required to self-isolate off-campus for 14 days. Please take this requirement seriously.

ABOUT CAMPUS EVENTS:

All campus events are cancelled until further notice. We know there are concerns and questions about the University's May 8 commencement. We know how important graduation is to students, parents and the entire University community. Once we have successfully transitioned students home or to other living arrangements, we will turn our full attention to events later in the semester. If the current health situation abates, that will certainly make the decisions less complicated. You can expect communication before long regarding spring Commencement decisions and other end-of academic year events.

Thank you for your support and assistance in carrying out this updated plan for the safety of our students and the entire Duquesne community.

Updated Information as of March 12, 2020

Yesterday, Duquesne announced that classes will transition to online instruction on Wednesday, March 18, through Tuesday, March 31, while the University stays open. Students can remain in residence halls and will retain access to amenities including Gumberg Library, the Power Center and dining facilities. Cleaning methods for all campus spaces have been expanded according to recommendations and guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Allegheny County Health Department.

We are aware that some students and families may determine they will feel safer returning to their permanent residences.

      • Should individuals make that decision, they may make a formal request to Duquesne's Office of Residence Life at orl@duq.edu for a room and dining plan credit (as applicable), pro-rated for time not spent in University-owned residences or using the dining plan. The credit may be used toward a future semester's charges.
      • Seniors and master's/doctoral students living in University-owned residences who are graduating in May 2020 are eligible for a refund. They also should contact Duquesne's Office of Residence Life at orl@duq.edu for their refunds (as applicable), pro-rated for time not spent in University-owned residences or using the dining plan.  

Many students will choose to stay.

Some will feel most secure remaining in place on campus, some have no alternatives, some will not want to return to places with greater risk, some are at greater distance-the reasons are numerous and personal. At a time of great challenge, we do not want anyone to feel compelled to stay who does not feel safe.

For those remaining on campus, we have implemented the following:

      • The University is open, meaning all resources students will need to make academic progress are present.
      • We will continue to stress practicing social distancing-arrangements to ensure 6 feet of distance between individuals-in dining areas, the student union, the Power Center and the library, among other locations.
      • Deans in individuals Schools and the College are collaborating with internship and clinical sites to work through details and necessary adjustments, and to ensure their safety measures are sufficient.
      • The University's Emergency Management Team is working with Duquesne's Department of Facilities Management, building managers, residence life staff and other professionals to adapt space to meet social distancing criteria. More details on those policies will be available soon in these spaces.

If the University resumes face-to-face instruction after March 31, details will be provided, and housing and dining plan charges will be adjusted accordingly.

Should the University close residential facilities after March 31, Duquesne University will process room and dining plan credits (as applicable), pro-rated for time not spent in University-owned residences or using the dining plan. The credit may be used toward a future semester's charges.

As of today, March 12, there are no coronavirus cases in Allegheny County. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue to navigate this situation, and we understand as well the frustration some of you are feeling. We will continue to share updates as new or clarifying information emerges.

Updated Information as of March 11, 2020

Duquesne University's Emergency Management Team and senior administration has monitored progress of the COVID-19 global situation and the steps taken not only in higher education but in other industries.

Duquesne's top priority is the safety and security of our students so that we can provide the educational experience they expect. The decisions we make are to keep our people and our campus safe and to preserve as best as is possible students' ability to progress in their education.

While no Pittsburgh or campus-related cases are reported to-date, we are taking new actions now to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. All actions are effective March 16, 2020:

Classroom Teaching

      • Classes have been canceled Monday March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. Faculty are instructed to use this time to prepare remote delivery of their courses.
      • All academic courses will resume Wednesday, March 18 with remote delivery.
        • On-campus instruction has been canceled from March 18 through March 31. If it becomes necessary to continue online instruction beyond March 31, appropriate, advance notice will be provided.
        • Faculty will contact their classes by email or Blackboard to indicate how classes will continue.
      • The Office of the Provost and individual Deans are providing additional information and resources for faculty to assist in implementation of online course delivery.
      • Students in courses that involve internships, practica or clinical sites should continue to accumulate non-contact hours toward course completion. If students are unable to complete contact hours, modifications will be made to these classes to ensure that students are able to continue their academic progress.
        • Deans will confirm with clinical sites that any healthcare learners (students, residents, fellows) working in a clinical environment will not be involved in direct care of any suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus.

University Operations

      • The University remains open. This includes the residence halls, libraries, the Power Center and dining halls. The administration is, however, encouraging preventative measures, including social distancing as recommended by the CDC.
        • Facilities Services has enhanced its usual cleaning practices to address hygiene in high-use areas.
      • Employees should report to work as usual. Employees deemed at-risk by the CDC may work with their supervisors and Human Resources to determine if a remote worksite is feasible.

Dining

Duquesne Dining has initiated precautionary adjustments in all dining locations. Self-serve items and stations will be altered to help ensure your health and safety. Among the changes Duquesne Dining has made:

      • All cashiers will be wearing gloves
      • Silverware will be passed out (rather than selected from an open holder) at all stations
      • Use of personal and usable cups, mugs, and bottles will be temporarily unavailable
      • Pastries and bagels will be pre-wrapped where self-served
      • Glove station will be made available at The Incline for guests to use condiments and beverage station and hoagie order forms
      • Chobani Yogurt Bar will be temporarily unavailable

In addition to these temporary changes, Duquesne Dining will increase and enhance sanitization and cleaning of all surfaces and touch points.

Research

      • All University facilities remain open. Researchers may continue working in their laboratories.

Travel

      • Effective immediately the University has suspended all University sponsored international travel for faculty, staff or students through May 31, 2020 (this travel ban will be continuously reevaluated). Non-essential domestic travel is also canceled.
        • Essential travel must be approved in advance by the employee's supervisor and either the Provost or CFO.
      • Personal travel is discouraged and should be considered carefully. If individuals must travel, they are encouraged to follow ALL CDC and University protocols for return to campus, including self-quarantine.

Campus Events

      • All campus events through April 30th with expected attendance of 50 or more will be canceled.

Athletic Events

Athletic team competitions will follow guidance of the NCAA and Conference.

As you are all aware, this is a complex, challenging, and fluid crisis which continues to evolve rapidly. Accordingly, all guidelines are subject to change and/or extension as deemed necessary by University leadership.

Duquesne's Emergency Management Team and all members of the University community are actively engaged in monitoring and responding to this crisis on a daily basis to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of the entire community, as well as educational continuity for our students.

The University's actions are intended to mitigate contact and potential spread by practicing social distancing in-place. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Social distancing measures can reduce virus transmission by decreasing the frequency and duration of social contact among persons of all ages. These measures are common-sense approaches to limiting face-to-face contact, which reduces person-to-person transmission."

The approach Duquesne has adopted limits the degree to which students return to communities where the virus may be more prevalent, limits the potential for contact-based spread on campus, and helps them continue to make progress toward degrees amid the resources utilized for academic progress. The University will continue to monitor and adapt as necessary.

Updated Information as of March 8, 2020

Current planning efforts and policy updates are below. The most crucial thing we all can do, however, is to engage in safe hygiene practices and heed experts for accurate information.

Preventive Behaviors and Hygiene Etiquette

As we return to classes, activities and work on campus, please exercise good hygiene etiquette. We know COVID-19 is easily spread by:

      • Coughing or sneezing
      • Unclean hands
        • Touching your face after touching contaminated objects
        • Touching objects after contaminating your hands.

To help stop the spread of germs on campus and among your communities:

      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
      • Put used tissues in a waste basket.
      • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

Remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing:

      • Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or
      • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.  

Planning at Duquesne

      1. On March 1, the University made it official policy that any Duquesne student or employee returning to the U.S. from a destination with a CDC travel health notice of level 3 or higher must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to the Pittsburgh campus.
      2. We instructed returning individuals that they must return to their homes or similarly suitable locations to practice quarantine as a protective measure for themselves and others.
        a. Quarantine is not isolation. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to or were in an area with a known contagious disease to see if they become sick. Isolation separates sick people with a known contagious disease from people who are not sick.
      3. Monitor yourself for symptoms. While in quarantine, if you develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact your primary care provider by telephone.
        a. If you are on campus, employees are to consult with their primary care provider first, by first calling. Students are to call University Health Services prior to visiting their offices on the dedicated Coronavirus Information Line: 412.298.8980. Otherwise, to schedule an appointment, call the office first at 412.396.2617. Calling your healthcare provider ahead will save you time, ensure you are not unwittingly exposing yourself or others, and allow staff to continue to serve the needs of our campus community.
      4. Hand-sanitizer and information materials have been provided in all residence halls on campus. Individuals are strongly encouraged to use hand sanitizer that is available from dispensers throughout campus buildings.
        a. Posters around campus remind people of the best safety and preventive measures they can take.
      5. Our Department of Facilities Management is following CDC and American College Health Association guidelines for preventative maintenance in University buildings, cleaning surfaces and high-use public areas with specific attention.
      6. Faculty and academic staff are aware of the potential for changes or disruptions to normal teaching practices. The University's Instructional Continuity plan provides guidance in the event that changes to instruction become necessary.

Status in Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf has declared a state of emergency in Pennsylvania, providing additional resources for state response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The declaration happens as the state's Department of Health has reported four presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the eastern half of Pennsylvania. The individuals have been quarantined. We continue to monitor county, state, and federal status updates.

Practice Patience

As noted above, attention to personal preventive measures is the best advice for keeping safe. In addition:

      1. Check reputable sources of information, with the best being the CDC's fact sheet.
      2. Limit travel.
      3. Encourage others with whom you associate to seek accurate information and to practice preventive measures.
      4. Be vigilant and responsive to combating ongoing issues of bias and xenophobia in affected communities. Such behavior does nothing to assist our community in ensuring safety and awareness for our people.

Duquesne University's mission states that we serve God by serving students, who in turn serve others. The service we must provide one another in this situation is the calm attention to facts, patience with one another, and prudent measures of prevention and hygiene. Welcome back, and enjoy the rest of the semester.  

Coronavirus Update and Reminder about Policies and Prevention - March 6, 2020

We hope that spring break provided our community a chance to recharge, even with the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 situation. The efforts of many people have helped prepare for your return and the prevention of negative impacts to the community. We thank them for their work and we thank everyone for their patience as we are nearly ready to resume the semester.

The current situation at Duquesne remains unchanged from earlier in the week:

On March 1, Duquesne implemented an official policy that any Duquesne student or employee returning to the United States from a destination with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel health notice of level 3 or higher must self-isolate for 14 days prior to returning to the University campus in Pittsburgh.

Individuals returning to the United States from a destination with CDC travel health notice level 3 must return to their homes or similarly suitable locations as a protective measure for themselves and others. If you have any questions, please contact University Health Services.

The following destinations remain under a level 3 travel health notice from the CDC: China, Italy, South Korea and Iran. The University continues to monitor CDC travel health notices for any changes.  

Individuals should continue to monitor for symptoms  and contact their primary care provider if any occur. Again, we urge everyone to practice preventive behavior.

With Italy having reached CDC travel health notice level 3, the University has closed our Rome campus. The Dublin campus remains open.

      • The University has facilitated the return of most students and faculty from Rome to the United States, where they are isolating at home.
      • All of these students will be able to continue their coursework online for the rest of the semester.

Duquesne University continues to keep the security and safety of our students, faculty, staff and campus as our top priority. We will continue to share updates of new and relevant information or policy developments. Please consider what you can do to help protect yourself and others, and to contribute to the spirit of cooperation necessary at this time.

We ask that members of our community be vigilant and responsive to combating ongoing issues of bias and xenophobia in affected communities. Such behavior does nothing to assist our community in ensuring safety and awareness for our people.

Updated Information as of March 3, 2020

On March 1, Duquesne made it official policy that any Duquesne student or employee returning to the U.S. from a destination with a CDC travel health notice of level 3 or higher must self-isolate for 14 days prior to returning to the Pittsburgh campus.

Individuals returning to the United States from a destination with CDC travel health notice level 3 must return to their homes or similarly suitable locations as a protective measure for themselves and others. If you have any questions, please contact University Health Services.

Destinations presently under a level 3 health notice include China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran. The University continues to monitor CDC travel health notices for any changes.

Individuals should continue to monitor for symptoms and, if any arise, contact their primary care provider. We urge everyone to practice preventive behavior.

With Italy having reached CDC travel health notice level 3, the University has closed our Rome campus. The Dublin campus remains open.

      • The University facilitated the return of most students and faculty from Rome to the United States, where they are isolating at home.
      • All of the students will be able to continue their coursework online for the rest of the semester.

The University is thankful for the steps many have taken to be helpful and supportive of in ensuring safety and security of our community. We will continue to update as new and relevant information or policy developments arise.

Updated Information as of March 1, 2020

Duquesne University is updating our present policy regarding student, faculty and staff travel to and from places with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel health notice of level 3 or higher.

As of March 1, any Duquesne student or employee returning to the U.S. from a destination with a CDC travel health notice of level 3 or higher must self-isolate for 14 days prior to returning to the Pittsburgh campus.

Individuals must return to their homes or similarly suitable locations as a protective measure for themselves and others. If you have any questions, please contact University Health Services.

Destinations presently under a level 3 health notice include China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran. We continue to monitor CDC travel health notices for any changes.

Individuals should monitor for symptoms and, if any arise, contact their primary care provider.

The University is thankful for the steps many have taken to be helpful and supportive in ensuring safety and security of our community. We will continue to update as new and relevant information or policy developments arise.

Updated Information as of February 28, 2020

On the afternoon of Friday, February 28, Duquesne University officials decided, while monitoring CDC travel health notices, that if and when a destination reached CDC level 3, the University would cancel pending trips and arrange for the return of any students, faculty, and staff from that destination.

CDC Level 3 advises to avoid non-essential travel. By Friday evening, Italy's CDC travel health level was raised to 3. The University has cancelled a planned spring break trip that was to have left on the morning of Saturday, February 29, for Rome.

Additionally, the University is arranging for the 59 students at its Rome campus to return to the United States.

At this time, there are no reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Duquesne University or in Pittsburgh. We continue to monitor updates and recommendations issued by the Allegheny County Health Department, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   CDC has issued current travel notices for six destinations:

      • China: Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel)
      • South Korea: Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel)
      • Italy: Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel)
      • Iran: Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel)
      • Japan: Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions)
      • Hong Kong: Level 1 (Practice Usual Precautions)

Duquesne continues to keep the security of our students, faculty, staff and campus as our top priority. We encourage people to continue to check for health and safety updates regularly as the information is rapidly changing.

The University's Emergency Management Team is meeting regularly to monitor new and changing information, ensure preparedness, and evaluate needs of our community.

Duquesne's Rome Campus

As noted, Duquesne is arranging for its 59 students and their faculty at our Rome campus to return to the United States. The Center for Global Engagement is helping students navigate the processes, providing coordination to maximize their safety and to facilitate ways to continue with their coursework for the semester.

There are still no cases of COVID-19 reported in Rome and there is no travel ban in the city or for leaving the country. The students are safe and have the support of Duquesne staff in Rome. The move to return the students is simply adherence to the University's  policy decision and heeding the recommendations of the U.S. government.

Personal Travel

If you are considering international travel, the University encourages you to monitor travel advisories.    Depending on your destination, you may have to reach decisions to change or cancel plans to ensure your wellbeing and timely return.

In many countries, entry and exit control measures could change, and even quarantines implemented, with little notice. These actions could severely impact your plans and/or delay your return home with personal cost.

Per the CDC, the University recommends being aware of your health status when making decisions regarding travel. Individuals most at-risk are those with compromised health systems. If you have a temperature or respiratory illness, consider your options with your primary care provider.

Safety and Prevention Actions

Photo of person washing their handsUniversity Health Services continues to advise campus offices on updates and preventive measures. Residence life also is providing guidance on preventive measures recommended by federal health experts. The best actions individuals can take is to practice prevention methods endorsed by the CDC.

Those methods include:

      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
        • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

As students and faculty return to campus following spring break, our campus staff is prepared to communicate best preventative practices and to provide necessary support. University officials are in regular communication with local and state health department officials. We have no reason to believe there is any risk to anyone on the Duquesne University campus. and the American College Health Association has advised that there still is "no basis for changing business as usual regarding housing, campus events, and other circumstances under which large groups of people will be gathering."

Care Resources and Returning to Campus

As noted above, attention to personal preventive measures is the best advice for keeping safe:

      • Check reputable sources of information, with the best being the CDC's fact sheet.
      • While traveling, practice prevention methods.
      • If experiencing symptoms of concern prior to returning to campus, please consult with your primary care provider.
      • If experiencing symptoms of concern after returning to campus, consult with your primary care provider as able before calling University Health Services.
      • If you wish to schedule an appointment, call the office first at 412.396.1650. It will save you time, ensure you are not unwittingly exposing yourself or others, and ensuring staff can serve the needs of our campus community.
      • Encourage others with whom you associate to seek accurate information and to practice preventive measures.

We ask that members of our community be vigilant and responsive to combating ongoing issues of bias and xenophobia in affected communities. Such behavior does nothing to assist our community in ensuring safety and awareness for our people.

Campus Planning

If an instance of COVID-19 emerges in Pittsburgh or on the Duquesne University campus, we will follow the protocols established by the Allegheny County Health Department.

Duquesne maintains a network of health care providers and professionals who will assist as needed and recommended per county, state and federal guidelines. The University regularly works with county officials on a variety of health matters and has a plan for isolation and management of infectious outbreaks, if needed.

Please be assured that Duquesne continues to monitor the situation closely. The University will notify the campus community immediately if any significant changes in plans or protocols develop.

We urge smart decisions, care for others, respect for good information, and thoughtful cooperation as we maintain the safety of our community and region.        

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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