Updates and messages

Below are communications sent to the University of Miami community—ordered chronologically, beginning with the most recent—with information and resources regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.


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  • HR: COVID-19: Temporary Telecommuting and Policy Updates (May 29, 2020)

    Dear staff colleagues,

    As we navigate the financial challenges referenced in President Frenk’s memo on May 22, 2020, I recognize that these times are very unsettling and filled with uncertainty. The Human Resources team is available to assist employees affected by these changes and remains committed to providing support to ease the transition.

    The safety of our University community remains a top priority to limit density on all campuses. Clinical operations have begun to resume on the medical campus and a phased return to work is underway. Temporary work-at-home arrangements will continue for the medical campus based on operational needs and staff should remain prepared to return onsite as required by their leaders. A phased return to work will begin in the summer for the Gables/RSMAS campuses and temporary work-at-home arrangements will continue until further notice.    

    Technology work-from-home stipends related to COVID-19 temporary arrangements will continue until further notice. To receive the stipend, eligible employees must have an approved COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement on file in Workday. Please continue to log in to  Workday and complete the Telecommute Arrangement in advance for each week that you work from home. For assistance, please review the  COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday Tip Sheet.

    The previously communicated temporary policies will either expire or be extended as highlighted below.

    Highlights

    Administrative Leave – Other

    This policy expired on Friday, May 15 for all campuses.  Employees impacted by this change have been notified.

    Emergency Administrative Leave

    Staff who are instructed by Infection Control to self-isolate to contain the spread of COVID-19, are eligible for Emergency Administrative time for scheduled hours up to the defined period for isolation not to exceed 14 days if their job duties cannot be performed at home. This temporary policy will continue until further notice.

    Staff illness due to COVID-19

    Staff who are symptomatic, diagnosed with COVID-19 related illness, or who are unable to work from home and fall into one of the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC and Miami-Dade County, State of Florida, are eligible to use accrued sick time/EIB in addition to vacation/PTO or floating holidays so that they may self-isolate at home to reduce risk.

    If sick/EIB/vacation/PTO time are exhausted, staff in this category may be eligible to borrow up to 21 days from their future sick/EIB bank if appropriate medical certification is received by a University leave coordinator. For more information, you may contact the University’s Leave Management team at umloa@miami.edu. This temporary policy will continue until further notice.

    Staff affected by school closures

    If remote work is not operationally feasible, staff have been able to use accrued sick/EIB time in addition to vacation/PTO or floating holidays to care for children who are at home as a result of school closures. As the school year comes to an end, this temporary policy will expire on May 31, 2020.

    Payroll Deduction Suspensions & Reimbursements

    Miami Dade Transit, tri-rail, and parking

    Transit and Tri-Rail payroll suspension will continue until further notice and parking payroll deductions will continue to be suspended through June 30, 2020, for Gables, Marine, and UHealth campuses.  

    Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center

    Effective April 1, 2020, payroll deductions for membership fees for faculty and staff have been suspended and will be suspended until the Wellness Center resumes operation. 

    Child Care

    With many employees telecommuting, onsite childcare services (Canterbury on Gables, Medical, the UHealth Tower, and the Debbie School) have been used for clinical care employees required to report to work and tuition was waived during the months of April and May. This tuition waiver will expire on May 31, 2020.   

    Resources

    Especially during these times, remember how resilient we are. Take the time to attend a Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) wellness webinar, or a virtual development session hosted by HR’s Talent and Organizational Development (TOD) team.

    Visit the revamped COVID-19 HR website (my.hr.miami.edu/coronavirus) for more information on FAQs, targeted manager and employee resources, and additional resources.

    If you need assistance or have any questions, please reach out to your manager or HR Partner.

    My hope is that you and your loved ones are doing well as we navigate these difficult times. While challenging, these times can also bring us closer together. Please know we are using our DIRECCT values as the backdrop for all our decisions, especially the first “C” compassion when it comes to our people.

    Thank you.

    Mary Harper Hagan
    Vice President
    Human Resources

  • President Julio Frenk: Financial mitigation measures related to COVID-19 (May 22, 2020)

    Dear Colleagues,

    As we marked the end of an academic year unlike any in our history, I emphasized the need to do more than merely adapt to a new normal. I challenged us to build a better normal. The selflessness and resilience we in the University of Miami community have witnessed day in and day out as we cope with COVID-19 gives me every confidence that we can meet that challenge—build a better normal—and can do so together.

    This pandemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and interrupted the livelihoods of billions of people across the globe. Its physical, emotional, social, and economic repercussions will be felt for some time. Yet, we will emerge from this period with solutions to the circumstances that gave rise to the current crisis and lessons to prevent future ones.

    Teams across the University are hard at work reimagining spaces, programs, and processes to safeguard the health of our students, faculty, staff, patients, and community. Our researchers are developing tests, treatments, vaccines, and other innovations to combat the disease and its far-reaching ramifications. We must continue to engage in these essential efforts with our feet firmly planted in our financial reality in order to deliver on our mission and preserve our institution for generations to come.

    To do so, we must effectively steward our University in the face of uncertainty while abiding by four guiding principles:

    • The imperative of preserving the continuity of the institution;
    • The primacy of our academic mission;
    • The importance of fairness and transparency; and
    • The commitment to treating every affected person with empathy, respecting their dignity, and providing institutional support.

    Last month, we outlined several steps we are taking to mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19, from leadership pay reductions to pauses in hiring, capital projects, merit increases, and retirement contributions. At that time, I noted that we would consider every option possible to avoid furloughs and layoffs. We have done so.

    Nonetheless, as the circumstances of limited activity across the University persist, it has become clear that a reduction in workforce has regrettably become unavoidable. Our Coral Gables and Marine campus operations have been beset by refunds related to the end of last semester and unanticipated expenses as we work around the clock toward an on-time, on-site semester in the fall. UHealth has also experienced large revenue losses due to the cancelation of elective procedures, which will take time to mitigate even as we work hard to resume regular operations. In addition, we must take proactive measures in anticipation of a second wave of the pandemic. In sum, the breadth of the economic slowdown and the pace of recovery we expect in light of necessary restrictions makes our current rate of expenditure unsustainable. We must address existing shortfalls and ensure that the whole of the University will be financially sound and prepared to address short- and mid-term contingencies. 

    In light of these circumstances, we are taking the difficult step of implementing furloughs and layoffs. As I mentioned in my prior communication, we will avoid indiscriminate across-the-board reductions. Instead, we have asked leadership to step back and strategically look at all functions and activities. Our approach distinguishes between areas experiencing what we deem to be a temporary slowdown and areas supporting activities unlikely to resume in the foreseeable future, while identifying ways we can restructure certain functions to reduce expenditures and achieve permanent gains in efficiency. As we implement these mitigation measures across all levels of the organization, we will give priority to protecting the academic core.

    Furloughs

    Furloughs, or unpaid leaves for those we expect to return, will begin soon. Notifications to those personally affected by furloughs have already begun. Employees affected are primarily those who are unable to substantially perform their duties remotely or who support areas with significantly reduced workloads as a result of the pandemic. 

    Furloughs—either full or partial—are a temporary measure. They signal that if the pandemic and our financials stabilize in the near term and there is a full resumption of activities in the impacted areas, we very much hope that affected employees will return to work at the U. We will continue to offer these employees benefits and cover the cost of medical and dental premiums prorated for any periods of unpaid furlough leave.

    Layoffs

    For employees who carry out activities we do not foresee resuming fully or whose functions require restructuring to strengthen institutional efficiency, layoffs will be necessary. Official notice to employees will commence in June and will be provided in accordance with the University’s separation policy.
     
    Support for Affected Employees

    Employees affected by unpaid furloughs and layoffs may apply for state unemployment benefits, and Human Resources will provide support during this transition, including outplacement services to employees impacted by layoffs. We will continue to use every instrument at our disposal to assist everyone affected by these measures.

    This is a message I had hoped I would not have to deliver. As difficult as these decisions are and as much as we value all of our employees, our commitment to protecting the institution of which we are all a part—one that has been and must continue to be a beacon of hope and creativity—is more necessary now than ever.

    An end to this pandemic will come and an economic rebound will follow—and we at the U will be ready to drive the progress, promise, and prosperity so often borne of sacrifice in the course of human history. Thank you for the many ways you continue to support the U, our students, our patients, our community, and each other.

    With gratitude and appreciation,

    Julio Frenk
    President, University of Miami
    Interim CEO, UHealth

  • Advisory: Guidance regarding phased reopening plans (May 15, 2020)

    To the University of Miami Community,

    On May 13, Miami-Dade County released “The New Normal” plan, which provides guidance for the phased reopening of Miami-Dade County beginning Monday, May 18, 2020; other local municipalities are beginning to release their reopening plans.

    The University will review all plans that may impact our various campuses and community members, and will communicate any changes to our operations in advance. At this time, the University is not making any significant changes to its operations.

    The following summarizes near-term guidance on University operations:


    There are no changes to current remote work guidelines.

    • Staff who are able to work remotely on all campuses should continue to do so until further notice. Plans continue for a phased reopening of the Coral Gables and Marine campuses in preparation for a safe resumption of classes in the fall. These plans will balance the needs of on-site activities with a continued need to limit density on all campuses for the foreseeable future.
    • UHealth staff working in clinical services should continue to follow previously communicated reactivation plans, and stay informed about medical campus and health system operations on the my.med.miami.edu website.

     

    The University will continue existing health and safety measures on all campuses.

    For the Coral Gables and Marine campuses, the Facilities Operations and Planning team is working with University departments—academic and administrative—to plan for the safe restart of on-campus classes in the fall through the work of seven multi-disciplinary committees. The safety measures underway include:

    • Adding hand sanitizer stations at every building entrance and throughout high-traffic interior spaces
    • Installing additional disinfecting wipe stations throughout campuses
    • Posting signs to remind individuals of physical distancing guidelines and proper hygiene practices
    • Deploying wellness (plexiglass) shields at points of sale, office entry, select labs, and information desks
    • Conducting deep cleaning of all campus spaces regularly with enhanced protocols and increased frequency
    • Maintaining inventories of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies
    • Procuring face coverings to distribute to every student, faculty, and staff member upon return to campus

    The medical school and health system continue health and safety practices with the reactivation of key clinical services.


    There are no changes to virtual learning plans during the summer or the intent to safely resume on-campus classes in the fall.

    • All summer classes will continue to meet virtually and course schedules will not change.
    • The University is exploring a broad range of available and emerging technology for COVID-19 screening, testing, and tracing that will support a safe campus environment in the fall.

     

    The University of Miami community should continue to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings, and follow personal protective equipment guidelines as defined by local emergency orders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other regulatory guidelines.

    • The order strongly urges individuals to wear face coverings inside businesses and commercial establishments wherever physical distancing is not possible.

     

    The complete Miami-Dade County plan can be found here.

    Safety has been and will continue to be the top priority when making decisions regarding a safe reopening, and you will be informed of any changes in advance. Additional measures and guidelines will be shared as they are developed.

  • CARES Act Emergency Student Aid (May 6, 2020)

    Dear Students,

    As the University closes the spring semester while planning for the months ahead, we write to share an update regarding emergency financial assistance for students.

    Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the University will receive and distribute funds to University of Miami students who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These emergency funds will be distributed to students who have incurred expenses due to the disruption of campus operations, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

    The Department of Education has issued guidelines regarding the eligibility of students who may receive emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act:

    Under the federal guidelines, students who were exclusively in an online program prior to the disruption of campus operations are not eligible to receive these federal funds.

    If you believe you are eligible for an emergency grant based on the Department of Education guidelines, please complete a brief online applicationto request emergency financial assistance. The ’Canes Central FAQs answer additional questions about student eligibility, eligible expenses, and the application process.

    Funding is limited and it is our aim to assist those students in the greatest need. To expedite the distribution of emergency funds to students, the University will review applications and award funds on an ongoing basis until the funds are exhausted. Forms must be submitted by Wednesday, May 13, at 5 p.m., and the completion of the request form does not guarantee funding. Students will be notified of a decision via their miami.edu email account.

    For additional information, please visit canescentral.miami.edu to submit your question. A ’Canes Central associate will then follow up with you directly.

  • An update to spring semester fees (April 29, 2020)

    To Our University Community,

    The University of Miami continues to take proactive steps to safeguard the health and well-being of our community, while still delivering on our mission of education, research, innovation, and service, and planning for the summer and fall terms.

    We recognize the financial strain faced by many of our students and their families during this period of unprecedented disruption. To help alleviate some of these concerns and to support our students, the University is providing financial relief in a number of ways.

    Refund of unused fees
    The University will refund student accounts with a prorated amount for any Spring 2020 fees and services that cannot be provided in an online or virtual format. This includes housing, dining, parking, student center, wellness center, health and counseling, student activities, and athletics fees. Fees will be prorated to March when classes transitioned to an online format. Services that remain available to students, such as health and counseling services for Florida residents through telehealth, will not be refunded. Prorated refunds will be posted to the student account on April 28 and can be viewed in ’CaneLink. Specific questions may be directed to the dedicated ’Canes Central team.

    Federal Work Study and non-Federal Work Study income
    The Department of Education authorized the payment of unutilized Federal Work Study funds to each impacted student. The University has and will continue to pay hourly Federal Work Study and non-Federal Work Study student employees through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Detailed information has been provided to eligible students.

    Support for students experiencing serious financial hardship
    Students experiencing serious financial hardship are encouraged to submit to ’Canes Central a request for review of your financial aid arrangements to determine if you are eligible for an increase in aid or if emergency support may be available from another source.

    The unity of our Hurricanes family in the face of this pandemic—working together to support one another and to ensure the continuity of education, research, and patient care—has been inspiring. Supporting our students’ academic pursuits continues to be at the forefront of our efforts, and the well-being of our community remains our highest priority. We look forward to a successful summer term, and to an anticipated on-time, on-campus start to our fall semester.

    Sincerely,

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    Jacqueline Travisano, Ed.D
    Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Operating Officer

    Patricia A. Whitely. Ed.D.
    Vice President for Student Affairs

  • President Julio Frenk: Additional actions to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 (April 28, 2020)

    Dear Colleagues,

    South Florida and the University of Miami know more about disaster and resilience than most regions and most universities. Even so, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every dimension of society, in virtually every corner of the world. As we continue to manage through the profound public health crisis, the economic crisis in its wake will be even more far reaching.

    I am deeply proud of how our community has mobilized in response to the coronavirus, from our health care heroes on the front lines to the intellectual contributions of our public health, medical, and nursing researchers, and the innovation and adaptability displayed by our students, faculty, and staff as the balance of our semester moved online in March.

    We at the U know better than most that acting early and deliberately, guided by values and a commitment to every member of our community, will allow us to weather even the most difficult storms and build back better. It is in the spirit of early, deliberate action that I am writing today.

    At the beginning of this month, we shared our immediate actions to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19. Today, I share with you the next phase of those efforts.

    First, some context: As a result of the strategic initiatives and operational efficiencies we have put in place through the Roadmap to our New Centuryand the generosity of our donors, we are confronting this crisis from our strongest financial standing in more than a decade. In fact, we were poised for another outstanding financial and academic year.

    COVID-19 radically altered that picture, and we must now navigate significant financial losses from areas across the University, including clinical and student-related revenues, reduced research activities, and an endowment feeling the impact as investment markets around the globe have declined. We are committed to evaluating every possible scenario to minimize both the short- and long-term effects of this crisis on our University.

    Without any substantial mitigation efforts in place, our projections show potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars over the coming year. Our actions are guided by these sobering projections. The following measures apply to the entire University:

    Salary reductions for senior leadership
    Recognizing the number of families already facing financial hardships, we will begin reducing expenses at the leadership ranks of the organization. I, along with the provost, chief operating officer, senior vice presidents, vice presidents, deans, and equivalent positions at UHealth will reduce our compensation by 15 percent starting on May 1. In addition, those employees whose compensation falls in the top one percent of earners at the University will be asked to voluntarily reduce their compensation by 10 percent. Human Resources will share details with those impacted by this action.

    Suspension of retirement contributions for FY21
    Effective June 1, the University will temporarily suspend contributions, both core and matching, to employee 403(b) plans, including grandfathered over-the-limit taxable contributions through fiscal year 2021. We take this step with full realization that it will have an impact on your plans for the future. Employees can continue their elective contributions, within IRS limits.

    Suspension of merit increases for FY21
    We will suspend merit increases on all campuses for FY21. This is a temporary measure that in no way diminishes the deep appreciation we have for the excellent work of our employees.

    Hiring freeze for all positions on all campuses
    As announced by Provost Duerk and Dr. Travisano on April 7, we will continue the hiring freeze on all vacant and new positions at least through December 2020 on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses. We are now extending this hiring freeze to the Medical campus for all positions except those deemed mission-critical by the UHealth Joint Operations Leadership Team (JOLT). The hiring freeze does not apply to budgeted student worker positions or those fully funded through grants.

    Additional expense reductions
    All budget centers, including colleges, schools, and administrative/operational departments will continue to significantly reduce or eliminate travel, entertainment, outside services, consulting, conferences, meetings, and other expenses.

    Capital projects on hold
    Capital projects that are already under construction, such as Lakeside Village, will continue. However, we have postponed nearly every other capital expenditure until further notice.

    Furloughs and layoffs
    We are considering every option possible to avoid furloughs and layoffs; however, a reduction in workforce may become unavoidable. I value the talent, commitment, and ingenuity our employees bring to the U every day, and one of our aims is to avoid across-the-board actions that would challenge family budgets or contribute to the current unemployment crisis. We will conduct a careful analysis of potential furloughs and layoffs through the lens of efficiency gains and protection of revenue streams. We will use every instrument at our disposal to support any affected employees.

    Remote work practices
    We continue to support work-at-home arrangements during the pandemic and are extending the University’s temporary COVID-19 policies and pay provisions as outlined in the communication sent by Human Resources last week. We will continually assess these policies and communicate changes, taking the reality families are facing as a result of COVID-19 into account.

    Maximizing funding sources
    Our Government Relations team continues to evaluate and urgently take action on funding opportunities available to health care systems and institutions of higher education through the CARES Act and other government programs. The team communicates frequently with local, state, and federal representatives to advocate on behalf of the U on a wide range of issues impacting our community, including higher education policy, health care, immigration policy, and scientific research.

    The next few months will provide greater clarity, as we quantify our fall enrollment and further assess the financial impact of COVID-19 on the UHealth system. We will continue to reassess and keep you informed along the way.

    The path forward
    COVID-19 has taken many thousands of lives, hundreds right here in our community. Compounding that loss, we are facing a significant economic disruption. We are mindful of those who have lost loved ones or who face a long road to recovery. Let me assure you—there is a path forward, and I firmly believe that as a University and as an academic health system it is our responsibility to lead by example.

    What does this mean? It means that we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of the University of Miami community.

    It means that we will protect our core mission—education, research, innovation, service, and patient care—because the world needs us now more than ever before.

    It means that we will make decisions through the lens of transparency, belonging, and inclusion, because We Are One U.

    I know that this has been a challenging, isolating, and, for some, frightening time period. I also know that ’Canes are up to any challenge and can be counted on to support one another. Thank you all for the ways you are stepping up, and lifting one another up, especially our brave clinical colleagues working on the front lines. As I shared with our clinical chairs recently, our institution is not an abstraction; it is not a series of buildings and courses and programs. It is brought to life and given its meaning by each of us working together toward the mission that is our “why”: our reason for being one U.

    Times of crisis offer opportunities for transformation. Together, we will build a better normal, with our values as its intact foundation. I am confident that we will arrive on the other side of this crisis with a renewed sense of purpose rooted in the resilience that has distinguished the University of Miami for 95 years—and will always be at our core.

    Julio Frenk
    President, University of Miami

  • Registrar: An update on summer course offerings (April 27, 2020)

    Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

    As part of the University of Miami’s proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to safeguard the health and safety of our community and the broader communities we serve, we will be moving all summer courses to an online or virtual format.

    SUMMER 2020
    Registration for the summer is underway and we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the summer course schedule and offerings. Currently all summer sessions (A, B, and C*) will be offered remotely. An earlier message communicated that Summer A (May 18-June 26) and Summer C* (May 18-August 7) would move to online instruction. This message confirms that Summer B (June 29-August 7) also will move to online instruction.

    (* = Select courses in Summer C may transition to on-campus instruction later in the summer if it is deemed safe to do so.)

    The Registrar’s office worked jointly with the academic deans to identify courses most popular among students, as well as courses needed to graduate and for academic progress.

    Starting next week, the Registrar’s office will send a periodic email to students to introduce newly offered courses, and we encourage you to look for those emails and register accordingly.

    Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their course selections with their academic advisors.

    As President Frenk said in his video message Friday, we are planning to start the fall semester on time and on campus. This is our plan, so long as it is safe to do so. We look forward to a successful summer term and to welcoming you back to campus in the fall.

    Karen J. Beckett
    University Registrar
    University of Miami

  • President Julio Frenk: A video message on planning for the Fall 2020 semester (April 24, 2020)

    President Julio Frenk provides an update to the University of Miami community on planning for the Fall 2020 semester and the University's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the latest information on the University’s response, as well as links to resources and frequently asked questions at our dedicated website, http://coronavirus.miami.edu.

  • HR: Telecommuting and policy updates (April 23, 2020)

    Dear staff colleagues,

    Thank you for your dedication, creativity and compassion through this most challenging time. It’s been tough for us all, as our work and personal lives have been altered by COVID-19. In just a matter of weeks, we have been able to accomplish so much to continue critical University operations and support financial mitigation efforts – united as a team. We have begun to shift our focus from rapid responses to the COVID-19 crisis to proactive planning for the future.

    We continue to follow national, state, and local guidance and recognize that a full resumption of work on campus will not be possible by April 30th. In light of this, temporary work-at-home arrangements will continue until further notice and a phased return to campus will occur when it’s deemed safe to resume operations. Technology Work from home stipends related to COVID-19 temporary arrangements will also continue until further notice. Please log in to Workday and continue to complete the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement for each week that you work from home. For assistance, please review the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday Tip Sheet.

    There have been several COVID-19-specific exceptions in our pay and reimbursement policies that were highlighted in various communications. These temporary policies have been extended as outlined below.

    Highlights

    Administrative Leave – Other

    Staff are required to work from home whenever possible until further notice. If the nature of their job duties cannot be performed at home and cannot continue to be performed on campus due to the nature of the job or site closure, staff may be required to be deployed to other areas to remain in a pay status. If the University is unable to identify a redeployment assignment, staff will be required to remain accessible from home to perform other duties as needed and will remain in full pay status via Administrative – Other for the duration of the temporary policy, which is extended until May 15th for all campuses. We will assess and communicate any changes prior to that date.

    Emergency Administrative Leave

    Staff who are instructed by UHealth Infection Control to self-isolate to contain the spread of COVID-19, are eligible for Emergency Administrative time for scheduled hours up to the defined period for isolation not to exceed 14 days if their job duties cannot be performed at home. This temporary policy will continue until further notice.

    Staff illness due to COVID-19

    In addition to their accumulated sick time or Extended Illness Bank (EIB), PTO, floating holidays and other time off, staff who are symptomatic and/or are diagnosed with COVID-19- related illness, continue to be eligible for the following exception provision until further notice:

    • If all sick/EIB and other time off banks are exhausted, eligible staff can borrow up to 21 days from their sick banks

    Staff enrolled in short term disability should apply for benefits.

    New COVID-19 Provision: If Worker’s Compensation claim demonstrates evidence of COVID-19 being contracted as a result of occupation, emergency administrative pay will be utilized to bridge the gap between Worker’s Compensation and full salary. 

    Staff affected by school closures or designated by CDC/Miami Dade as vulnerable to COVID-19

    If remote work is not operationally feasible, staff may use accrued sick/EIB time in addition to vacation/PTO or floating holidays to which they are normally eligible to care for children who are at home as a result of school closures. Employees deemed to be essential to operations who opt out of University day care support will be ineligible to use sick bank time for this purpose.

    Staff who are unable to work from home and fall into one of the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC and Miami-Dade County, State of Florida will be eligible to use accrued sick time/EIB in addition to vacation/PTO or floating holidays so that they may self-isolate at home to reduce risk. If sick/EIB/vacation/PTO time are exhausted, staff who fall in this category can borrow up to 21 days from their future sick/EIB bank.

    These temporary sick leave provisions have been extended until further notice.

    Payroll Deduction Suspensions & Reimbursements

    Miami Dade Transit, tri-rail, and parking

    Transit, tri-rail and parking payroll deductions will be suspended, effective March 19, until May 31.

    Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center

    Effective April 1, payroll deductions for membership fees for faculty and staff have been suspended and will be suspended until the Wellness Center resumes operation.

    Child Care

    HR implemented a one-time tuition waiver in April for our onsite childcare services (Canterbury on Gables, Medical, the UHealth Tower, and the Debbie School). Many employees are telecommuting, and spaces have been used for clinical care employees required to report to work. The tuition waiver will continue through the end of May so available slots can be utilized by healthcare workers.

    I recognize that there is still so much uncertainty but hope that the extension of these temporary policies and telecommuting arrangements will provide some peace of mind.   Senior leadership continues to assess the financial impact of COVID-19 and will continue to communicate as quickly and directly as possible.

    I encourage us all to be compassionate and show empathy with each other - especially during these times. There are many ways we can do this - reaching out to a colleague to offer support, send some “Words of Appreciation” to our UHealth heroes, or give a gift to the UHealth/Miller School of Medicine Emergency Response Fund that will make all the difference.

    If you need assistance completing your Workday telecommuting arrangement or have any questions, please reach out to your manager or HR Partner. For any technical issues including Workday, please email workday@miami.edu.

    Thank you.

    Mary Harper Hagan
    Vice President
    Human Resources

  • Board of Trustees Chair Hilarie Bass: A video message to the University community (April 23, 2020)

    University of Miami Board of Trustees Chair Hilarie Bass shares a video message highlighting the many ways the University community has pulled together in the face of COVID-19; the remarkable work of UHealth doctors, nurses, and medical support teams to care for patients and develop breakthrough treatments; and the unity of the Hurricane family that will help us emerge from this storm an even stronger University.

  • Plans for summer term and additional University resources (April 16, 2020)

    Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

    The University of Miami continues to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the health and safety of our community and the broader communities we serve, and to plan for the future. In an effort to keep the University community continuously informed, we write to provide you with an update regarding summer term course delivery and additional University resources.

    SUMMER AND FALL TERMS
    Registration for the summer and fall terms opened this week. To prioritize safety and health, the University will conduct summer sessions that begin in May online, including Summer A and Summer C. Select courses in Summer C may transition to on-campus instruction later in the summer if it is deemed safe to do so.

    We are happy to announce that additional courses have been added to the summer schedule to ensure we are offering courses students need and want. The Registrar’s office worked jointly with the academic deans to identify courses most popular among students, as well as courses needed for academic progress. Periodically, the Registrar’s office will send an email to students to introduce newly offered courses, and we encourage you to look for those emails.

    At present, there are no changes to the fall semester schedule or course offerings. We will continue to evaluate the public health emergency, working closely with government and public health agencies, to determine if changes to the academic calendar or manner of course delivery are needed. Any changes will be communicated directly to the University community.

    As always, students are strongly encouraged to discuss their course selections with their academic advisors.

    LEARNING RESOURCES
    The University has created additional support for remote technologies that allow faculty and students to continue their teaching and learning activities. To learn more, visit it.miami.edu/continuity.

    STAYING CONNECTED
    We encourage you to continue to monitor the latest University updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response at coronavirus.miami.edu. And we encourage students to take advantage of the many virtual programs and resources available at miami.edu/stayconnected.

    ANSWERING QUESTIONS
    The University has formed a team of dedicated staff members to answer students’ questions. Please visit canescentral.miami.edu for more information or to submit your question. Faculty and staff should reach out to their manager or HR Partner with any questions.

    We remain committed to the health and safety of our community and to fulfilling our mission of education, research, innovation, and service. Together, we will forge ahead as a resilient, compassionate, and united Hurricanes community.

  • HR: COVID-19 Updates (April 14, 2020)

    Dear staff colleagues,

    As previously communicated, the University’s temporary telecommuting guidelines have been extended through April 30, 2020. As a reminder to staff working from home full time or partially, we ask that you please log in to Workday and complete the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement for each week that you work from home by noon on Friday, April 17. Properly recording your time will ensure that you receive the appropriate Technology Work From Home stipend to compensate for expenses temporarily incurred while working from home. For assistance, please review the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday Tip Sheet.

    Consistent with the CDC recommendation, we urge everyone to wear a cloth face covering, or mask, where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. In addition, the recently issued Miami Dade Order requires persons working in or visiting grocery stores, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing is not possible to wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC. This additional public health measure is in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    The use of facemasks is crucial for health workers and those taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). Wearing medical masks on the UHealth campus is required of all employees and visitors. For UHealth personal protection guidelines and information specific to the medical campus, please visit my.med.miami.edu and review the "Process and Procedures" tab.

    Get the latest information on the University’s response, as well as links to resources and frequently asked questions at our dedicated website, coronavirus.miami.edu. If you need assistance completing your Workday telecommuting arrangement or have any questions, please reach out to your manager or HR Partner. For any technical issues including Workday, please email  workday@miami.edu.

    Thank you.

    Mary Harper Hagan
    Vice President
    Human Resources

  • A dedicated team to answer students’ questions (April 7, 2020)

    To Our Students,

    Over the past several weeks, as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed incredible change and the need for us to adapt to that change together, as ’Canes.

    We recognize that these are uncertain times, and we are here to help you navigate them. Yesterday, we provided you a survey to share your perspective on the past few weeks. And today, we are sharing a resource to help you plan for what’s ahead.

    As we prepare for the final weeks of the semester — and for the semesters beyond — your University has formed a team of dedicated staff members who are available to answer many of the questions you have said are most important to you — questions about registration and records, billing and payments, and financial aid.

    In addition to this dedicated team, we have created an online system to quickly and efficiently answer your questions. Please visit canescentral.miami.edu to submit your question. A ’Canes Central associate will then follow up with you directly, within one business day, to address your question or concern.

    We encourage you to continue to monitor the latest University updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response at coronavirus.miami.edu. And we encourage you to take advantage of the many virtual programs and resources available to you as a student at miami.edu/stayconnected.

    Thank you for your patience and perseverance as we weather this storm together as one Hurricane family.

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    Jacqueline Travisano, Ed.D
    Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Operating Officer

    Patricia A. Whitely. Ed.D.
    Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk and COO Jacqueline Travisano: Financial mitigation actions at the Coral Gables and Marine campuses related to COVID-19 (April 7, 2020)

    To Employees at the Coral Gables and Marine Campuses (non-UHealth),

    We would like to extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for the way you have joined together, in the spirit of One U, to ensure the University continues to fulfill its mission during these unprecedented times. Just a few months ago, the prospect of moving the entire teaching and administrative functions of the University to an online/remote environment would have been thought impossible. Yet today, that is our reality, and everyone is continuing to do their part to achieve one of the most remarkable accomplishments in our University’s storied history.

    As we shared during a recent virtual town hall, today’s highly uncertain economic environment poses serious financial implications for our University, as well as for our health care system, UHealth. These are unprecedented times, which require significant measures. We are taking the following actions to reduce expenses, effective immediately, to preserve our mission of teaching, research, innovation, and service as we approach our centennial.

    1. Hiring Freeze: There will be a hiring freeze for faculty and staff positions until at least the end of the calendar year. This includes all new positions and all vacant positions but does not include student worker positions. HR will establish a process to establish any exceptions, which will be rare.

    This hiring freeze does not impact offers that have already been extended and each dean will review with the provost the status of authorized searches for faculty positions and jointly determine those that will proceed and those that will be paused.

    We may ask you to operate in vastly different ways, to assume new responsibilities, or to help across units where there are vacancies to ensure operational continuity in these extraordinary times.

    2. Postpone FY21 Merit Funding: Postponing FY21 merit funding will allow us time to quantify our fall enrollment and to further quantify the financial impact to the UHealth system from COVID-19.

    3. FY21 Non-Compensation Expense Reductions: All budget centers, including colleges, schools, and administrative/operational departments will significantly reduce or eliminate travel, entertainment, outside services, consulting, conferences, meetings, and other non-essential, non-salary expenses.

    4. Capital Projects Pause: Capital projects that are already under construction will continue (for example, Lakeside Village and the Student Services Building on the Coral Gables campus). However, we have postponed nearly every other capital expenditure until fiscal year 2022.

    5. Use of Donor Funds: In addition to being good for donor stewardship, units are asked to use operating gifts and spendable endowment income balances in advance of unrestricted funds.

    6. Expanding First-Year Class: Working with the Office of Enrollment Management, we hope to welcome 2,350 new ’Canes as first-year students in Fall 2020.

    As previously mentioned, the University’s telecommuting and temporary pay practices have been extended through April 30, 2020. We will reassess these policies and communicate any changes in advance of that date. In the short term, we have quickly adapted to physical distancing practices while providing support to our frontline health care workers who are preparing for an increase in COVID-19 cases. Our next phase will be to stand together to face the financial implications that lie ahead and make sacrifices to sustain our University.

    We know that these steps will not be easy, and there may be additional financial measures that we may need to consider. But ’Canes are resilient, and we will get through this challenge together and will emerge an even stronger U.

    Finally, ’Canes Care for ’Canes. We wish you and your families good health and safety. If there is anything we can do for you, or if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    Jacqueline Travisano, Ed.D
    Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Operating Officer

  • Ernie Fernandez, CIO: Learn how to secure your Zoom classes and meetings (April 7, 2020)

    Dear University of Miami Community,

    As you may know, there’s a new form of internet trolling called “Zoombombing”— in which an uninvited participant uses Zoom’s screen-sharing feature to disrupt meetings and classes.

    Regardless of whether you are a professor hosting online classes via Zoom, a staff member running Zoom meetings, or a leader of an affiliated group bringing people together via Zoom, here are some tips to help you keep your Zoom video meetings secure:

    Set a meeting password
    Zoom recently enabled all accounts to automatically require a password when creating a meeting (click here to learn more about setting or removing passwords).

    Enable a waiting room
    The waiting room feature allows the host to control when participants join your meeting. As the meeting host, you can admit attendees individually, or hold all attendees in the virtual waiting room and admit all when you are ready to begin.

    Limit screen sharing
    Zoom recently updated its screen-sharing settings for all accounts to automatically default to “Only Host.” This setting gives hosts sole permission to share content within their meetings by default. Click here to learn more about this setting, including how to enable screen sharing when needed.

    Ensure you are using the latest version of the Zoom client
    This will ensure all of the latest privacy and security features are available. Visit https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362233-Where-Do-I-Download-The-Latest-Version-

    Additional security measures
    To further enhance safety, University of Miami community members can disable ‘join before host,’ ‘lock the meeting,’ ‘remove a participant,’ and ‘restrict who can join.’

    Visit our Zoombombing resources site for all tips on how to stay secure: it.miami.edu/zoombombing.

    Note that for clinical visits using Zoom, UHealth uses a special version of Zoom which is integrated with UChart, specific for telemedicine encounters. UChart secures these Zoom sessions through advanced encryption, restricts link distribution, and disables the ability to record the sessions. It is highly unlikely that telemedicine sessions will be disrupted by Zoombombing.

    If you would like assistance understanding the security settings in Zoom, please contact the UMIT Service Desk at 305-284-6565 or help@miami.edu. If you learn of a meeting where Zoombombing occurred, please contact IT Security at ciso@miami.edu.

    As always, feel free to reach out to me directly anytime at erniefernandez@miami.edu.

    Thank you,

    Ernie Fernandez
    Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

  • President Julio Frenk: Taking steps to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 at the Coral Gables and Marine campuses (April 6, 2020)

    Dear Coral Gables and Marine Campus (non-UHealth) Colleagues:

    Two weeks ago, we welcomed students back to classes virtually, as our academic health system ramped up for a surge in demand due to COVID-19. Since then, we have adapted to a new reality. The days are long and the statistics sobering, yet our commitment to the University of Miami and UHealth—and to each other—has never been more apparent.

    Last week, I was delighted to hear directly from so many in the community as we addressed some of the challenges ahead during our first virtual town hall meetings. The pandemic with which the world is grappling has serious short- and long-term implications, and it is vital to keep our lines of communication open.

    Our first order of business has been to face, head on, the implications of the health crisis. Our priority remains your health and safety, as UHealth engages in saving lives with every resource at our disposal.

    We do not yet know exactly what the long-term implications of this pandemic will look like, but we do know that the disruption wrought by COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on the economy. If we are to fulfill our sacred mission in today’s highly uncertain economic environment, we must acknowledge that the implications of the pandemic will also be financial.

    The Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees met on Friday. We are looking at all possible scenarios and taking steps to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19. There are steps that we must take now, and there may be additional steps in the future. You will receive more detailed communications from Provost Jeffrey Duerk and COO Jackie Travisano this week outlining the specific expense reduction measures we will be taking.

    We remain committed to our mission of education, research, innovation, and service—and the most important element in carrying out that mission is our people. Thank you for all the ways you are living our values in these unprecedented times.

    Continue to stay safe, care for your loved ones, and focus on our shared mission. Our resilience will carry us through anything that lies ahead.

    In ’Cane Spirit,

    Julio Frenk
    President, University of Miami

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk: Important update for graduate students (March 31, 2020)

    Dear Graduate Students,

    For many of you, this is your second week of online courses at the University of Miami. Similarly, it is the first time that many of your professors have taught in this virtual environment. We hope that everyone has been able to settle in to their new routines and support each other during this time.

    Life is anything but normal right now, and it is too soon to know how the next few months will unfold. Our recent decisions to cancel ongoing study abroad programs, move classes online, and partially close campus housing and facilities are all necessary for the health and safety of the University community. By limiting social interaction, we will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and support our health systems nationwide. Particularly at this time, we want to stress the continued importance of preventative measures including physical distancing and proper handwashing.

    Support Services
    In addition to moving courses online, our support services, including the Counseling Center, still have resources available to our students. Please visit their website to learn about their current offerings available to you. Additionally, Student Health Service remains open to serve students in the area.

    Grading
    The deans, graduate associate deans, and Faculty Senate leadership have been discussing the issue of grades, both within UM and among our national colleagues. There are many students, both undergraduate and graduate, law and medicine, some with financial aid that may be dependent on progression, or others who must maintain a specific GPA to continue enrollment in special programs. These factors, and others, were considered carefully in formulating a decision that required a great deal of thought and planning.

    For the Spring 2020 semester only, schools and colleges will allow graduate students to opt-in to taking some or all of their courses for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) or to continue with letter grades. For any course in which a student wants to retain their letter grades, no action is necessary.

    • This will allow graduate students to take any or all courses under this grading basis. Courses taken for (S/U) grades during Spring 2020 will count towards their degree requirements (subject to final Faculty Senate approval).
    • (S/U) grades are not calculated into a student's GPA, so some students may not have a semester GPA for Spring 2020.
    • If a student elects to take a course for S/U, they will receive a “S” if they earn a B or higher. If they earn a letter grade of B- or lower, they will receive a “U.”
    • The University of Miami will add a notation to the transcript key indicating the reason for the grade options for Spring 2020.
    • Students must submit an online request to receive (S/U) instead of a letter grade for each course they choose; the online form will be available shortly on the Registrar’s website. Students will have until 11:59 p.m. EST on May 8, to make this selection for each course they choose to take S/U. Grades, transcripts, and other semester academic records will be posted by May 21, as opposed to the originally planned date of May 13.


    Graduation
    We share in your disappointment at the way that your time on campus this semester was cut short. For those graduating, we intentionally rescheduled our May ceremonies to December to allow you and your families the opportunity to participate in this important recognition of your academic achievements. We hope that you can join us, and we look forward to welcoming you and your loved ones back to campus once it is safe to do so.

    Caring for Yourself and One Another
    It is especially important to remember that ’Canes Care for ’Canes. By supporting one another during this unprecedented time, we will persevere and emerge as a stronger community, equipped with new skills and approaches to collaborating, meeting, and learning.

    And caring for your fellow ’Canes also means caring for yourself. Many of you are back at home working through new dynamics and changes, in addition to shifting to online learning and continuing to be active in your co-curricular activities.

    We want to thank all of you for your resiliency, patience, and flexibility. We are in uncharted waters, and there will still be challenges ahead. Your health and safety are our priority, and your ability to learn and complete your education is at the forefront of our efforts.

    If you have any feedback, please feel free to reach out to us at graduateschool@miami.edu, VPSA@miami.edu, or provost.office@miami.edu. If you or someone you know is facing extreme challenges, we want to hear from you.

    We are united as part of your Miami Hurricane family.

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    Patricia A. Whitely. Ed.D.
    Vice President for Student Affairs

    Guillermo Prado, Ph.D.
    Dean, Graduate School

  • Human Resources: Telecommuting arrangements and pay practice guidelines (March 31, 2020)

    TELECOMMUTING ARRANGEMENTS AND PAY PRACTICE GUIDELINES EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30

    March 31, 2020

    Dear colleagues,

    We continue to take proactive measures and following national guidance, the University’s telecommuting and pay practice guidelines previously communicatedwill now be extended through April 30, 2020. Please continue to practice social distancing, support each other, and follow our FAQs for additional guidance.

    Throughout these weeks, you have been exemplary of our ‘Canes spirit. To support you through these challenging times, I would like to highlight a variety of resources available.

    • MyCareConnection – UHealth’s new virtual care platform – is now live and available only for employees and their family members of the University of Miami at no charge. Just use your Miami.edu email address, enter the code  Cane2020 and be sure to hit “apply” on the checkout screen. MyCareConnection is available 24/7, 365 days a year, where board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners can diagnose, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication. Providers also are available to evaluate COVID-19 symptoms. Though you may experience longer than usual wait times, there is an option to request a call back. Click here to access MyCareConnection.
    • Virtual Town Halls – University of Miami leaders and medical experts from UHealth invite the University community to join virtual town hall meetings on Tuesday, March 31 (UHealth faculty and staff), and Wednesday, April 1 (Gables/Marine faculty and staff). Faculty, staff, students and their families are encouraged to submit questions ahead of the town hall and join via Zoom for a candid and productive conversation. For more information on attending a Virtual Town Hall, click here.
    • Counseling Assistance for Employees – To help us through these unprecedented times, the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program has organized wellness webinars to help us better deal with these pressures. I encourage you to attend a webinar or visit the  FSAP Working from Home webpage to explore some helpful resources to support your well-being. To register for an upcoming webinar, click here. FSAP also offers consultation and referral services to employees seeking counseling, especially during this stressful time. For more information please contact FSAP at 305-284-6604 or visit  fsap.miami.edu.  Services are provided Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees may also choose to contact Carisk, UM’s mental health insurance plan, at 1-800-294-8642 (available 24/7) for referrals or to be directed to a covered treatment center. Note: The Department of Psychiatry, which offers telehealth sessions, is a covered provider.


    Get the latest information on the University’s response, as well as links to resources and frequently asked questions at our dedicated website, coronavirus.miami.edu. For information specifically for the Medical Campus, please visit my.med.miami.edu.

    Thank you for your continuous dedication and service to your teams during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please reach out to your manager or HR Partner.

    Thank you.

    Mary Harper Hagan
    Vice President
    Human Resources

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk and Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely: Important updates for all undergraduate students (March 26, 2020)

    Dear Students,

    For many of you, this was your first week of online courses at the University of Miami. Similarly, it was the first time that many of your professors have taught in this virtual environment. We hope that everyone has been able to settle in to their new routines and support each other during this time.

    Life is anything but normal right now, and it is too soon to know how the next few months will unfold. Our recent decisions to cancel ongoing study abroad programs, move classes online, and partially close campus housing are all necessary for the health and safety of the University community.  By limiting social interaction, we will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and support our health systems nationwide. Particularly at this time, we want to stress the continued importance of preventative measures including physical distancing and proper handwashing, and we urge you to continue to check the University’s COVID-19 response website for the latest information.

    Support Services
    In addition to moving courses online, our support services, including the Counseling Center, still have resources available to our students. Please visit their website to learn about their current offerings available to you. Additionally, Student Health Service remains open to serve students in the area.

    The Camner Center for Academic Resources continues to host virtual tutoring sessions and is adding a range of workshops to assist you with the shift to online learning. Additionally, your academic advisors will be reaching out to help you with course selection and to provide support as we look ahead to the Fall semester.

    Resident Students
    For resident students who have not returned to campus housing since the start of spring break, we are working on a plan to allow you to retrieve your belongings in a way that is safe for all members of the University community. You will receive more information at a later date.

    Grading
    The deans and Faculty Senate leadership have been discussing the issue of grades, both within UM and amongst our national colleagues.  There are many students, both undergraduate and graduate, law and medicine, some with financial aid that may be dependent on progression, or others who must maintain a specific GPA to continue enrollment in special programs. These factors, and others, were considered carefully in formulating a decision that required a great deal of thought and planning.

    For the Spring 2020 semester only, undergraduate schools and colleges will allow students to opt-in to taking some or all of their courses for Credit/No Credit or they can continue with letter grades. Credit/No-credit is the University of Miami’s version of Pass/Fail; a grade of C or better is required to receive credit.  For any course in which a student wants to retain their letter grades, no action is necessary.

    • This will allow undergraduate students to take any or all courses under this grading basis. Courses taken for CR/NC grades during Spring 2020 will count towards major, minors, cognates/general education, and degree requirements (subject to final Faculty Senate approval).
    • CR/NC grades are not calculated into a student's GPA, so some students may not have a semester GPA for Spring 2020. Given this, honor rolls will not be in effect for Spring 2020. 
    • If a student elects to take a course CR/NC, they will receive a CR if they earn a letter grade of A+ through C.  If they earn a letter grade of C- through F, they will receive a NC. 
    • The limit on the number of courses that can be taken CR/NC in a single semester is suspended for the Spring 2020 semester.
    • Undergraduate courses taken CR/NC in the Spring 2020 will not count towards the University’s maximum nine-credit hour limit on the total number of courses that can be counted towards a degree.
    • The University of Miami will add a notation to the transcript key indicating the reason for the grade options for Spring 2020.
    • Students must submit an online request to receive CR/NC instead of a letter grade for each course they choose; the online form will be available shortly on the Registrar’s website.  Students will have until 11:59 p.m. on May 8 to make this selection for each course they choose to take CR/NC.  Grades, transcripts, and other semester academic records will be posted by May 21, as opposed to the originally planned date of May 13.


    Graduation
    We share in your disappointment at the way that your time on campus this semester was cut short. For those graduating, we intentionally rescheduled our May ceremonies to December to allow you and your families the opportunity to participate in this important recognition of your academic achievements. We hope that you can join us, and we look forward to welcoming you and your loved ones back to campus once it is safe to do so.

    Caring for Yourself and One Another
    It is especially important to remember that ’Canes Care for ’Canes. By supporting one another during this unprecedented time, we will persevere and emerge as a stronger community, equipped with new skills and approaches to collaborating, meeting, and learning.

    And caring for your fellow ’Canes also means caring for yourself. Many of you are back at home working through new dynamics and changes, in addition to shifting to online learning and continuing to be active in your co-curricular activities.

    We want to thank all of you for your resiliency, patience, and flexibility.  We are in uncharted waters, and there will still be challenges ahead. Your health and safety are our priority, and your ability to learn and complete your education is at the forefront of our efforts.

    If you have any feedback, please feel free to reach out to us at pwhitely@miami.edu or provost.office@miami.edu.  If you or someone you know is facing extreme challenges, we want to hear from you.

    We are united as part of your Miami Hurricane family.

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    Patricia A. Whitely. Ed.D.
    Vice President for Student Affairs

  • President Julio Frenk: Fulfilling our mission in the face of disruption (March 26, 2020)

    To the University of Miami Community:

    The impact COVID-19 has had and will continue to have on our community—and the global economy—is unprecedented. Yet, even in the face of such disruption, we are fulfilling our mission of teaching, research, innovation, and service.

    We should all be encouraged by the fact that this week our students were able to return to class fully online, thanks to the extraordinary efforts and teamwork of faculty and staff. Beyond adapting to a new reality for teaching and learning, our mission as a comprehensive research university with an academic health system compels us to play three important roles in the face of COVID-19.

    Our first role is to care for our own community. With nearly 18,000 students and approximately 17,000 employees, we are responsible for prioritizing the health and safety of 35,000 people and their loved ones.

    Our second role, carried out by the academic health system, is to provide health care to our surrounding community. We know our colleagues at UHealth are feeling the pressure acutely, as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise.

    Our third role is as researchers, with involvement on the front lines of both care and innovation. As we speak, our scientists are hard at work developing the tools necessary to beat this pandemic, from diagnostics to drugs to vaccines.

    During an event like this one, no news is not seen as good news. Quite the opposite—the absence of information feeds fear. We know you have questions and we want to answer them.

    As we carry out our mission and embrace each of our roles, I am delighted to announce that next Tuesday and Wednesday, we will hold a series of virtual town hall meetings with the University community.

    The University’s dedicated COVID-19 site, which can be found at coronavirus.miami.edu, is updated constantly and will continue to serve as the most up-to-date source of information regarding the University’s comprehensive response to the pandemic. Information specific to our medical community can be found at http://my.med.miami.edu.

    Details on how to participate in our virtual town hall meetings will follow, including how you can submit questions you want us to address. We look forward to a candid and productive conversation.

    Until then, stay safe and continue to do your part as we help our community through these challenging times.

    We are one U,

    Julio Frenk
    President, University of Miami

  • Guidance regarding City of Coral Gables order (March 25, 2020)

    To the University of Miami Community:

    Earlier this evening, the City of Coral Gables issued a “safer at home” order, effective at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, that requires residents and businesses to restrict non-essential activities.

    Here is guidance regarding University operations:

    The order does not impact online learning.

    • All online classes will continue to meet as normal and course schedules will not change.

    The order does not impact critical University operations, employee work arrangements, or research functions.
    • Last week, the University implemented new Human Resources policies that are consistent with this city order. As Human Resources communicated last week, only critical operations that need to be performed on-site, certain student contact activities, and teaching-related support, should be performed on campus. All other functions should be performed from home whenever possible.

    Students should continue to practice social distancing and limit mobility.
    • The order strongly urges individuals to remain in their place of residence, with limited exceptions. The order does allow travel to grocery stories, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, and other operations critical to day-to-day activities. Individuals may engage in outdoor physical activities, as long as social distancing practices are observed.
    • Dining Services will continue to provide take-out food service. The latest details regarding available dining options and hours of operations can be found at www.dineoncampus.com/miami.

    The complete City of Coral Gables order can be found here.

  • Information for students regarding housing, dining, and parking costs (March 25, 2020)

    To University of Miami Students and Families:

    As the University of Miami continues its proactive and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the financial strain faced by many families during these unprecedented times. To help alleviate some of these concerns, the University is planning to issue prorated reimbursements for housing, meal plans, and parking in some form for any student who leaves campus.
     
    The University will continue to provide students with academic instruction as well as an array of resources, all through online platforms, including tutoring, career counseling, student involvement opportunities, and counseling services.
     
    Housing information

    • Students who complete the housing check-out process by the March 25, 2020, deadline will have charges prorated as of that date and a credit issued to their student account. Students who do not complete the check-out process by March 25 or have not made alternate arrangements with Housing and Residential Life may have a proration date later than March 25. (Housing and Residential Life questions: housing@miami.edu)
     
    Dining information
    • Spring meal plan costs (minus Dining Dollar balances) will be prorated to March 25, 2020, or the last day of usage, whichever is later, and a credit will be issued to the student account. Dining Dollar balances will remain available for use through Oct. 15, 2020. Graduating seniors with Dining Dollar balances may be eligible for a prorated refund. (Dining questions: diningservices@miami.edu)
     
    Parking information
    • Student parking permit costs will be prorated to March 25, 2020, and a credit will be issued to the student account. Students whose vehicles remain on campus will not receive a credit/refund and those vehicles may continue to utilize on-campus parking without receiving a citation through the start of the Fall 2020 semester. (Parking questions: parking.gables@miami.edu)
     
    Study abroad
    • Students who participated in University of Miami study abroad programs should refer to official communications provided by the University’s Study Abroad office regarding any credits/refunds. (Study abroad questions: studyabroad@miami.edu)
     
    Please note, the possibility of credits/refunds will be determined by a student’s individual financial aid circumstances. The Office of Student Accounts will review accounts for any outstanding balances before issuing a credit/refund.
     
    Students who are facing extreme challenges are encouraged to reach out directly to the Division of Student Affairs at vpsa@miami.edu.

  • Human Resources: COVID-19 HR Updates (March 24, 2020)

    COVID-19: HR UPDATES

    Dear colleagues,

    For the past few weeks, all of us have been navigating unprecedented change at work and at home. We’ve had to pivot where, how, and when we work, while caring for our families, uncertain of how events will unfold.

    I am not alone in my deep gratitude for the work all of you are doing. University leadership recognizes the challenges that each of you are facing, and we appreciate you.

    As you know, we have required telecommuting arrangements to limit the number of people on our campuses to those who provide essential support to our patients, students and faculty. Whether reporting on campus or demonstrating flexibility through work at home solutions - we are all in this together. It is important that you respect your managers’ guidance and not report to campus if you are instructed to remain at home.

    The health and well-being of our University community remains our top priority and our policies remain fluid as we move quickly to respond to national, state and local guidance. During times like these, some may experience worry and may need emotional support. Our Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is available and remains open at 305-284-6604 or visit fsap.miami.edu. For additional resources, please refer to the FAQs.

    To support staff through these challenging times, we have communicated temporary policies in effect through April 17 that outline pay continuity provisions and enhanced sick options. These updates include guidance on telecommuting from home and are outlined in the updated FAQs.

    Additionally, consistent with Miami Dade’s suspension of transit fares, UM payroll deductions for transit, tri-rail and parking will be suspended effective March 19 and until further notice. Hourly staff with deductions will see this change in their March 27 pay; exempt employees in their March month-end pay.

    IMPORTANT

    For employees who have transitioned to a remote work arrangement, please log in to Workday and complete the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement each week that you work from home. This mechanism will also allow us to retroactively provide any payments for the use of personal cell phones as appropriate. For assistance, please review the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday Tip Sheet.

    Note: If you are working from home and are an hourly employee:

    • In Workday, please continue to input your hours as you normally would.
    • In Kronos, please contact your supervisor and/or timekeeper for alternative instructions.

     

    If your only option while working from home is to use a personal computer, laptop, or other device, you are required to adhere to University practices and policies to maintain security on your device. Please see additional guidance and resources FAQs.

    For assistance completing the COVID-19 Telecommute Arrangement in Workday or for other questions around COVID-19 temporary policies please contact your manager or HR Partner. For any technical issues including Workday, please email workday@miami.edu.

    I have heard stories of the resilience of our ‘Canes family in areas across the University—from those who support our students and operations to those who are caring for our patients on the front line —I appreciate your dedication and commitment to the communities we serve.

    Thank you for all you are doing to keep the University operating during these challenging times.

    Mary Harper Hagan

    Vice President

    Human Resources

  • President Julio Frenk: A video message from President Frenk as students resume classes online during COVID-19 (March 23, 2020)

    University of Miami President Julio Frenk welcomes students back from spring recess and thanks faculty and staff for their ongoing efforts, as classes resume fully online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the latest information on the University’s response, as well as links to resources and frequently asked questions at our dedicated website,http://coronavirus.miami.edu.

  • Community Notification: Presumptive Case of COVID-19 (March 21, 2020)

    To the University of Miami Community:

    Consistent with our ongoing efforts to provide you with the latest information, we are writing to notify you that a student from the University of Miami Coral Gables campus has tested positive for COVID-19. The student lives off campus, has been in self-isolation, and is in good condition.

    Public health officials are directly contacting individuals known to have been in close contact with the student to provide information and guidance.

    Out of respect for patient privacy and because this is a public health issue, there will not be any further information about individual cases.

    Our best wishes have been extended to the student for a rapid recovery.

    Your health and safety continue to be essential concerns for the University. By acting together—following the advice of public health experts to practice social distancing, avoid public spaces, limit movement, and exercise good hand hygiene—we can help slow the spread of the virus.

    The University’s dedicated COVID-19 site, which can be found at coronavirus.miami.edu, is updated constantly and will continue to serve as the best and most up-to-date source for information regarding the University’s proactive and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information specific to our medical community can be found at my.med.miami.edu.

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk: Message to faculty: Together we are better and stronger (March 21, 2020)

    Dear Deans and Faculty,

    On Monday we launch a bold endeavor at the University of Miami with the full implementation of online learning. This transition has required hours of training, reworking of courses and syllabi, and translating your teaching into digital platforms—all accomplished in a single week. This is an extraordinary testament to your hard work and dedication. Your professionalism, creativity, enthusiasm, and willingness to engage in new experiments in pedagogy will forever, and indelibly, change the University of Miami. Thank you!

    Most importantly, we have forged even stronger relationships with our partners across the University, including UMIT (and Instructional Technologies) and other areas in Business and Finance; the Division of Continuing and International Education, which has been on the forefront of online learning and provided tested models for us to follow; and the Division of Student Affairs, whose advocacy for students’ needs ensures we always put our students health, welfare, and UM experience first.

    Undoubtedly there will be challenges ahead. While we are in uncharted waters, and the scale of conversion is unprecedented, every journey begins with that first dramatic new step. Some might say that this began when we started stepping up efforts to build a robust academic continuity infrastructure following Hurricane Irma. Few of us were thinking of a quickly spreading global pandemic; yet, hurricane or pandemic, the ramifications of our efforts will continue to ripple through not only higher education but all areas of our lives in unforeseen ways. We are a better and stronger institution as a result of your efforts.

    I want to thank each of you for committing to the success of our students in completing their spring semester. We are resilient and committed. We are ’Canes.

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President & Provost

  • Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely: Commencement update (March 19, 2020)

    Dear Graduating Student,

    Our world is facing unprecedented challenges that we could not have predicted a few weeks ago. As you are aware, the University has made many difficult decisions in an effort to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

    We recognize how important commencement is for you, your classmates, and loved ones. However, following guidance from state and federal agencies to suspend large events and promote social distancing due to COVID-19, undergraduate, graduate, and law May 2020 commencement ceremonies will be postponed until December 2020. 

    • Friday, December 18, 2020 - Law and Graduate Ceremonies
    • Saturday, December 19, 2020 - Undergraduate Ceremonies


    The Miller School of Medicine will host a virtual commencement on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at 3 p.m. EST and will communicate those details when available.

    We are so proud of the effort you have extended to complete your degree. We realize that the postponement of May commencement ceremonies is extremely disappointing, and we did not reach this decision lightly. It was made by keeping the health and safety of our campus community and your families and loved ones in mind. We are disappointed for you and disappointed with you. This is also our chance to recognize and thank you. We’re sorry - the world pandemic has created unprecedented times.

    I want to assure you that, you will still earn your degree and be considered a graduate of the University of Miami upon completion of your academic requirements, regardless of whether or not you are able to attend your ceremony in December.

    Please note, Fall 2020 candidates will still have their own ceremonies as previously scheduled for Thursday, December 17, 2020. Additionally, all Senior Send-Off events for this semester, including the Commencement Ball, have been canceled.

    For students who may not be able to join in December, the Office of Commencement is working to provide options to receive your regalia and diploma cover as well as Stoles of Gratitude. More information will be available in the coming weeks at commencement.miami.edu and via e-mail.

    Please make sure to provide these updates to your families.

    Please know that your University is here to help as we navigate these difficult days. I am so proud of our University community, especially the Class of 2020, and look forward to keeping in touch with you.

    Go 'Canes!

    Dr. Patricia A. Whitely
    Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Community Notification: Presumptive Case of COVID-19 (March 17, 2020)

    To the University of Miami Community:

    Consistent with our ongoing efforts to provide you with the latest information, we are writing to notify you that one member of the University of Miami medical campus community has tested positive for COVID-19. This person is in good condition and is self-isolating to prevent the spread of infection to others. Our best wishes have been extended to the individual for a rapid recovery.

    The positive test results are considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    We are following the recommended CDC and public health protocols to inform and provide guidance to those who have been in close contact with this individual during the period when they might have been contagious. Out of respect for patient privacy and because this is a public health issue, there will not be any further information about individual cases beyond notifications to our community.

    We recognize that any positive test is likely to increase anxiety among the medical campus and University community. A positive test result—presumptive or confirmed—underscores the need for the University, the health system, and the medical school to continue a swift and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

    • We have shifted to online instruction for all classes at all University of Miami campuses;
    • We have established a policy on remote work for all employees;
    • We have strongly encouraged students in on-campus housing to return to their permanent residence and will partially close on-campus housing beginning March 25;
    • We continue to seek the best guidance from public health experts, including those at the University and our UHealth system;
    • We are sanitizing all facilities and public spaces on a continuous basis.

    UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine’s expert physicians continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control, establishing protocols for the protection of all who enter our hospitals, clinical spaces, and research and medical education areas, including:
    • Screening all visitors at clinical entry points and over the phone, documenting their travel history and any symptoms they may currently be experiencing;
    • Moving suspected patients immediately to an isolated room for further examination;
    • Having dedicated isolation rooms and clinical staff for any presumptive and confirmed patients;
    • Equipping clinical staff with approved and recommended personal protective equipment (PPE);
    • Establishing a policy of remote work for non-clinical employees.

    Your health and safety continue to be essential concerns for the University. By acting together—following the advice of public health experts to practice social distancing, avoiding public spaces, limiting movement, and exercising good hand hygiene—we can help slow the spread of the virus

    The University’s dedicated COVID-19 site, which can be found at coronavirus.miami.edu, is updated constantly and will continue to serve as the best and most up-to-date source for information regarding the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information specific to our medical community can be found at http://my.med.miami.edu. We will continue to provide regular updates.

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 8: COVID-19: Online instruction extended; on-campus housing modified (March 17, 2020)

    Issued Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    To the University of Miami Community,

    The University of Miami leadership team, COVID-19 task force, and emergency management team continue to take proactive measures—following the guidance of public health and government agencies—to safeguard the health and safety of our community. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to rapidly evolve, University leadership has made the following immediate decisions:

    In accordance with public health guidance to reduce density on campus, and due to the likelihood of further travel restrictions in the coming days, the move to online instruction has been extended through the remainder of the spring semester, which will conclude on May 6. Also, we will implement partial closing of on-campus housing beginning March 25.

    CLASSES

    • Classes and labs will resume on March 23, but strictly in online/remote/distance learning environments through the remainder of the spring semester, which will conclude on May 6.
    • Faculty should continue to prepare for online course delivery, which will begin on Monday, March 23. Additional resources to assist faculty members and students in continuing their teaching and learning activities with minimal disruption can be found on the academic and business continuity site and on coronavirus.miami.edu.


    ON-CAMPUS HOUSING

    • In accordance with public health guidance to reduce density on campus, and due to the likelihood of further travel restrictions in the coming days, we will implement partial closing of on-campus housing beginning March 25.
      • We strongly encourage all students to return to their permanent residence and not remain in on-campus housing.
      • Limited exceptions will be made for students unable to return home, or who cannot find housing elsewhere.
      • Although encouraged, students do not need to remove their personal belongings from their room immediately. Students will have until May 8 at 5 p.m. to return to campus to pick up their items and fully check out of their housing assignment.
      • Room and board costs will be pro-rated for the remainder of the semester for all students leaving campus. Additional information will be forthcoming.
      • Students who need extensions to pick up personal belongings or who need to remain in on-campus housing must complete an exemption request via the housing portal available in CaneLink no later than March 23 at noon.
      • We will make every effort to accommodate students and each case will receive individual attention. If you have questions, please contact housing@miami.edu.
    • Most on-campus facilities will be closed. The Wellness Center at both the Coral Gables and medical campuses and the University Center pool will be closed. University Libraries will be closed but will provide online access to resources. The Counseling Center will not hold in-person appointments but will offer telemedicine. The University Center complex, including the Shalala Student Center, will have restricted access.


    FOR FACULTY AND STAFF

    • As communicated on Sunday, the University has activated temporary exceptions to policies to encourage social distancing and minimize the number of people on campus. In consultation with their supervisors, employees whose duties can be performed remotely are encouraged to work from home.
    • We would like to reiterate that if you are sick, or think you are sick, please stay at home. Do not come to work and please contact your medical care provider.
    • The Faculty Club dining facility will be closed.
    • Campus buildings will be restricted. ’Cane Cards will be required to gain access to buildings, classrooms, and offices.


    SPRING COMMENCEMENT

    • The University continues to examine the spring commencement schedule and will communicate additional information soon.


    The University’s dedicated COVID-19 site, which can be found at coronavirus.miami.edu, is updated constantly and will continue to serve as the best and most up-to-date source for information regarding the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We recognize that these actions are disruptive, but they are guided by the recommendations of leading health officials and by our priority to safeguard the health and well-being of our community. We will continue to provide regular updates.

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk: Message to faculty (March 16, 2020)

    Dear Faculty,

    We are continuously fine tuning tools and other resources to help you prepare for online course delivery when classes resume next week. We will continue to provide updates as needed to make sure you are aware of the latest information.

    Visit the academic continuity guide often to register for in-person and online support. Please note: The Division of Continuing and International Education is offering scheduled drop-in hours in Allen Hall 202A from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to provide consultations covering the essentials of online teaching. For more information, contact Johnny Orr, Distance Learning Institute assistant director, at jxo483@miami.edu. Based on the input from the Office of the General Counsel, University Libraries, and the School of Communication, we are providing guidelines and information regarding copyright, online learning, and how to provide instructional materials to students.

    Please remember the University's COVID-19 website remains your best source for all University coronavirus-related updates, including the March 14 notice from Human Resources on providing all staff with the opportunity to work remotely if at all possible, especially in light of Miami-Dade and Broward schools closures, and new policies on paid sick time.

    The Office of the Provost will be operating with limited in-person staffing and is available via email at provost.office@miami.edu and via phone at 305-284-3356. Thank you all again for your commitment and readiness to ensure our students remain connected and learning through this difficult situation.

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President & Provost

  • President Julio Frenk: A video message from President Frenk on COVID-19 (March 14, 2020)

    University of Miami President Julio Frenk updates the community on the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the latest information on University messaging, resources, and frequently asked questions at our dedicated website, http://coronavirus.miami.edu.

  • Human resources: Update to HR policies (March 14, 2020)

    UPDATE: HR POLICIES

    Dear Gables and Marine campus colleagues (non-UHealth/MSOM),

    On Friday, March 13, an email communication was distributed to all Gables and Marine campus leaders (non-UHealth/MSOM) regarding temporary exceptions to policies to encourage social distancing and minimize the number of people on campus in response to COVID-19. These are temporary measures, as we are continuously monitoring this public health crisis, and will evaluate changes as the situation arises. 

    The health and well-being of our community remains our priority. 

    We have asked managers to use their best judgment and encourage employees to work from home wherever possible and accommodate requests as outlined below while continuing to meet the critical needs of the operation.

    Please review the following information carefully and speak with your manager about remote work options.

    The following are guidelines for Coral Gables and Marine campus employees effective March 14 through April 4.

    TELECOMMUTING OPTIONS

    Friday, March 13 was a test of capability for a wide range of employees to work from home. To evaluate our efforts, there will be a survey emailed Monday, March 16 to all Coral Gables and Marine campus employees asking for feedback. It is critical to have your participation in this survey regardless of whether you worked from home or worked from your regular office space. The information will allow us to plan and prepare for potential disruptions due to COVID-19.

    Employees may be eligible for a work-from-home arrangement if job duties are not required to be performed on site, do not directly provide on-site support to students, and can be performed remotely with minimal disruption. There are many tools that can be used in assessing whether work can be performed from home, the list of remote access tools available on the remote access technologies website may be helpful.

    Note: All work-from-home arrangements require a manager’s advance approval.

    Once it is determined that job duties can be performed from home, managers were advised to prioritize in assigning work-from-home arrangements. 

    CDC guidelines on individuals most vulnerable:

    Employees who fall into one of the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC and have notified their managers that they have an underlying chronic medical condition that makes them especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus should be considered a priority in accommodating a work-from-home arrangement, wherever feasible. If a work from home arrangement is not possible, employees in this category will be eligible to use accrued paid time (sick leave/vacation or floating holidays) so that they may self-isolate at home to reduce risk. Employees in this category may be required to provide medical documentation.

    School or Daycare Closure:

    Employees unable to come to work due to a COVID-19 daycare or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if operationally feasible; if remote work is not operationally feasible, employees may use accrued paid leave time (sick leave/vacation or floating days) during this period.

    Employees may not bring children or any relatives to work with them, particularly during this time. 

    Rotational Options:

    Once the above priorities have been considered, departments are encouraged to implement broader measures to foster work-from-home arrangements that minimize the number of employees on campus while fulfilling critical operations. This may include rotating staff working from home and some remaining on site, essentially a Team A and Team B approach.

    PAID SICK TIME  

    Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of the University community and encourage all those who are ill, or caring for those who are ill, to remain at home. In that spirit, we are implementing temporary measures to enable employees affected by COVID-19 to focus on getting well without concern of losing pay.

    • Employees unable to work due to their own or their family member’s COVID-19 symptoms should remain at home and utilize sick time. If accrued sick time has been exhausted, staff will be eligible to borrow from future sick time not to exceed 21 business days (or up to 168 hours) during this period.
    • Temporary or per diem employees unable to work due to their own COVID-19 symptoms who have provided appropriate medical documentation, will be provided paid administrative leave for a period of up to 2 weeks equal to their normal work schedule.

    Travel Restrictions:

    Employees currently returning from the affected countries identified by the CDC, are required to remain at home in self-isolation for 14-days on administrative paid leave. Employees are required to contact Infection Control at (786) 427-5018 to report their return from travel.

    If an employee chooses to travel to one of these countries after the latest set of restrictions published on March 11, they will still be required to self-isolate upon return but will need to use their own accrued paid time off to remain in pay status. We strongly discourage all international travel and domestic travel that requires any form of mass transportation, except for local mass transit.

    All employees should continue to take preventive actions during this time to avoid the spread of the virus. For continuous updates on COVID-19, please refer to the University’s dedicated COVID-19 site ( coronavirus.miami.edu) for complete, up-to-date guidance on campus events and meetings. 

    Please continue to work with your supervisor and leaders as we monitor COVID-19 and the related public health guidelines. For additional assistance, please reach out to your manager or HR partner

    Thank you for all that you continue to do as we work to care for our families, staff, faculty, and the broader UM community.

    Mary Harper Hagan
    Vice President
    Human Resources

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk: Message to faculty (March 13, 2020)

    Dear Faculty,

    The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting our day-to-day lives in many consequential and unexpected ways. But even in the face of this evolving threat, I have been heartened over the past couple of days as the University community has come together and worked to ensure that our core functions—teaching and learning, research and innovation, and patient care—thrive at the U.

    While we are concerned with the uncertainty of how this outbreak will impact us, I am convinced the work we do at the University of Miami is more important than ever. I am truly grateful for your continued focus, creativity, and patience in the face of these challenges. I want to thank academic and administrative teams across the university for their strong leadership and decisive and tempered responses.

    The steps we are taking to ensure our students can continue to pursue their education and academic goals will require all of us to adapt quickly to new ways to deliver instruction and present course work. At the same time, more than hardware and software, our students will need your understanding and flexibility. We must recognize that their very way of life as college students has been completely disrupted, and they will look to their teachers and advisors for support and guidance. Your enthusiasm to try new teaching techniques will be met by their embrace of fresh pedagogies. The students will look to us as mentors and role models, they will read our verbal and non-verbal cues, and their emotional state will be amplified by what they see in us. Now is the time for us to be renewed and resilient: a common theme among ‘Canes.

    We are also providing expanded guidelines and resources to our research enterprise, which, working hand in hand with our clinical faculty, are on the frontlines of providing innovative solutions to challenges like COVID-19.

    Next week provides a vital window of opportunity for the institution to launch a new and demanding chapter in our history. Thanks to our previous experience preparing for and responding to hurricanes in South Florida, we have benefited from having actually tested emergency operation plans that allow for business continuation with limited interruptions. Many schools and colleges had been developing or recently completed their academic continuity plans. Well done! Few of us expected we would have the chance to test them so quickly. I encourage you to work closely with your colleagues at the U and across the world to learn valuable lessons and best practices in this new living and learning environment.

    You will receive more instructions on course preparation and training when you return to campus next week. Remember to visit our dedicated COVID-19 website for the latest information at coronavirus.miami.edu.

    There is still so much we don’t know about how the COVID-19 pandemic will play out, but I am sure we will get through this together. I’m proud and amazed at our adaptability. From the bottom of my heart—thank you!

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President & Provost

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 7: Spring break extended; classes to move online afterward (March 12, 2020)

    Issued Thursday, March 12, 2020

    To the University of Miami Community,

    The University of Miami leadership team, dedicated COVID-19 task force, and emergency management team have been closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus outbreak while aggressively preparing for contingencies around this rapidly evolving situation. The health and well-being of our community remain our highest priorities.

    Over the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, while Miami-Dade County recorded its first confirmed case and declared a state of emergency. Given these unprecedented circumstances, and following the guidance from Gov. Ron DeSantis, state agencies, and public health officials yesterday, University leadership has made the following immediate decisions:

    Spring break has been extended through March 22. Classes will resume on March 23, but strictly in online/remote/distance learning environments through at least April 4.

    CLASSES
    • Spring break for students has been extended through next week.
    • The spring semester will resume on Monday, March 23; however, classes will be provided strictly in online/remote/distance learning environments through at least Saturday, April 4.
    • We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will make a future decision regarding when in-person instruction may resume.
    • Faculty should use this time to prepare for online course delivery, which will begin on Monday, March 23. The University has launched an academic and business continuity site to assist faculty members and students in continuing their teaching and learning activities with minimal disruption.

    ON-CAMPUS HOUSING, DINING, AND ACTIVITIES
    • Residential colleges and designated dining facilities will remain open during this time, based on demand. However, students should consider whether their campus or permanent residence is the safest option during this time.
    • Any student who has visited China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, or Spain is not permitted to return to campus until they have completed a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine period. This remains consistent with earlier guidance.
    • Effective Monday, March 16, outside guests will not be permitted inside residential colleges.
    • University Libraries, the Shalala Student Center, the Herbert Wellness Center, Student Health Service, and the Counseling Center will remain open.
    • The University’s housekeeping services have increased the frequency and depth of cleaning and disinfection in all campus facilities. In addition, the University has placed additional hand-sanitizing stations throughout all campuses.

    FOR FACULTY AND STAFF
    • Outside of course instruction, all University operations will continue as normal, and faculty and staff are expected to maintain their normal work schedules and activities. This decision is consistent with guidance from public health agencies.
    • If you or a member of your household falls into one of the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC, such that you may be advised by a medical professional not to come to work, please contact Human Resources Management.
    • Faculty and staff are encouraged to practice social distancing and cough and sneeze etiquette, as well as follow CDC recommendations for handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer.

    EVENTS AND ATHLETICS COMPETITIONS
    • Effective Sunday, March 15, through at least Tuesday, March 31, all campus events or meetings with 50 of more attendees, including external events, are canceled, with limited exceptions.
    • Home athletics competitions will continue but without fans. This decision follows the NCAA decision yesterday to conduct the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments without fans.
    • Please refer to the University’s dedicated COVID-19 site for complete, up-to-date guidance on campus events and meetings.

    All of the measures outlined above are being done to reduce the potential for the spread of the coronavirus and are in the interest of the safety of our University community.

    The University has launched an expanded COVID-19 site with up-to-date guidance, advisories, and links to resources at coronavirus.miami.edu.

    The University has allocated funds and secured the necessary supplies and materials to ensure the continuity of operations and is implementing numerous measures to maintain a safe campus environment. Our dedicated COVID-19 task force, which has been meeting since January, continues to work diligently on this unprecedented situation.

    We recognize that these actions are disruptive, but they are guided by the recommendations of leading health officials and by our priority to safeguard the health and well-being of our community. We will continue to provide regular updates.

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 6 (March 11, 2020)

    Issued Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    To the University of Miami Community,

    We are writing to keep you updated on new developments in our response to the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While there remains a high level of uncertainty, it is absolutely clear that we, along with other universities, have a responsibility to institute new mitigation practices. We recognize that these actions may be disruptive, but our actions are guided by the recommendations of leading health officials and by our priority to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community.

    This email contains critical information and updates. Please take time to review it in its entirety.

    1. Classes will resume as scheduled on all University campuses on Monday, March 16.
    1. We are curtailing large University events and meetings, at least until March 31.
    • This policy does not pertain to classes or in-person academic instruction. (Additional information regarding classes can be found below.)
    • Effective Sunday, March 15, through Tuesday, March 31, all campus events or meetings with 50 of more attendees, including external events, are canceled, with the following exceptions:
      • University athletics events will follow NCAA, ACC, and State of Florida guidelines. At this time no changes have been made to scheduled athletics events.
      • Election polling on campus will continue. The Florida primary is scheduled for March 17.
    • Additional information on events occurring after April 1 will be communicated no later than March 25.
    • At this time, commencement activities to be held May 7, 8, and 9, will proceed as scheduled. Any changes to that schedule will be announced by April 15.
    1. We are preparing for the possibility of moving classes online, if necessary.
    • At this time, we are in alignment with current public health recommendations, which do not warrant a suspension of on-site learning at our campuses.
    • We are working with deans and faculty members to prepare for the possibility of remote and virtual instruction for some (or possibly all) courses. As the spread of the virus is fast-changing, we will update the community with more definitive guidance as needed.
    • Faculty should be prepared to test the delivery of course materials via online learning platforms on Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19.
    1. We are asking employees on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses (who are not part of the UHealth system) to work from home on Friday, March 13, as part of a practice test for staff to work remotely. While there are no reported cases in Miami-Dade County, the time to prepare is now.
    • Every major function of the University has contingency plans in place to ensure business continuity if a modified work schedule needs to be implemented in the future. Accordingly, on Friday, March 13, while students are on spring break, we are initiating a preparedness drill on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses to identify any operational issues that may arise so that potential interruptions can be addressed prior to activating these plans.
    • With the exception of Tier One employees who support critical functions that cannot be performed remotely, all employees not part of the UHealth system who are on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses are encouraged to use this Friday, March 13, as a work-from-home day. Coordination of this drill will be handled at the unit level, and supervisors are encouraged to discuss and set clear expectations with their employees.
    • This is a work-from-home day, not a stay-at-home day. The purpose for this exercise is to test systems of communication and other vital functions to ensure business continuity and to identify any issues that arise, so all employees must be working and accessible throughout normal working hours.
    1. We are asking all units and all researchers to update their continuity plans.
    • All units, including those engaged in research, are strongly encouraged to review and update continuity plans to minimize the impact to ongoing projects as a result of potential for future changes due to COVID-19. Visit www.miami.edu/UReady for additional guidance.
    1. All University-related international travel is prohibited. University-related domestic travel must receive prior approval by a supervising dean or vice president.
    • All travel, both international and domestic, by any employee who operates in or supports clinical care is prohibited to ensure appropriate staffing levels should situations warrant.
    • Any member of the University community who travels to or from China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, or Spain will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.
    • Students returning from these countries or areas must contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu; staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from these regions must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018 prior to coming to campus.
    • We also strongly discourage all members of the University community from any personal travel using mass transit (excluding localized mass transit, such as Metrorail or Tri-Rail).
    • Travel for University athletics will continue to follow NCAA and ACC guidelines.
    1. We are restricting guest access to residence halls.
    • Effective Monday, March 16, access to University residence halls will be limited to University students, staff, and faculty. Outside guests will not be permitted inside residence halls.
    • ’Cane Card access will be required to enter outside doors of the residential colleges at 5 p.m. daily, rather than 10 p.m., beginning on March 16.


    On Monday, March 9, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Florida. The designation allows the state to take proactive and effective measures to address the coronavirus outbreak. While there are 14 confirmed cases in Florida, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus among members of the University of Miami community or in Miami-Dade County.

    The situation remains fluid and University guidelines may evolve. We will continue to provide regular updates. This information, as well as prior University advisories and links to additional resources, can be found on the University’s designated coronavirus site at news.miami.edu/coronavirus.

    These updates are important not only for you, but also for your family, so we ask that you share this communication with parents and other family members as appropriate.

  • President Julio Frenk: A video message on spring break and coronavirus (March 6, 2020)

    Issued Friday, March 6, 2020



    University of Miami President Julio Frenk discusses spring break and the coronavirus outbreak. Get the latest information on University messaging, resources, and frequently asked questions at our dedicated website, http://news.miami.edu/coronavirus.

  • Provost Jeffrey Duerk: Message to faculty (March 5, 2020)

    Issued Thursday, March 5, 2020

    Dear Faculty:

    As we prepare for spring break, it is important that we directly address any misinformation about the University’s operational plans regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Apparently there are some unsubstantiated reports that classes will be canceled following spring break or that spring break will be extended. This is simply not true.

    At this time, based on the diligent work of the University’s coronavirus taskforces, there are no plans to cancel regularly scheduled classes or to close our campuses. Further, in the absence of any reported COVID-19 cases among the University and South Florida communities, we are taking proactive steps outlined in our recent communications available at news.miami.edu/coronavirus. This site contains the most up-to-date and accurate information for the University community and is the sole source on coronavirus information for students, faculty, and staff. The University’s social media platforms are also making sure everyone is aware of this website. Please make sure faculty, staff, and students are aware of the University’s latest communications and health advisories related to the coronavirus and promote this helpful site.

    I ask all of you to be nimble during this quickly-changing event and to be respectful of individual decisions made by students and academic peers as we continue to monitor this situation and to follow CDC guidelines, including their recommendations specific to higher education institutions. While we can’t predict the full scope and reach of the outbreak, spring break provides a window for faculty to consider and prepare for the potential impact the viral outbreak can have on our students and their families:

    • Our recent actions to suspend study abroad programs in affected areas and nonessential international university-sponsored travel to those places are both precautionary and prudent measures, with any future actions guided by the best science and policies and in close coordination with government and public health agencies.
    • Students are anxious, and we ask that the faculty be sensitive to and respectful of students’ personal health needs and that of their families.
    • Faculty members should work with students who miss class because of self-isolation that may be required to ensure they can continue their academic pursuits.
    • While there are no plans to close the University, we have been working on academic contingency planning since Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ recent presentation to the academic deans is promising and may serve as a model for other schools.
    • We are more than halfway through the semester. Use spring break as an opportunity to refresh and recharge.
    • Everyone should continue to follow good hygiene and responsible citizenship, which go a long way in controlling the spread of coronavirus.

    Much is still unknown about the coronavirus, but we are better served by being informed, taking safeguards, following guidelines, and remaining supportive of our students and colleagues.

    The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff remains our highest priority. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any questions.

    Sincerely,

    Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice President & Provost

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 4 (Feb. 28, 2020)

    Issued Friday, February 28, 2020

    To the University of Miami Community,

    The University of Miami continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and University leaders are planning for a broad range of contingencies. We wanted to share with you important information regarding spring break and University-affiliated travel.

    Following careful review of guidance from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), and out of an abundance of caution, the University is implementing the following updates to travel restrictions:

    • All University-affiliated travel to China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Iran is suspended, effective immediately.
    • The University strongly recommends that all students, staff, and faculty members avoid all personal travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea.
    • Any member of the University community who travels to or from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea is required to self-identify prior to returning to campus and will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Students returning from these countries must contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu; staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from these regions must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.

    In addition to these travel restrictions and previously announced actions, the University is implementing the following measures:

    • The University has suspended study abroad programs in Italy. All students enrolled in the Italy program are to return to their home locations in the United States or respective country by March 6, 2020.
    • Study abroad programs in China, Japan, and South Korea, scheduled to begin later this semester, also have been suspended.
    • The University is communicating directly with students in the impacted study abroad programs and is working with those students to ensure their safe return to the U.S. and to minimize disruption to their academic studies.
    • The Study Abroad office continues to work directly with students enrolled in global academic programs. Study abroad students who have questions should email studyabroad@miami.edu.

    As a reminder, all members of the University community traveling abroad to countries not restricted above as part of academic programs or University business must receive approval in advance and must register their travel information with International SOS.

    Public health advisories and health precautions can change with little notice. Anyone planning international travel should check the status of COVID-19 alerts and precautions at all destinations, including layovers, and continue to do so until their return to the U.S.

    Students who have questions about their return from countries affected by COVID-19 should contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu. University employees who have questions should contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.

    Official communications from the University regarding the COVID-19 outbreak can be found at news.miami.edu/coronavirus.

    Additional information about novel coronavirus:

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 3 (Feb. 26, 2020)

    Issued Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    To the University of Miami Community,

    Following careful review of guidance from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the University of Miami is implementing new travel guidance for Italy and South Korea, and is maintaining travel restrictions for China.

    At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus among members of the University of Miami community or in the state of Florida, and we do not believe that there is any immediate health risk to our campuses.

    Out of an abundance of caution, the University is implementing the following travel guidelines:

    Travel to Italy or South Korea:

    • The CDC has issued a level 2 travel alert for Italy, citing coronavirus and recommending travelers “practice enhanced precautions,” and a level 3 travel alert for South Korea, recommending that travelers “avoid all nonessential travel” to the country.
    • Consistent with these advisories, only essential University-affiliated travel to these countries will be permitted, and travel should be delayed if possible.
    • The University also strongly recommends that all students, staff, and faculty members avoid all nonessential personal travel to Italy or South Korea.
    • Any member of the University community who travels to Italy or South Korea, whether for University-affiliated or personal travel, is required to self-identify immediately upon return and may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Students returning from these countries must contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu; staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from these regions must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.


    Travel to China:

    • Consistent with a State Department advisory, the University has suspended all University-affiliated travel to China, effective Jan. 31.
    • All University-affiliated study abroad programs to China for the 2020 spring and summer semesters have been postponed and the Miami Herbert Business School’s March 2020 program in China has been canceled.
    • Consistent with both State Department and CDC guidance, the University also recommends that all students, staff, and faculty members avoid all nonessential personal travel to China.
    • Any member of the University community returning from China, whether for University-affiliated or personal travel, is required to self-identify immediately upon return. Students returning from China must contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu; staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from China must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.
    • Beginning Feb. 2, any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
    • Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in other parts of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo health screening at select ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine.


    As a reminder, all students, staff, and faculty members traveling abroad as part of academic programs or University business must receive approval in advance and must register their travel information with International SOS.

    Public health advisories and health precautions can change with little notice. Anyone planning international travel should check the status of COVID-19 alerts and precautions at all destinations, including layovers, and continue to do so until their return to the U.S.

    Students who have questions about their return from countries affected by COVID-19 should contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu. University employees who have questions should contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.

    The University continues to work closely with Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida to monitor the coronavirus situation and is following guidelines from the State Department, CDC, and WHO. As the situation evolves, additional travel restrictions may be implemented. Please continue to monitor updates from the University and public health agencies.

    Official communications from the University regarding the COVID-19 outbreak can be found at news.miami.edu/coronavirus.

    Additional information about novel coronavirus:

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 2 (Jan. 31, 2020)

    Issued Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

    To the University of Miami Community,

    We are writing with an update on the University of Miami’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The University is working closely with Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida to monitor this situation and is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

    At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus among members of the University of Miami community or in the state of Florida, and we do not believe that there is any immediate health risk to our campuses.

    The University of Miami Health System, UHealth, is following all CDC infection control recommendations to ensure the safety of all patients and staff, as well as to implement appropriate precautions for any patients who may arrive at UHealth facilities meeting the CDC screening criteria for the virus.

    The U.S. State Department on Thursday, Jan. 30, heightened its travel advisory for China, urging citizens not to travel there due to the rapid spread of coronavirus.

    Out of an abundance of caution, the University of Miami is implementing the following guidelines regarding travel to and from China:

    Travel to China:

    • Consistent with the State Department advisory, the University is suspending all University-affiliated travel to China, effective immediately.
    • All University-affiliated study abroad programs to China for the 2020 spring and summer semesters have been postponed and the Miami Herbert Business School’s March 2020 program in China has been canceled.
    • Consistent with both State Department and CDC guidance, the University also recommends that all students, staff, and faculty members avoid all nonessential personal travel to China.


    Travel from China:

    • Any student who has returned to the United States from China within the past 14 days must contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu.
    • Any staff or faculty member, or visiting scholar, who has returned to the United States from China within the past 14 days must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.
    • All travelers arriving in the U.S. from China are being screened for symptoms of novel coronavirus at 20 U.S. ports of entry, including Miami International Airport.


    As a reminder, all students, staff, and faculty members traveling on a University trip must register their travel information with International SOS before departing.

    Flu activity is high in the U.S. and is expected to continue for several weeks. Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider getting the vaccine. As always, we encourage any student who has health-related questions to contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu and to refer to the Student Health Service website for any updates. Staff and faculty members should contact their primary care provider with any health care questions.

    The University will notify students, staff, and faculty members if there is any immediate health threat to our campuses and will modify guidance as the situation warrants.

    Additional information about novel coronavirus:

  • Advisory: COVID-19 Update No. 1 (Jan. 27, 2020)

    Issued Monday, Jan. 27, 2020

    Health Advisory: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

    Public health agencies are closely monitoring developments around an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other locations, including the United States, where five cases in travelers from Wuhan have been confirmed in four states (Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington) as of Jan. 26, 2020.

    At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus among members of the University of Miami community or in the state of Florida, and we do not believe that there is any immediate health risk to our campuses.

    Student Health Service and other University partners are closely monitoring the situation and are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The University is taking precautions to identify cases as early as possible should they occur among members of the University community and continues to work in coordination with the Florida Department of Health and the CDC.

    If you have been to Hubei Province, China—or been in contact with someone who has—in the past two weeks and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

    The University will notify students, staff, and faculty members if there is any immediate health threat and will share information on the Student Health Service webpage as it becomes available.

    As a reminder, all students, staff, and faculty members traveling on a University trip must register their travel information with International SOS before departing.

    Flu activity is high in the U.S. and is expected to continue for several weeks. Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider getting the vaccine. As always, we encourage any student who has health-related questions to contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu and to refer to the Student Health Service website for any updates. Staff and faculty members should contact their primary care provider with any health care questions.

    Frequently asked questions about coronavirus

    What is Novel Coronavirus?  

    • The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. While the CDC considers this a serious public health concern, the immediate health risk from a coronavirus to the general American public is considered low at this time.

    What are the symptoms?  

    • Current symptoms reported for patients with 2019-nCoV have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

    How is it transmitted?  

    • According to the CDC, the virus likely emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person to person. It is not yet clear how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person to person.

    How is it prevented and treated?

    • Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against 2019-nCoV. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
      • 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, then throw the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    What travel guidance has been offered for those traveling to or from China?  

    • As of Jan. 27, 2020, the CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice recommending people avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan. The CDC has also issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for the rest of China. The notice advises travelers to other parts of China to protect their health by avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding animals (alive or dead) and animal markets, and washing their hands often.

    Additional information about 2019 Novel Coronavirus is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.