March 5, 2020

Spelman Community,

We are sharing updated guidance related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as there have been significant developments within the last few days.

Community transmission of the Coronavirus is increasing. The College strongly encourages that we all restrict greetings to respectful nods and smiles, or elbow bumps to replace handshakes and hugs.

There are now two cases of Coronavirus that have been diagnosed in Atlanta. Also, the U.S. Department of State has issued Level 3 travel advisories for South Korea and Mongolia, and Level 4 for China and Iran. Italy has a Level 3 travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and from the Department of State, which has also designated some areas of Italy as Level 4.

The Department of State's Level 3 travel advisory signals to those who are planning a trip to "reconsider travel: avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security." Level 4 signals "do not travel: this is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance."

We write especially to alert our community to actions you will want to take:

  • in the case of a Coronavirus outbreak on campus or in the Atlanta University Center;

  • should you or a member of the Spelman community feel sick or suspect that you have been exposed to the Coronavirus;

  • or, if you're planning to travel during Spring Break next week, independent of the College.

Enroll in Spelman Alert for Emergency Communications

Spelman and the Atlanta University Center Coronavirus Task Force continue to monitor this fluid situation by following recommendations from the Department of State and the CDC. We are also working closely with government agencies, like the public health and emergency preparedness arms for Georgia, Fulton County and the City of Atlanta, to obtain advice and guidance on managing the campus in the event of an outbreak.

While all students are automatically enrolled in Spelman Alert, our primary source of communication for messaging during emergencies, we encourage faculty, staff, parents and guardians to confirm that they are enrolled as well. You should also update any information that may have changed, including email addresses and mobile numbers.

Actions for Those Experiencing Symptoms

We have posted signage in every building about practices to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, and in the coming days you will also see more hand sanitizing stations across campus.

Students, faculty and staff should stay away from classes and campus activities if they are feeling sick. Community members who are experiencing a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing — especially if they have traveled internationally in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone who has — should seek medical care right away, and follow the instructions below.


1. Students on campus should contact the Health Services Department immediately by calling 404-270-5249.

2. Health Services will contact Public Safety with the student’s location and deliver a mask so the student can come to Health Services for an evaluation.

3. Upon arrival to Health Services, the student will be placed in a quarantined room for interview and assessment. If COVID-19 exposure is established through the interview and assessment process, Health Services will contact the Georgia Department of Public Health for further instructions.

4. If the student is off-campus, they should first call Health Services at
404-270-5249 and arrangements will be made based on the student's location and access to transportation.

5. If a student arrives at Health Services without a prior call, they will see a sign on the door of Health Services instructing them to put on a mask before entering the facility. To avoid going through the main waiting area, the student should follow the instructions to enter Health Services through the secondary door, where they will be directed to the quarantine room for interview and assessment.

Faculty and Staff:

Faculty and staff with possible exposure to COVID-19 or who experience symptoms should avoid coming to campus and should contact their medical provider immediately for further instruction.

Spring Break Travel

The College has canceled study abroad programs in Italy, which has Level 3 and 4 areas as designated by the CDC and Department of State, and we have communicated with all students studying abroad in programs sponsored by Spelman. We have paid particular attention to those students studying in countries with Level 3 and 4 designations.

For those faculty, staff, and students who are planning international travel independently of the College during Spring Break, we are sharing the link to the Department of State's website, which provides current travel advisories for countries worldwide. Additional information and guidance regarding travel and the Coronavirus can be found on the CDC website.

While Spelman does not want to be alarmist, we do invite members of our community to be aware that levels can change quickly and without warning. For those who travel to areas that are designated Level 3 or Level 4, a health screening may take place upon return.

Faculty, staff and student travelers should be aware that, according to the CDC, they "may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad."

Spelman is continuing to closely monitor developments and will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the World Health Organization.

Please continue to visit our Coronavirus Update page on for the latest information.

Office of Communications  
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, GA 30314

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