The global impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to develop this week as University officials monitor and respond to this dynamic situation. The University has no known cases of COVID-19 on any of its campuses and is responding on a case-by-case basis to the outbreak’s ongoing impacts.
As the University considers the current circumstances abroad alongside numerous other determining factors, Pepperdine and Seaver College officials have made the decision to suspend Seaver’s international programs in London and Buenos Aires for the rest of the spring 2020 term. Students in these programs will attend classes through this Friday, March 13 while the University prepares for their departures. Like students who are returning from Florence, Heidelberg, and Lausanne, students returning from London and Buenos Aires will complete their coursework remotely for the duration of the semester.
At this time, Seaver College’s program in Washington, DC, will remain open, and academic programming for students will continue as scheduled. University officials are also in the process of evaluating international travel for summer 2020, including all Seaver college international programs, graduate school global programs, and other University-sponsored trips.
Pepperdine continues to prohibit University travel and strongly discourage personal travel to countries with a current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19. In accordance with Pepperdine’s COVID-19 Interim Travel Restrictions, the University will restrict community members from coming to University campuses for 14 days after returning to the US from these countries. Students and employees will assume all responsibility, including any consequence related to an inability to complete their coursework or fulfill their job duties immediately following their return.
As always, you are encouraged to stay informed with the latest information on the outbreak and to continue to practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness. The latest information can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page. Additional information and regular updates about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and L.A. County Public Health websites.
Pepperdine continues to monitor and respond to the domestic and international spread of COVID-19 with the safety and well-being of the entire Pepperdine community always remaining the University’s highest priority. The University has no known cases of COVID-19 at any of our campuses worldwide. The situation is evolving daily. California and Los Angeles County have declared a state of emergency with confirmed cases increasing and a need to secure preparation funding through these declarations. To help keep the University community informed, the University has launched a new COVID-19 planning and preparedness website, which provides the latest information related to the University’s response, guidance, and resources for the community.
New Travel Restrictions
Effective immediately, Pepperdine is implementing Interim Travel Restrictions for the University community until further notice due to the outbreak of COVID-19. All other provisions of the University’s International Travel Policy remain in effect.
- Pepperdine is prohibiting University-sponsored travel to countries with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19. As of today, these include China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan. Other countries may be added at any time.
- Pepperdine is not restricting domestic travel at this time.
- Employees who have already scheduled or are considering University-sponsored travel should review their trips with their supervisors to assess whether to continue, postpone, or cancel the trip in light of current circumstances.
- Pepperdine is temporarily allowing the purchase of travel cancellation insurance while this interim travel policy is in effect.
- University employees are encouraged to avoid personal travel to countries with a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice related to COVID-19.
- The University will restrict community members from coming to University campuses for 14 days after returning to the US from countries with a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice related to COVID-19. Students who have academic questions should contact their academic dean’s offices. They may contact the Student Care Team if they need other assistance. Although the University will do what it can to be supportive, to reduce health risks to the entire community, these restrictions will be enforced. Students or employees who violate these restrictions may face discipline.
- Affected employees should work with their supervisors and affected students should contact the Office of Student Information and Services at email@example.com or 310.506.7999.
- Students and employees will assume all responsibility for their personal travel decisions to countries designated with a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19, including any consequence related to an inability to complete their coursework or fulfill their job duties immediately following their return.
Upcoming University Events
At this time, it is expected all scheduled University events through the end of the academic year will continue as planned. However, community members should be aware that events may be canceled if the Los Angeles County Department of Health or another health agency mandates such action, or if University officials determine event cancellation is the best course of action given the totality of circumstances. Pepperdine community members and their families should consider travel plans for upcoming University events, including commencements, and plan accordingly. The University recommends considering the purchase of refundable ticketing options or travel insurance when appropriate.
The University’s Infectious Disease Task Force and Emergency Operations Committee are fully engaged in preparations and response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, and are in regular contact with outside experts and local health authorities. Internationally, the University has suspended operations on some campuses where warranted by the circumstances, and the London and Buenos Aires campuses remain operational. The University’s pandemic plan is updated, and departments and schools are reviewing and further developing response protocols for any number of possible scenarios for each of our campuses. The University’s cleaning protocols meet CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health standards, and Human Resources policies are being updated to best position the University to respond, if needed.
Supporting Each Other Through COVID-19
Pepperdine is a community of compassion and care. University community members enjoy an inclusive community committed to ensuring no one is ostracized, bullied, or mistreated due to misinformation around this disease. The risk of contracting COVID-19 in the US remains low, and someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people. Continue to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and practice healthy hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of illness.
Updates will continue to be shared with the Pepperdine community as more information is made available. Frequently asked questions are regularly updated on our COVID-19 website and the latest information can be found on the University’s Emergency Information Page. If you have other questions, please contact the Office of Emergency Services at 310.506.4996 or the Office of the Chief Operations Officer at 310.506.7227.
The situation around the coronavirus outbreak remains highly fluid as University officials continue to make decisions to ensure the safety and well-being of the Pepperdine community around the world. This weekend, in light of the latest developments of the outbreak’s impact in continental Europe, Pepperdine and Seaver College officials have made the decision to suspend the Heidelberg and Lausanne international programs for the remainder of the spring 2020 term. Students in these programs will attend classes through Tuesday, March 3 while the University books flights home for all program participants. Like students who are returning from Florence, students in both the Heidelberg and Lausanne programs will complete their coursework remotely for the duration of the semester.
Based on a number of deciding factors, the London program will continue to operate normally, but previously announced weekend travel restrictions for students in London remain in place at this time. The University will continue to carefully monitor the situation throughout Europe and the United Kingdom and will communicate with the University community if conditions significantly change. In the coming weeks, the University will also evaluate all sponsored travel for summer 2020, including all Seaver college international programs, graduate school global programs, and other University-sponsored trips.
Pepperdine continues to prohibit University travel and strongly discourages personal travel to countries with a current CDC Level 3 Travel Warning. See the CDC website for a current list of these countries. In the event of personal travel to these countries, the University will not be able to provide assistance to community members trying to reenter the US and will restrict returning travelers from coming to campus for 14 days. Exceptions to this restriction will not be granted. Please contact the Office of Emergency Services at 310.506.4996 for questions or assistance.
The University encourages you to stay informed with the latest information on the outbreak and to continue to practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness. Additional information and regular updates about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and L.A. County Public Health websites.
We understand that with all that is happening around the world, and all that has already happened with Pepperdine international programs, there are some understandable questions and concerns that members of our community have. Pepperdine’s Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) continues to closely follow the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and is following its plans to protect the well-being of the University community. The EOC is working closely with University stakeholders, as well as an outside infectious disease expert; consulting with International SOS; and following advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
At this time, none of the University’s US campuses is under any immediate threat from COVID-19. Additionally, the CDC does not recommend individuals wear face masks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people exhibiting symptoms and medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients.
The EOC advises the University community to take the following actions to protect their health and prevent the spread of respiratory illness:
- 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 and immediately throw the tissue in the trash. Then go wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils with others, even when neither of you are showing symptoms.
- Get your flu shot if you have not already done so this flu season.
You can also share this flyer for tips on staying healthy during cold and flu season.
Anyone with concerns about their health or symptoms they are experiencing can call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3. The Student Health Center continues to offer risk assessments for those with recent international travel or who have had close contact with someone who recently traveled internationally at no charge to all members of the Pepperdine community. Call the health center to make an appointment.
Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff benefit from a community of care and compassion. During these times please remember the following resources are also available to you:
- Students may contact the Counseling Center at 310.506.4210 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Counseling Center provides free, confidential emotional/psychological support to all Pepperdine students.
- Faculty and staff may access counseling services through their Employee Assistance Program. Details are available on the HR website or by contacting HR at 310.506.4397.
- Pastoral support is available to the Pepperdine community through the Office of the Chaplain. Contact chaplain Sara Barton at email@example.com.
For questions regarding international travel please contact the Office of Emergency Services at 310.506.4996. More information and regular updates about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and L.A. County Public Health websites.