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Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Denver Seminary Students, Faculty, Staff and Guests

Updated: Mar 12


Dear Denver Seminary community,


The wellbeing of all members of the Denver Seminary community is one of our highest priorities. To that end, the Seminary has been closely monitoring the global threat posed by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). We have activated a Crisis Response Plan and a Policy on Communicable Diseases. And we have formed a Pandemic Response Team (PRT). The PRT has reviewed steps we can take to try to avoid an outbreak of the virus on campus and to be prepared in the case of a widespread outbreak in our area.


Internal resources (a SharePoint site and a student information site) are being established to provide updates and information. Links to these sites will be sent out next week. They will be the primary way information will be disseminated to students, staff and faculty. All communications to the public will be managed and must be authorized by Senior Director of Communications, Andrea Weyand.


Current Situation


According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the status of testing cases in Colorado are as follows:


COVID-19 in Colorado Test Results


As of March 5, 2020 - updated Mondays through Fridays at 11 a.m.

  • Positive - 2

  • Negative - 92

  • Pending - 30

  • Total tests* - 94

*Numbers are cumulative since Jan. 23, 2020 and include test results from both CDC and the state. To date, 14 tests were conducted at CDC. All current testing is being done by the state lab.


The Tri-County Health (includes Arapahoe County) Assessment (as of March 2, 2020) states that most Coloradoans are unlikely to have been exposed to COVID-19 and the immediate health risk is considered low. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC.gov) as of March 2 concurs that, “At this time, however, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment will be updated as needed. “ For reliable information, including answers to questions about COVID-19, visit the CDC website.


*For those not in Colorado, please refer to the CDC website for your area.


Current Actions


Here are some steps Denver Seminary is taking:


  • The Pandemic Response Team has met and will meet regularly.

  • Facilities and our cleaning crews are using industrial disinfectant and taking extra steps in cleaning.

  • Additional disinfectant supplies and wipes are being made available to departments. High quality hand sanitizer is available in dispensers throughout all buildings.

  • Offices on campus are preparing plans for the continuation of essential operations in the event an extended campus shutdown should be required.

  • Faculty are preparing to move residential instruction online, if necessary.

  • All Seminary-sponsored travel and trips are being closely reviewed. See Travel Advice below.

  • We are in communication with the CDC, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and Tri-County Health for the latest information and advice.


Symptoms


The following comes for the Centers for Disease Control website


For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:


  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath


The CDC believes symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.


If you experience symptoms


If you are experiencing symptoms, seek medical help immediately from a health care facility or private physician. If you are experiencing symptoms, do NOT attend classes or other events and do NOT come into work. Absence policies for both students and employees will be relaxed during this period. Please err on the side of staying in or staying home. Students or employees should not return to classes or work until they have been free of fever and other symptoms, without the use of fever or symptom-reducing medicines, for at least 24 hours.


Prevention


COVID-19 is spread person to person (likely via cough, sneeze or close contact). As such, there are some basic things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other viruses:


  • wash hands often with soap and water, if this is not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • clean shared areas, door handles and other frequently touched areas

  • frequently cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze with your elbow or a tissue

  • avoid people who are ill (keep your distance from others who are coughing & sneezing)

  • stay home when ill


Seminary-sponsored Travel


With the increasing spread of coronavirus, the Seminary will continue to monitor developments through the PRT and may deem it necessary to delay or cancel travel, events or planned gatherings. More information will be forthcoming.


Spring Break or Other Personal Travel


Based upon guidance from the CDC and State Department, the Seminary strongly recommends against personal travel to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan during spring break (March 23 to 27) or anytime in the foreseeable future. This situation remains very fluid and other countries could be added to these advisories in coming days and weeks.


If you do choose to travel internationally, please keep the following in mind:


  • Understand and routinely check any travel and border restrictions in transit, at your proposed destination, and upon your return, such as denial of entry or a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.

  • Allow additional time for arrival procedures, or when passing through affected area airports, taking into account temperature and health screenings.

  • If you are traveling from COVID-19 affected areas, anticipate more stringent scrutiny and reconfirm the status of flights with your carrier or the airport.

  • Follow all official directives by authorities.

  • Monitor developments through the U.S. State Department and CDC websites.

  • Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick risk being quarantined and having health testing.


Students traveling to affected areas, whether domestic or international travel in the near future, are asked to inform the office of the Dean of Students and register with the U.S. Department of State through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, in the case of international travel. We are requesting this information out of an abundance of care for our community and in recognizing, the quickly changing circumstances related to the spread of COVID-19.


Faculty or staff planning travel are asked to report their travel plans to the Provost’s office or Human resources. Employees with travel to affected areas may be asked to self-isolate (work from home or take time off) for up to 14 days.


Our posture is one of caution, responsibility for the well-being of the community, compassion for others and faith. We ask that you adopt this same posture in deciding how to personally respond to the current situation. Cautious but not fearful, trusting in the Lord and acting responsibly, these are the attributes we seek to model.


May the Lord give us wisdom and compassion as we face this potential challenge.


Mark Young

President


6399 South Santa Fe Drive

Littleton, Colorado 80120

Direct: 303-762-6902

Fax: 303-761-8060

denverseminary.edu