Coronavirus Update
from the IMSA President
MARCH 17, 2020
Dear IMSA Community,

Welcome to an additional communication tool. From time to time, I will send an update on what is happening at IMSA. Unlike my Personal Reflections, these updates will be matters of fact to provide you with important and timely information. However, many of you know me well enough to know that I will intersperse something personal in these. 

During this unprecedented public health crises, I want to reiterate the importance of protecting yourself from getting and spreading COVID-19. I know you have heard this before, but I am amazed that people are still not following some basic precautions.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice social distancing and put at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people.
  • It's fine to walk, hike, etc., but stay away from others. It's not time to visit family, unless doing so virtually. I just talked to my mom in Puerto Rico using WhatsApp video.
  • When you shop for your groceries, or visit the store when you believe it will be the least crowded, maintain your distance from others.

Please see the latest news and resources related to the Coronavirus outbreak below. More information will be coming soon. Finally, enjoy spring break and the opportunity to spend time with family.

Respectfully,

José M. Torres, Ph.D.
President
Coronavirus Spread Snapshot
As of 4:40 p.m. 3/16/2020, 12 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Illinois. The outbreak now totals 105 cases in 15 counties in the state.

Current Information
The IMSA campus is closed through April 13, 2020. All events are cancelled during the closure period. Remote working is in place and remote learning begins Thursday, March 26 after an extended spring break for students. The outbreak is evolving and this information may change rapidly as warranted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, citing the risk of the coronavirus.

I am declaring a State of Emergency (CSOE) along with the establishment of our Emergency Management Team (EMT) and additional Command Staff positions (Public Information Officer, Safety Officer, Liaison Officer, etc.). IMSA will follow our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) moving forward.

IMSA students, Dr. Carmen Ayala, State Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education, assured me that IMSA students, age 18 and under, can pick up meals/food at their local neighborhood schools.
Pending Information
Decisions on the following are pending:

  • IMSAloquium
  • Prom
  • Student Leadership Exchange (SLX)
  • IMSA Alumni Awards
Resources
Information Sharing