Dear all,

I am writing to provide a quick update concerning IU’s actions and plans regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). The university continues to monitor the outbreak closely and is sending out periodic email updates in IU Public Safety Advisory notices from the Office of Public Safety. Those emails provide the latest information from IU and we encourage you to read them. We are aware of no confirmed or suspected cases in Indiana or at IU. And currently, no new travel restrictions have been put in place by IU, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), or the U.S. Department of State.

A number of you have reached out with questions. While the situation is evolving rapidly, here are answers to the most common questions we are receiving:
  • Our Students and Study Abroad Programs: We have been in contact with four of our students in South Korea, and they are making plans to leave. They are not presently planning to return to Bloomington, but will be with family or friends in the U.S. or elsewhere. We will remain in close contact with them. We have no students in Italy. We are monitoring the situation in other parts of the world. For this summer’s Stewart Fellows Program, we are meeting and assessing the situation in individual countries and speaking with our partners. As we have more information, we will speak with individual students in the program directly (the same is true for any other programs that may require travel outside the U.S.).  As you know, all travel to China is currently on hold. To our knowledge, the law school has no students, faculty, or staff in China, and no upcoming trips are planned. No one at the Law School has been in China or Italy since the beginning of this year.
  • Law School Alumni and Partner Schools: We previously reached out to alumni and our partner schools in China to let them know we are thinking of them, to express concern, and (given the timing) to wish them well for the Lunar New Year. While there’s not much that can be done from afar, we asked our partner schools to let us know if we could be of assistance. We have been told that many of our partner schools in China are assisting with coordinating efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and to provide medical and other support. We will plan similar outreach to our partner schools and alumni in other affected areas.
  • Spring Break and Other Travel: For students with personal travel plans outside the U.S. for spring break (or at other times), IU urges you to monitor travel restrictions closely and to consider alternative plans. The situation is rapidly evolving outside of China. It’s possible that the United States or other countries may impose travel restrictions, which could make returning to the United States difficult not only from China, but also from other Asian countries and parts of Europe. As a reminder, as always, all faculty, staff, and students who are traveling on behalf of IU (e.g., as a faculty member, through programmatic travel, or partner programs, rather than personal travel) are required to let us know of their travel plans and contact information before those plans are made.
  • Hygiene and Health: We’ve received some questions about hand sanitizers. Right now the largest health concern on IU campuses remains common influenza. In light of cold and flu season, all on campus are being urged to follow best practices, including: (1) staying away from ill people and avoiding class or campus if you are ill; (2) washing your hands often with soap and water; (3) covering coughs or sneezes with your elbow or a tissue; and (4) obtaining an annual flu (influenza) shot through your primary care provider, local minute clinic, or campus health center. We have hand sanitizers placed throughout the law school and we’ll make sure those are fully stocked, as we have in the past for cold/flu season. Our building facilities folks will restock as needed to respond to recent student requests.
  • Other Steps: We remain in contact with IU’s Office of International Affairs, and will monitor guidance distributed by the CDC, U.S. State Department, WHO, and others. IU has the Protect IU website for more tips, information, and frequently asked questions about coronavirus COVID-19.  
As always, the Student Affairs Office and the Graduate Legal Studies/International Programs Offices are available for students should any questions or concerns arise. As mentioned above, please keep an eye open for any IU Public Safety Advisory notices about the virus. We will provide updates as we receive new information.

Austen Parrish