Dear Faculty and Staff,
You may be aware of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement today that non-life-sustaining businesses must cease physical operations, effective as of 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday), to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
While official guidance from the Governor’s Office is incomplete, we are working with outside counsel and others to better understand the implications of this latest announcement. Here is what we understand this to mean for Swarthmore College:
- We will continue to house and feed the students approved to remain in campus housing because they do not have a safe, off-campus alternative.
- Essential staff should continue to report to work. Based on consultation with outside counsel and various governmental contacts, as well as previous guidance from the Governor’s Office, we expect certain essential staff to continue to report to campus to ensure the physical safety and wellbeing of our facilities and our on-campus students.
Human Resources will soon share information regarding updated practices for staff members related to compensation, staff designations, leave time, and the maintenance of core College functions over the coming months. As we’ve shared in the past, the College remains committed to paying staff members their full base pay through the end of this semester, even if, given our drastically reduced operations, work is unavailable to them.
We recognize that, for many of us, this rapidly changing situation may lead to confusion and anxiety. We are working as hard as we can to decipher these latest guidelines and provide you with clear, timely communication. We remind you that we believe that the campus is no riskier than the surrounding area, and we continue to make every effort to protect those who need to be here.
We appreciate the deep commitment of our faculty and staff in this uncertain and rapidly evolving environment. Your care for our students, and for ensuring we can continue to provide for their success, is a testament to everything we hold dear.
COVID-19 Planning Group