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Update on COVID-19


Updated March 31, 2020

SOCIAL DISTANCING

As the weather continues to get warmer, we understand the desire to spend time outdoors.  We are asking that those of you with small children be mindful when they are playing outdoors and follow social distancing guidelines. Guidance from Princeton Nassau Pediatrics is to limit all possible exposure and opportunities for the virus to spread.  Therefore, they strongly recommend against children from different households having playdates, even outdoors.

We realize this is very difficult to adhere to, but it is so very important in protecting everyone in our community. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Covid-19 is spread mainly through person-to-person contact.  It is believed that people who are in close contact (within 6 feet of one another) are most likely to spread it to others through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of anyone nearby and may be inhaled into the lungs, which can spread the disease.  It is believed that people who are showing symptoms are most likely to spread the virus, however, people who are asymptomatic can spread it as well.  The CDC believes Covid-19 spreads easily throughout communities and recommends social distancing as a way to help stop the spread. 

As a reminder, any questions you have related to Covid-19 can be addressed to the designated email address covid19response@ias.edu which is closely monitored by me and Janine Purcaro.

Thank you all for doing your part to lessen the spread of the virus.  The strength of our community will get us through this crisis together.  Stay well.

— Jennifer Richardson, Chief Human Resources Officer


March 23, 2020

NEW JERSEY STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

At 1:30 pm on March 21, 2020, Governor Murphy announced a statewide Stay-at-Home Order.  This order closed all non-essential businesses in New Jersey as of 9 pm, effective Saturday, March 21.

In response, IAS has closed everything but its Member Housing, and all scholars and staff, except for essential staff who care for scholars in residence on the IAS campus, are working remotely from their homes. Supervisors have identified and been in touch with essential staff who will continue to work on campus.  The main IAS campus, including offices are closed.

* For those Members who are currently self-isolating, we will make arrangements for you to obtain access to your offices after your isolation period ends to get your belongings. Please do not break your isolation period because of this order. 

* Access to retail stores that sell food, medical supplies, etc. will remain open, including grocery stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, and convenience stores, among others. The order also mandates that all businesses and non-profits such as the Institute move their workforce to telework or work-from-home arrangements as well.  It also cancels all public gatherings, and the governor stated this includes, weddings, picnics, small parties, etc. This order covers types of retail stores that do not provide essential services. 

Please take a few minutes to read the governor's mandate at the link below as it includes important information that all of us should know: New Jersey Covid-19 FAQs.

The activities building will remain open as it houses essential services, such as the laundry facilities for our residential campus as well as the central printing center for those of you needing to print documents. Please heed the governor's mandate, continue to practice social distancing, and avoid gathering in groups in this, or any other space, in housing during this time.

I would also remind all of you that you can reach me or Jennifer anytime via our covid19response@ias.edu email. We are monitoring it every day and try to respond as quickly as we can.

Thank you all for everything you are doing to assist us in keeping our community safe.

— Janine M. Purcaro, Chief Operating Officer & Associate Director for Finance and Administration


Updated March 20, 2020

CAMPUS CLOSURE

Given the closure of non-essential businesses in our neighboring states, and with an eye on upcoming developments, the Institute is updating our position regarding the status of our campus at this time.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the close of business, our academic campus will be closed until further notice.

The changes to our previous level of reduced operations are as follows:

* There will be NO access to academic buildings and offices

* All campus services will be suspended, including dining, shuttle, and mail services. There will be only minimal essential staff on campus. 

* Over the weekend and during office hours on Monday, all academic buildings and the libraries will still be accessible with key cards. As noted above, this access will end on Monday at 5 p.m.

For those of you in our housing complex, please continue to use SchoolDude to request repair services that you might need in your apartments. Essential employees will respond to all emergency situations, such as a broken pipe, malfunctioning heating, etc. In these cases, please call Public Safety at 609-947-5940. Due to the reduced number of people on campus, non-emergency service calls will be addressed as soon as practicable under the current rules.

Specific questions can be addressed to the following email: covid19response@ias.edu or by calling Janine Purcaro at 609-734-8046 or Jennifer Richardson at 609-734-8245


Updated March 20, 2020

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

TOPIC #1:  SYMPTOMS

What should I do if I am exhibiting fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath?

If you have these symptoms, call your primary care physician. You should wear a mask, which can be provided to you, by calling public safety at 609-947-5940 or extension 5940 from an IAS phone, to help prevent the spread of the virus until you have been seen by a doctor. If you feel seriously ill, visit the Emergency Department (ED), but wear a mask and contact the ED ahead of your visit via phone at 609-853-7100, to let them know of your symptoms and exposure.

If you do not have a primary care physician, Princeton Health Care system recommends that you contact the NJ Coronavirus Hotline for assistance on how to proceed. They can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.  If you are calling from an out of state phone number please call 1-800-962-1253.  Hit any key for immediate assistance.

You should not come to work/campus until you have been seen by a healthcare professional.  If you are tested for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), please stay home until you receive your test results.  Please also notify Institute administration at 609-734-8046 or via email at covid19response@ias.edu or Public Safety after hours at 609-947-5940, if you are being tested.

As stated above, we have thermometers and masks available at reception in Fuld Hall; if you are too sick to leave your housing unit, please call extension 0 to have one delivered to your door. 

What should I do if I know I was in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with coronavirus within the last 14 days but I don’t have any symptoms. Is it ok to come to work/campus?  Do I need to notify anyone?

Anyone who has been in close contact with a coronavirus patient is required to self-quarantine for 14 days under the updated New Jersey Department of Health guidance. Please also notify Janine Purcaro at 609-734-8046 or Jennifer Richardson at 609-734-8245 or via email at covid19response@ias.edu.  After hours please contact Public Safety at 609-947-5940 regarding how to proceed.


TOPIC #2: SUPPLIES FOR SELF-ISOLATION

What should I do if I have to self-isolate?

The Institute is here to support you in any way we can. We recommend that all campus residents ensure they maintain a food supply in their home that would last for the duration of a self-isolation period.  Alternatively a combination of stored supplies and a food/grocery delivery service could supplement your personal supply during that period of time.  Preparedness in this regard is recommended. 

The following are options for food and grocery delivery:
Whole Foods 
Freshdirect
Shoprite (Please note that the shuttle makes 4 trips per day to the Shoprite)
 
The following are options for ingredient-recipe meal kit services:
Blue Apron
Hello Fresh 

In addition, CVS/Pharmacy offers a delivery service.


TOPIC #3: TRAVEL

NEW Travel Restrictions Updated March 20, 2020:  

The U.S. Department of State advises its citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of Covid-19.  

In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live outside of the United States should arrange for immediate return to the U.S., unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe. On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members, from any diplomatic or consular post, determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to Covid-19 and those who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification. These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.

The Institute has updated its position on travel to countries with widespread impact from Covid-19 in accordance with the new guidelines from the Department of State. All international travel is PROHIBITED until further notice.  If you have just returned from another country, you must notify us by email at covid19response@ias.edu or phone at 609-743-8245 of your return date and you will not be cleared to return to campus until you have completed the 14-day self-isolation period and are symptom free. Please complete this survey and wait for confirmation from the Institute before coming to campus. If you need support or assistance during your isolation period, please let us know. 

All travel sponsored by IAS is cancelled for administrative staff; academic staff are STRONGLY encouraged to avoid non-essential travel. There are potential logistical challenges of returning to campus from traveling at this time, either related to possible quarantine abroad, or potential delays in returning to the Institute from exposure while traveling. We expect that these guidelines may become more restrictive for domestic travel in the near future as the virus spreads.  We STRONGLY recommend leveraging virtual meetings and online conference services in lieu of in-person meetings. If you are considering booking travel for the coming months, we recommend delaying it until just a few weeks before your intended trip, and re-confirming travel restrictions at that time. If you must book travel, booking a changeable or refundable flight is advisable. 

What should I do about my upcoming personal travel plans?

The Institute cannot advise on personal travel.  However, we do recommend that you follow the CDC guidelines for personal travel.  Travel to restricted areas, or exposure to Covid-19, may result in an isolation period upon your return to home. For the latest information regarding Covid-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.


TOPIC #4: EVENTS

Who should I contact if I am planning a visit to the Institute, or to return to the Institute, and have been in an area where Covid-19 is known to be present?

Non-essential visitors are PROHIBITED from coming to campus. We are requesting that all faculty, members, and staff, who have recently been in areas where the virus is widespread, or who have been exposed to the virus, to complete the recommended 14-day self-isolation period. Please complete this survey: https://forms.ias.edu/form/travel-questionnaire and wait for confirmation from the Institute before returning to campus. In addition, anyone who is sick with symptoms other than those of the coronavirus are also being asked to stay home for at least 24 hours after your symptoms are gone to avoid spreading illness. 

Is the Institute cancelling conferences, events, or lectures?   As of March 9, 2020, the Institute has canceled all public events.

Are there currently restrictions on visitors to the Institute campus?   Non-essential visitors are PROHIBITED from coming to campus.


OTHER FAQs

Are there any confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the Institute, or in Princeton?  Yes, there are confirmed cases in Princeton.  We will provide important health updates on a regular basis.  If there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 on campus, the Institute will share that information with the campus community. www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

Where can I find information from the Centers for Disease Control?  For more information on the coronavirus and travel, please go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

What else can I do to help?

The best defense against any illness is to take normal precautions; be intentionally hygienic, cough into your arm (not your hand), adopt the Institute’s no-handshake policy, don’t share food/drinks with anyone, wash your hands more than normal and use the hand sanitizers around campus, and avoid touching your face. 

Test your office computer for teleconferencing for meetings.  If you have a laptop or other computer equipment at home, test your devices and VPN connections in the event you need to access work from home. IAS has added extra protocol around cleaning our common areas.  We recommend that you regularly disinfect your work space.

What if I have questions not covered in this list?

At IAS, we are committed to continually monitoring this evolving situation and supporting our community. We are meeting frequently to review and update our plans and will continue to send regular announcements and update the IAS website home page with the latest information.  

Specific questions can be addressed to covid19response@ias.edu.  We appreciate your continued partnership in this effort. Stay healthy!

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