Coronavirus Information and Updates – February 26, 2020

April Thompson – Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students
Kristin Dukes – Dean for Institutional Diversity
February 26, 2020 at 10:26am

Dear Members of the Campus Community:

As you are aware, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency. Recently, the World Health Organization announced the official name of the disease, COVID-19, that is causing the outbreak of the coronavirus. As of this past week, cases of the virus are present in 32 countries, including the United States with 53 confirmed cases.

Many members of our community — students, faculty and staff — are very concerned about the health and safety of family and friends in the areas impacted by the virus. We encourage you to be supportive of them and to recognize the uncertainty and anxiety they continue to face throughout this evolving health crisis. This is a challenging and frightening time for them.

News and fear of the virus have the potential for bias. We have seen the occurrence of bias, insensitive behavior, and racial profiling toward Asian students on other college campuses. This saddens us very much. While it is reasonable to worry about your health, we want to remind you that it is not okay to make assumptions about others based on their health symptoms or their racial or ethnic heritage and identity. As always, we ask all members of the campus community to be compassionate and mindful that ours is a diverse community that is inclusive and supportive of the diversity that each individual brings to Allegheny. If you have questions or are feeling uneasy and need additional support, please contact Kristin Dukes, Dean for Institutional Diversity, at or (814) 332-2724.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent novel coronavirus. As a precaution, we would like to remind the campus community that the best protection from the spread of any virus, including the flu and COVID-19, is through everyday preventive actions, including the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or 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. Cough into your elbow if you do not have a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. This includes your cell phone.

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus and influenza are very similar. If you are running a high fever and have a mild-to-severe respiratory illness, with a cough, sore throat, and/or difficulty breathing, please call Winslow Health Center at (814) 332-4355 to set up an appointment to be seen by a physician or nurse practitioner as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

April Thompson
Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students

Kristin Dukes
Dean for Institutional Diversity