Dear campus community,
I want to update you on precautionary steps we are taking at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the Institute of Agriculture in response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
There has not been a confirmed case of COVID-19 on our campus. However, a case has been confirmed in Tennessee, and it is unlikely that UT Knoxville or any other college campus will be able to avoid the impacts of the virus. Because of this, we have set up our Emergency Operations Center and I have been meeting with our senior leadership team to consider the latest updates and plan for future scenarios.
Below are the precautionary steps we are taking to help ensure the safety and well-being of our Volunteer community. The most important thing each of us can do to protect ourselves and those around us is to stay home if we are feeling sick.
We have consolidated all information related to the university’s response to COVID-19 at utk.edu/coronavirus. We will continue to update the site with new information and FAQs.
International Travel Restrictions
Beginning immediately, the university is suspending all outgoing university-related international travel. This includes travel related to teaching, research or grant activity, internships, conferences and presentations, performances, and athletics.
If you have plans for university-related international travel in March, you are expected to cancel it. University-related international travel beyond March is suspended indefinitely.
We also strongly encourage you to curtail personal international travel. If you are currently overseas and will be returning in the coming weeks, you must contact your supervisor before returning to campus and follow all CDC guidelines.
The university will reimburse employees for expenses associated with an international business trip that has been canceled due to COVID-19 for which they cannot receive reimbursement through other means.
All university-sponsored spring break international travel has been canceled, and all costs not covered by travel insurance will be reimbursed for impacted students, faculty, and staff. Study abroad sessions in Italy and Japan that will depart before June 15 are also canceled. Sessions in China and South Korea have already been canceled.
Please be mindful of domestic travel and bringing visitors to campus. Governor Bill Lee announced Tennessee’s first confirmed case today, and other parts of the country have declared states of emergency as they work to contain the COVID-19. Please stay at home and don’t travel if you have respiratory symptoms.
In addition, many conferences and events around the country have been canceled. The university will reimburse employees for expenses associated with a domestic business trip that has been canceled due to COVID-19 for which they cannot receive reimbursement through other means.
I understand that some of these restrictions may cause hardship, and I appreciate your cooperation.
Our leadership team will continue to monitor the spread of the virus in Tennessee and beyond and will make the decisions we believe will best protect the health and well-being of our community.