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Planning for and Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Dear students, staff and faculty:

Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we have been closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State and the actions of governments worldwide as we shape Smith’s response to the disease’s spread.

While there is no threat to the Smith campus at this time, we write to inform you of plans in two key areas: international travel and study as well as spring recess.

International travel and study
The college will suspend operations, including study abroad programming, in any country whose CDC warning level reaches alert-level 3, indicating the need to avoid nonessential travel. As of today, China and South Korea fall under this designation. Should the warning for any other country hosting a Smith program or Smith student be raised to CDC level 3, Smith will contact affected students, staff and program providers to plan for possible relocation. Students who have questions regarding changes to study abroad programming are encouraged to contact Lisa Johnson, assistant dean for international studies, at

Additionally, the college strongly advises that all nonessential business travel to affected areas be canceled.

Spring recess
The college urges every member of the community traveling over spring recess to take appropriate cautions and monitor CDC updates and guidance. Additionally, we recognize that some students will not wish to—or may not be able to—travel over spring break to destinations currently affected by COVID-19. In response to these circumstances, the college is waiving all housing fees for this year’s spring recess for any student who wishes to remain on campus.

Building on our existing emergency plans, the college is finalizing quarantine protocols, ways to sustain our core academic mission should the campus need to be closed for any period of time and ways to support students, faculty and staff over the course of a potential disruption. The college is also anticipating potential impacts on Commencement, Reunion and summer programming. Additionally, the Office of Admission is tracking the effect of travel restrictions on admitted students. Should travel restrictions not permit an admitted student to enroll in the fall of 2020, the college will allow that student to defer the offer of admission for one year.

We will keep you updated as conditions and plans develop. We strongly encourage you to monitor, where we are posting updates, letters to the community and resources for students, staff and faculty.


Kathleen McCartney