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Emergency Notification: Likely COVID-19 Case in the Smith Community, March 23, 2020

Emergency Notification: Likely COVID-19 Case in the Smith Community, March 23, 2020

Dear students, staff and faculty:

This morning, we were notified that an employee’s spouse has been hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19. Because the employee also has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we are notifying you of a likely case of the disease in our community.

The employee has been working off campus for more than a week and is recovering at home.

While we will not release any identifying information about the employee out of respect for their privacy and applicable HIPAA privacy laws, we are working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to notify those members of our community who may have had direct contact.

Many of you will wonder what this news means for you. The steps you should take are those that you should already be taking:

  • Stay home except to pick up medicine and groceries. I cannot stress this enough. We can only stop the spread of this virus if everyone in our community shelters in place; only essential personnel should be traveling to campus.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after going outside for any reason.
  • Isolate yourself and reach out to your primary care provider if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

I urge you to understand that each of us has a responsibility to limit the spread of this disease and that we must act now to change our behavior. This means, first and foremost, physical distancing and proper hygiene.

We also understand the high likelihood that community spread of COVID-19 in western Massachusetts will continue to affect the college. Later today, we will be sending updated information on how to report and respond to potential on- and off-campus cases in the Smith community.

Responding to this pandemic is our shared responsibility, now more than ever.

Please continue to monitor Smith’s COVID-19 website and direct any questions to

Tara Dumont, MD
College Physician