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Message to Parents Re: COVID-19

Dear Swarthmore College Parents, Families, and Friends,

In light of the heightened awareness of the coronavirus (COVID-19), I am writing to provide a brief update on the College’s efforts around this situation. 

As we have communicated on several occasions to students and to the campus community broadly, there are no cases or even suspected cases of COVID-19 at the College. We have been closely monitoring the situation since January, and we continue to do so while also remaining in contact with various agencies, such as the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of State.

We are also in direct communication with students who are studying abroad (and their parents/families) to keep them apprised of the situation, both generally and specific to the geographic region in which they are studying.

As we have told students, anyone who wishes to stay on campus during spring break may do so; residence halls will remain open. We encourage students who have questions or concerns regarding changes to their spring break travel plans to speak with their dean or email

With spring break approaching, we have also reminded students of travel restrictions put in place by the U.S. government and the possibility for additional travel restrictions to arise without notice. You can view a list of the State Department’s latest travel advisories here. We will continue to keep the campus community updated on any new and relevant developments. We also encourage you to stay up to date on the latest information about COVID-19 using resources such as the CDC and the World Health Organization.

Members of the College’s senior leadership and Emergency Response and Operations teams are actively engaged in planning around issues related to COVID-19. It is important to underscore that we do not want to cause unnecessary alarm around this situation, but rather we seek to be as proactive as possible in preparing for any potential impact that COVID-19 might have on the College.   

Thank you,

Jim Terhune