Statement from President French on the University’s Efforts Addressing Concerns about the Coronavirus


Dear CAU Family,
Clark Atlanta University is closely monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus, as additional cases are confirmed in the United States and abroad.  Due to the novel and rapidly evolving nature of this situation, I write to share that I have convened a Coronavirus Response Task Force comprised of University administrators and officials whose mission is to examine, establish and implement campus guidelines and procedures based on guidance issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), and the U.S. Department of State. 

Currently, there are no known or confirmed cases of coronavirus at Clark Atlanta University, the City of Atlanta or the State of Georgia.  However, the University’s newly formed task force will remain diligent in staying abreast of all updates issued by the relevant local, state and national public health authorities, working with sister Atlanta University Center institutions on coordinated efforts should the need arise, and responding promptly to all new developments that may impact the CAU community. 

Toward that end, following the recommendations of the CDC and the U.S. Department of State, the University has decided to cancel all University-sponsored travel of students to mainland China, South Korea, and several other countries identified as Level 3 and 4 countries on the U.S. Department of State’s website.  Caution has been recommended for those preparing to travel to Japan, Iran and other countries with significantly increasing caseloads.  As Spring Break approaches, the University strongly recommends that everyone reconsiders any current plans to engage in personal travel to significantly impacted countries. 

However, if you must travel to an impacted country, at a minimum, you should:

  • Avoid interaction with sick people.
  • Discuss international travel with your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you have traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, or another significantly impacted country in the last 14 days or feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, the CDC recommends that you:

  • Immediately seek care from a medical professional, being sure to call ahead and tell the medical professional about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with other people and animals.
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Refrain from traveling while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.

For additional information, please visit the following websites:

We recognize that this is an uncertain time and that some members of our community may be feeling anxious, particularly if they have family or friends in affected areas. Please rest assured that the task force will continue to monitor this situation and promptly update the campus community as more information comes available.


George T. French, Jr., Ph.D.



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