SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) says it is taking crucial steps Thursday to stop coronavirus from spreading farther.
Self-quarantine policies are now in effect for students who travel to certain international countries.
SCAD students sent News 3 an email from David Blake, SCAD Savannah’s dean of students, in which he says the following:
If you choose to travel to mainland China, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or South Korea, you will not be permitted to return to a SCAD location until further notice, based on current recommendations from the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control. “Dean Blake
“If you send an email like that, it’s kinda overdoing stuff,” said a Chinese international student at SCAD who did not want to be identified.
Michelle Gavin, SCAD’s executive director of communications, says the school is following recommendations put forth by the US State Department and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
According to the CDC’s website, American citizens returning from China will undergo health screenings.
Anyone with signs and symptoms of the illness — which include fever, cough or difficulty breathing — will have an additional health assessment.
Officials may monitor certain travelers, limit their movements or limit their contact with others up to 14 days after their return, according to the agency’s website.
SCAD says it will now require students to ‘self-quarantine’ for 14 days after they return from any of the CDC Level 1, 2 or 3 countries.
Gavin says self-quarantine means that students will not be permitted inside dorms or in classrooms for 14 days after their return to the United States. But she says at that point, students will have missed too much class to stay enrolled at the school.
Gavin says school policy prohibits students from missing more than four classes.
“If they really want this to settle down, they should start to sanitize the buildings right now. It’s not about coronavirus. It’s about the flu right now,” said one third-year SCAD student.
SCAD says the university is taking these precautions to protect its 15,000 students and to prepare for more restrictions from the CDC.
Furthermore, SCAD is encouraging its students to avoid any international travel “for the remainder of the academic year, including during spring break.”
“We acknowledge that this is a stressful time worldwide; university officials continue to monitor this evolving global public health situation,” said Gavin.
In Hong Kong, SCAD students are taking classes online. The university’s building was closed last month and will remain closed until the end of the Spring quarter.
All SCAD study abroad programs in Hong Kong have been temporarily suspended.
Gavin says international students who are starting a new program in late March still have time to come to the United State and self-quarantine before the first day of classes.
SCAD says counseling is available to students through the Offices of Counseling and Student Support Services.
Read SCAD’s full statements below: