Guidance for Institutes of Higher Education

Plan, prepare, and respond to coronavirus disease 2019

College students with university in the background.

Specific Guidance for Higher Education

NEW: Updated guidance now includes school closure decision tree.
  • Make hand cleaning supplies readily available.
  • Encourage students and staff to stay home if sick.
  • Monitor absenteeism.
  • Plan for digital and distance learning.
  • Plan for continuity of safe housing for students and staff.
  • Plan ways to continue student services such as meal programs for dismissals.
  • Assess ways to increase physical space between students and limit interactions.
  • Be prepared to temporarily dismiss or close schools and cancel events.
    • Short-term dismissals for cleaning and contact tracing if you have a case.
    • Longer dismissals if you have substantial spread in your area.
  • Work with your local health department for guidance on closures and re-openings.

At all times…

  1. Encourage your staff or community members to protect their personal health.

  2. Post the signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
    fever, cough, shortness of breath.

  3. Encourage people to stay home when sick.

  4. Clean surfaces that are frequently touched – things such as shared desks, countertops, kitchen areas, electronics, and doorknobs.

  5. Limit events and meetings that require close contact.

  6. Stay up to date on developments in your community.

  7. Create an emergency plan for possible outbreak.

  8. Assess if community members are at higher risk and plan accordingly.

During an outbreak in your area

  1. Send home or separate anyone who becomes sick.
  2. If you identify a case, inform people who might have been exposed.
  3. Continue to safely clean and disinfect the person's area.
  4. Connect with your local health departmentexternal icon.

  5. Cancel large meetings or events.
  6. Put your infectious disease outbreak plan into action.