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An aerial photo of Patton Hall, McWhorter Hall and the Baskin Center in the foreground, with the city of Nashville in the background

February 28, 2020 Coronavirus Update

Subject: Belmont University--Coronavirus Impact on Spring Break Travel

Belmont Faculty, Staff and Students,

Considering the ongoing impact of the coronavirus and the resulting respiratory illness it causes, COVID-19, Belmont has been faced with difficult decisions regarding University-sponsored Spring Break travel:

International Mission Trips and Study Abroad Programs Over Spring Break

Out of an abundance of caution with this rapidly developing health crisis, all Belmont-sponsored Spring Break international travel—both mission trips and study abroad programs—has been cancelled. Impacted students, faculty and staff will receive updates on alternate programs and/or refunds from University administrators early next week.

Domestic Spring Break Mission Trips

At this time, all Spring Break mission trips scheduled for the United States will continue as planned.

For those students not impacted by University-sponsored travel for Spring Break, we also share the following recommendations: 

Spring Break: Personal Travel – Things to Know

Although cases of coronavirus/COVID-19, have been reported in many countries, including the United States, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public to be low at this time. To date, there have been no cases reported in the state of Tennessee. Those who plan on personal Spring Break travel should thoroughly research their destinations and continue to stay tuned to the State Department, CDC and World Health Organization travel advisories for the most up-to-date information. In addition, Belmont Health Services  offers pre-travel consultations as well as appointments for medical concerns.

In addition, we recognize that there are many Maymester and Summer study abroad programs planned for later this year.  While the decisions noted above are specific only to Spring Break program, we wanted those who may be traveling on Belmont-sponsored programs in Maymester and Summer to have the following information:

Maymester and Summer Study Abroad Programs and Mission Trips

As policy, Belmont-sponsored travel programs are cancelled when the intended travel locations appear on lists designated as a State Department Level 4 or CDC Level 3. Belmont Study Abroad programs in China, Japan and South Korea have already been cancelled. Personal travel to these countries and any others that appear on the State Department or CDC lists is also strongly discouraged. Our students’ health and safety is our top priority, and Belmont will work with students whose pending travel is impacted by this situation. We will continue to monitor updates on the coronavirus and will communicate as soon as possible if plans for Maymester or Summer programs need to be altered.

Finally, we also wish to share the below information as a general reminder:

Health Precautions – Best Prevention Methods

Since there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the CDC advises the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to coronavirus, as well as other viruses like influenza and mumps, that occur at this time of year. Recommended actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.

We will continue to update the community as new information becomes available. In the meantime, be aware that the Belmont Health Services clinic (615-460-5506) is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon, and our professional staff is ready to assist you. The clinic is located on the first floor of McWhorter Hall. The Health Services website also lists other local clinics with additional hours of operation.