News 2020: March 5th message from Chancellor Johnson on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
March 5th message from Chancellor Johnson on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Chancellor Johnson shares updates on the latest coronavirus planning and procedures

COVID-19 Update

Dear campus community,

As noted in my prior communications, the coronavirus situation moves at a brisk pace. I ask that everyone remain flexible during these complex times.

I, alongside UMass President Meehan and my fellow UMass Chancellors, agreed with Governor Baker’s call to review university-funded trips abroad.

UMass Dartmouth has updated our policies accordingly:

  • All upcoming University-organized international trips for student groups are canceled until further notice.
  • University-approved travel for faculty and staff to CDC Level 3 countries (currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) is banned until further notice.
  • Requests for University-approved travel to Level 2 countries (currently Japan) is discouraged, and will require case-by-case approval through the International Advisory Council’s Risk Management Committee by contacting Michael LaGrassa.

Spring break is almost here and some of you plan to travel. Before you pack your bags, it is critical to:

  • Evaluate your travel plans daily per the latest CDC guidelines.
  • Log your trip, no matter if it is domestic or abroad, in our travel registry system Terra Dotta. This allows the University to help you in the event your location experiences worsening conditions.

While only the countries listed above are currently under CDC travel warnings, this could change at a moment’s notice. If the destination you have traveled to is deemed a CDC Level 3 country while you are there, you will not be allowed back on campus until completing a 14-day self-quarantine.

The University has decided to keep all residence halls open during spring break to accommodate any student who may need to cancel or change their travel plans. Housing and Residential Education has reached out to all students with this offer.

I once again want to stress the need for flexibility and patience as we deal with this situation together. We must be agile and able to adapt to the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Please review the sources below for more information:

I have been tremendously impressed by the calm, coordinated, and compassionate response and commitment from our community during this evolving situation.

With gratitude,


Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.