March 6, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update for Faculty & Staff

Goucher College faculty and staff:

Goucher College is closely monitoring COVID-19 (coronavirus), and making preventative preparations, as well as preparations in response to a potential coronavirus outbreak. We are committed to the health and wellbeing of all Goucher employees, students, and visitors. As such, we are closely monitoring reports from local, regional, and national organizations (including the World Health Organization and American College Health Association), as well as neighboring colleges and universities and our educational partners abroad.

The President’s Cabinet is meeting regularly to discuss and evaluate this dynamic and evolving situation. As part of these discussions, Cabinet is discussing development and updating of business continuity plans in all divisions (including telework options in the event of a campus closure), preventative hygiene plans and communications, and travel considerations. 

The most important advice we want to convey at this time is that if you are sick and/or displaying signs and symptoms of coronavirus you should not come to work and should stay in your residence/home. The CDC recommends that individuals who have travelled to affected areas quarantine for fourteen (14) days, and we are requesting that you do as recommended.

  • Sick employees, or those caring for sick family members, should use available paid leave and refer to Goucher College leave policies (including Family and Medical Leave) and consult with HR as necessary;

  • Limit contact with others – avoid work, school, travel, shopping, social events, public gatherings.

We recommend that you practice good hygiene as follows:

  • Wash your hands – use soap and water and wash for a minimum of 20 seconds; alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough/sneeze into your sleeve; dispose of tissues after use
  • Avoid close contact with sick individuals
  • Avoid sharing food and beverages
  • Get a flu shot – shots are still available, but take approximately 2 weeks to take effect

If you are considering personal travel, we strongly recommend that you reconsider ANY international travel plans over spring break  and the coming weeks, especially to or through areas included in CDC travel alerts. Individuals planning personal international travel do so at their own risk, especially to countries already on the CDC alert and watch lists and areas or regions with new and/or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Countries may be elevated to the CDC’s Level 2 or 3 travel advisories with little warning. Faculty and staff should be aware of the associated risk of disruptions to their reentry to the United States or other countries, and possible requirements to quarantine upon return.

Please remember our Community Principles at this time.
Our principles include avoiding the spread of misinformation about coronavirus and speaking out against negative behaviors, stigma and discrimination. For example, coronavirus is not linked to individuals of a certain ethnicity, race, or national origin. It is also important to remember that taking preventative measures, such as wearing surgical masks in public or avoiding handshaking, should not be misconstrued as a sign of illness and should not lead to ridicule or avoidance of the individual. Be mindful that members of the campus community may also have friends and family affected by or residing in regions experiencing outbreaks. Offer support and refer these individuals to available campus and community resources.

Additional Information


Goucher Critical Incident Response Team
Co-Leads: Bryan Coker & Stephanie Coldren