DATE: March 13, 2020 at 10:00 am
TO: Students, Faculty, and Staff

FROM: Dr. Richard Nelson, President

Late yesterday afternoon we received additional guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Administration. The guidance focuses on “Events and Large Gatherings” and on Travel. Given that this is an especially a popular travel period for Northwoods residents, I want to share some additional information with you.

With regard to international travel:

In yesterday’s message I said: “we ask in the strongest possible terms that anyone returning from travel in a CDC Level III area ( self-quarantine for 14 days immediately upon return. Please note that as of tomorrow, this includes twenty-nine European countries. Supervisors will work with HR to make return to work arrangements on a case-by-case basis.”

As of today, all Nicolet College employees travelling to CDC level III countries (1) must inform their supervisor prior to travel, (2) will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return before returning to the workplace, and (3) will need to make return-to-work arrangements with their supervisor in consultation with HR and Risk Management.

With regard to domestic travel

“The WI Department of Health Services has issued guidance on domestic travel. In part, it says:

DHS recommends against all non-essential travel to any U.S. state where the CDC deems there is “sustained community transmission” of COVID-19. As of March 11, 2020, the CDC has determined sustained community transmission is occurring in the states of California, New York, and Washington. This situation is rapidly evolving, and travelers should refer to the list of “States Reporting Cases of COVID-19 to CDC” on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. webpage for the most current list of states where CDC determines that sustained community transmission is occurring. (Click the + sign under the map to see a table that reports CDC’s assessment of community transmission in the far right column.)”

“For all travelers returning to Wisconsin from U.S. states where the CDC has determined that sustained community transmission is occurring, DHS recommends that those individuals self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever and cough). The DHS COVID-19 webpage provides instructions on how to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms.”

You can review the DHS travel guidance in its entirety here:

Please note the following:

  1. As of today, Nicolet College is not requiring, but is strongly recommending (per DHS guidance, above) that travelers returning from California, Washington and/or New York self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.
  2. If you are travelling to one of these states, please work with your supervisor on a return-to-work plan. We do not want any employee to face choosing between doing what is right for community health and safety and earning a pay check, and will work with all employees to avoid that situation.
  3. Our strong recommendation in #1 above could become mandatory at any time, even while you are away.
  4. Any state could be added to the list of states with sustained community transmission (CA, NY, WA) at any time, even while you are away. At present, the states most likely to be added because they now have relatively higher numbers of reported cases include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas.

Here are two additional web resources for your reference:

CDC recommendations on travel within the US
COVID-19 in the US (updated daily)
Thank you for staying informed and for your cooperation. A web page with the most current advice and information will be up later today, and we will continue to make decisions in accordance with the best guidance available from infectious disease professionals and government agencies.

Richard Nelson, President
Nicolet College