October 24, 2014
The following message was distributed to all students, faculty, and staff on October 24, 2014. For more information, please view a list of Common Questions about the Ebola virus.
Dear members of the Barnard community:
The College is closely monitoring information and recommendations regarding the Ebola virus, particularly in light of yesterday’s news about one confirmed case in New York City. While public health officials warn that we can expect more cases in the U.S., they continue to be confident that the robust health care infrastructures in the U.S. will limit the spread. In an effort to protect the safety and well-being of our community, Barnard is following all protocols and guidelines provided by the American College Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOH). Additionally, Barnard’s Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness Programs and the College’s Emergency Management Committee are working closely with Columbia’s Ebola Preparedness Working Group, a sub-committee of the Emergency Management Operations Team, to ensure that our procedures are coordinated and thorough.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, Barnard is restricting college related travel to affected countries, effective immediately. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning (the highest level of warning), urging all U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. The CDC has issued specific advice to universities, advising that all education-related travel to these countries be postponed until further notice:
CDC’s recommendations against non-essential travel, including education-related travel, are intended to help control the outbreak and prevent continued spread in two ways: to protect the health of U.S. residents who would be traveling to the affected areas and to enable the governments of countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring to respond most effectively to contain the outbreak.
Accordingly, all Barnard students, faculty, and staff must avoid college-related travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Students will not receive credit or funding for activities involving travel in these countries, and student groups are not permitted to visit any of them. The College also strongly discourages personal travel to affected countries.
A community-wide message about Ebola was sent in early September, requesting that any member of the Barnard community who has traveled to the affected countries contact the College for information on CDC guidelines and protocols. For continued diligence, we are once again reiterating this request. If any Barnard student, faculty member or staff person has travelled to any of these countries since September 25, they must contact the College immediately and preferably before returning to campus by calling the following offices:
In accordance with CDC guidelines, any person returning from the affected areas should isolate his/herself for 21 days. Primary Care Health Services and Human Resources can provide more information on the CDC’s requirements.
If any Barnard student, faculty member or staff person has plans to travel to these areas for personal reasons in the future, they must inform the College in advance of the travel as well as before returning to campus by contacting the following offices:
For answers to commonly asked questions about the Ebola virus prepared by Columbia’s Emergency Management Operations Team, please go to the following link:
For more information on the CDC's ongoing monitoring of the situation, please go the following link:
For more information on the local level from the NYCDOH, please go to the following link:
Linda Bell, Provost
Robert Goldberg, Chief Operating Officer
Mary Joan Murphy, Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness Programs