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March 4 Update from the President

President's Email Header with Villanova seal

Dear Members of the Villanova Community:

As spring break comes to a close, I wanted to provide you with an update regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the preventative measures we are taking to protect the health and safety of our University community.

As you are aware, the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the world, with approximately 77 countries now affected. In the US, there are a number of states with confirmed COVID-19 cases. We are working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and our local county health department, and we are continually monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The University’s emergency preparedness team is meeting regularly and is carefully monitoring the spread of COVID-19 at home and abroad. The team is also creating contingency plans for various scenarios and will put these plans into action should they become necessary.

Student, Faculty and Staff Overseas Travel/Return to Campus

Villanova students studying abroad in Italy have returned home and were instructed not to return to campus for 14 days as they monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. University staff is in close contact with our study abroad partners around the world and will make determinations about bringing additional students home from our other study abroad sites.

For all students, faculty or staff who have traveled to a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country (as of today: Japan, Italy, China, Iran and South Korea) for any reason in the last two weeks, we are instituting the following precautions:

  • You must self-monitor at home for 14 days before returning to campus. You will be allowed to return to campus after a 14-day monitoring period. During this time, you should monitor yourself for symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • You must call the Student Health Center at 610-519-4070 to review recent travel history and receive guidance regarding your self-monitoring period and return to campus.
  • If you develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever (100.4 F), continue to stay home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (approximately three feet) with other people, including family members.
  • If you develop symptoms during the 14-day monitoring period, call your primary care physician’s office or contact your local health department and provide details of your recent travel and symptoms to determine if further medical care is needed.

After spring break, if any student is not feeling well, he/she should immediately call the Student Health Center (open 24/7) to make an appointment. For any faculty or staff member who becomes ill, we ask you to be in contact as soon as possible with your primary care physician.

On-Campus Health & Safety

Even though the risk of the virus spreading to the University community remains low, we are taking measures to ensure as best we can that our campus is protected. These measures include:

  • Proactively refilling all hand sanitizer stations located throughout campus.
  • All common areas, lounges, bathrooms and lobbies in academic buildings, residences and dining halls have been disinfected using Clorox 360, an electrostatic sanitizing system.
  • Bathroom trash cans have been relocated next to the doors so they can be opened with paper towels after handwashing.

As another reminder, you can reduce the risk of spreading respiratory viruses like COVID-19 by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not share any food, drinks, cups, utensils, etc.
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not have contact with others.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of illness, visit the CDC website and its prevention page, or the WHO’s prevention page.

Villanova Information Updates

We will continue to provide updates to all faculty, staff, students and their families as needed. Additional information and communication on the coronavirus can be found on our Student Health Center’s website. For any questions, please contact the Student Health Center at 610-519-4070 or via email at

We understand this is an unsettling situation as new information emerges on a daily basis. Please know we are doing everything we can at Villanova to protect the health and well-being of our community members here on campus and abroad, and we urge you do to your part as well.



President's signature

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA