LMU continues to monitor and respond to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is working diligently to safeguard the safety and well-being of our community. While there are still no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus at LMU, this remains a rapidly developing situation, with new cases reported abroad, in the U.S., and in California hourly. The university receives frequent updates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and aligns decisions with guidance from health officials.
Please visit LMU’s Coronavirus Website for the latest information and guidance. Also, please note there have been reports of unscrupulous spammers sending out fake advisories as part of phishing or disinformation schemes. When in doubt, you may confirm university messages by visiting our website or contacting the resources listed below.
New Travel Restrictions
Effective immediately out of an abundance of caution and in compliance with recent CDC recommendations, the university is restricting all university international travel for students, faculty, and staff through April 12, 2020. We will continue to evaluate conditions abroad and provide further guidance as appropriate.
Faculty and staff should consult their department heads to review whether domestic travel should be rescheduled or postponed on a case-by-case basis, informed by reports of coronavirus spread in specific U.S. regions.
- International spring break travel programs have been canceled, including Ignacio Companions and Alternative Breaks.
- The university discourages students on spring break from traveling internationally or to currently impacted regions.
- All students, faculty, staff and campus guests who have returned or will return to the U.S. from countries with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice from the CDC are not permitted to return to campus for 14 days. Currently, this includes China (Level 3), Iran (Level 3), Italy (Level 3), South Korea (Level 3), and Japan (Level 2), subject to daily changes in CDC risk assessments. We recommend checking the CDC website for an updated list of Travel Health Notices. Supervisors and employees should contact Human Resources for further guidance or information as appropriate. Students should contact the Dean of Students office at 310.338.3756 or via email.
- The university discourages community members from coming into contact with travelers who return from Level 2 or 3 countries for 14 days.
In order to plan proactively and coordinate responsive actions to COVID-19 developments, the university has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). University leaders are meeting daily to review official guidance and recommendations from public health authorities, to assess risk, and develop strategic and coordinated solutions. While there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community, the EOC seeks to assure the continuity of operations and instruction.
The EOC and university leaders ask faculty and staff to prioritize planning and preparation in the possible scenario of elevated risk:
- University departments should review their continuity of operations plans (COOPs) with their leaders to ensure they are updated and prepared for potential disruptions.
- Faculty should familiarize themselves with the options available for distance learning using our online learning management system, Brightspace. For Brightspace support, contact your instructional technologist or visit https://its.lmu.edu/brightspace. Additional guidance from the Provost’s Office is forthcoming this week.
- Faculty who are concerned for students who show signs of illness in class are advised to ask students to leave class and seek guidance from their healthcare provider before resuming classroom and co-curricular activities.
Prevention and Awareness
While the immediate risk to our community is low, the World Health Organization states that we are in uncharted territory. Student Health Services (SHS) notes that seasonal occurrences of respiratory illnesses and flu are heightened. Students experiencing symptoms should contact SHS at 310.338.2881 prior to visiting the Health Center or go to an urgent care facility afterhours; faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.
Students, faculty or staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 must contact Public Safety at 310.338.2893 immediately.
As we prepare for public health threats to our university community, please note:
- COVID-19 is primarily spread from person-to-person contact: either between people within six feet of each other, or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Secondarily, COVID-19 may be spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes.
- The incubation period for the virus is between 5-14 days. Symptoms include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- To avoid illness:
- Get a flu shot;
- 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;
- Consider an elbow bump or footshake instead of a handshake when greeting colleagues and friends.
Enhanced Campus Measures Implemented
Facilities Management has proactively implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of buildings on the Westchester Main Campus, downtown Law Campus and Playa Vista Campus common areas and offices. University employees who staff offices should routinely disinfect common areas, including conference rooms, waiting areas, service counters, or shared work spaces.
Following CDC recommendations, university custodial staff have increased the frequency and scope of cleaning for frequently used surfaces, including increasing the use of disinfectants in high-traffic areas, such as door handles, elevator buttons, faucets, etc. Additionally, FM is coordinating with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure best practices and training on the use of adequate Personal Protective Equipment should there be an outbreak on campus. FM will also provide our campuses with visible cleaning routines and additional public hand sanitation stations.
Support Resources and Services
Please note the university has resources and services available to support and assist our community:
- Community of Care – 310.338.3756 (students)
- Campus Ministry – 310.338.2860 (students)
- Office for International Students and Scholars – 310.338.2937 (students)
- Public Safety – 310.338.2893
- Student Psychological Services – 310.338.2868 (students)
- Center for Ignatian Spirituality – 310.338.3019 (faculty and staff)
- Employee Assistance Program – (faculty and staff)
- Human Resources – 310.338.2723 (faculty and staff)
- Parent and Family Programs – 310.338.1798 (parents)