Gallaudet and Clerc Center communities:

We are aware of a rumor that there is a case of COVID-19 on campus. Please know that the facts do not support this rumor. We are committed to providing you with factual information and keeping you informed at all times of the facts as we know them.

I will conduct an online town hall meeting on Wednesday, March 11 at noon Eastern Time to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and Gallaudet’s response. The town hall meeting will be live-streamed at http://www.gallaudet.edu/gallaudet-video-library/live-streaming. At that time, we will answer any questions the community may have. Until then, I ask for your patience.

We are fortunate to have on our faculty Dr. Rosanne Rushing, director of our undergraduate public health program. Dr. Rushing has been an invaluable ally as we navigate this “new normal” with coronavirus here and across the world.

Dr. Rushing stated that coronavirus, or COVID-19, is receiving much attention in the news and social media, and that it is important to work from the facts. She reiterated what President Cordano said, that there are no reported cases of COVID-19 on campus. She also said that the incidence of COVID-19 is low, both here and elsewhere. You can continue to protect yourself through regular hand-washing, use of hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distance from others. If you feel sick, stay home and contact your health care provider.

We are working on our plans to address the spread of coronavirus. These plans will be communicated as soon as possible. For now, I would like to share with you some guiding principles that have helped us navigate this fast-moving situation.

  1. We are all in this together, and must come together and provide support to one another, as one community. Our commitment is to work together, to work from facts and accurate information, and to follow best preventive practices to keep ourselves healthy.
  2. Second, our decisions will be guided by the health and safety of our community, from our children to our students, to our staff, faculty, and our volunteers.
  3. We continue to be committed to our academic offerings to our students of all ages, which includes continuity in teaching and research.
  4. We are committed to taking whatever measures are necessary to slow down the spread of COVID-19. We must all do our part to ensure our individual and collective health and safety.
  5. We are committed to ensuring that this situation will not impact some people more than others.
  6. We pledge that we will communicate often, straightforwardly, and accurately, and will ensure continued language vibrancy by providing information in both American Sign Language and English. To this end, we have created an email account, coronavirus@gallaudet.edu, to which you may direct your questions. We are committed to responding to all inquiries as expeditiously as possible.
  7. We want to emphasize this is a “new normal” for our world. We will respond to this rapidly-changing situation thoughtfully and carefully, using the expertise we have here. This is something that we do well. Our commitment at Gallaudet is to adapt and change as we learn this “new normal.”

Finally, please do not panic. Stay calm and support one another. Staying calm, and reassuring and supporting those who may be anxious, will help us be more thoughtful in our response.

Thank you. I look forward to seeing you at tomorrow’s town hall meeting.

Sincerely,

Roberta J. Cordano
President