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Social Distancing Updates

March 16, 2020

In light of the current situation with COVID-19 in New Orleans, Tulane University is implementing updated social distancing guidelines effective immediately. The number of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana has more than tripled since Friday, March 13, and the majority of these cases are in New Orleans. THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING CANNOT BE OVERSTATED AT THIS TIME.

Social distancing is a best practice recommendation of health professionals to prevent or slow the spread of a virus by human-to-human transmission. Social distancing is used to reduce risk of exposure, but is not the equivalent of quarantine where you are completely secluded. These guidelines and recommendations require some personal judgement to implement.

Social distancing is applicable to all members of the Tulane community, whether student, staff, faculty or administration, and whether full-time, part-time, temporary, or contracted services. Social distancing means you should not be in close proximity to others; you should maintain at least a six-foot distance from other individuals. Whenever possible you should be at home.

Today, the Governor announced that all bars, movie theaters, and casinos will be closed, and restaurants are limited to take-out, delivery, and drive-thru only. These restrictions will be in place until at least April 13. The gravity of this situation and the need to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of this virus is critical.

Tulane Guidelines:

1. No events, meetings, or gatherings are permitted that have 10 or more individuals. Individuals need to maintain a six-foot distance from others.

  • This is applicable to ALL members of the Tulane community, whether student, staff, faculty or administration, and whether full-time, part-time, temporary, or contracted services.
  • This is applicable for all students, both on and off campus. IF STUDENTS HOST OR ATTEND HOUSE PARTIES THEY WILL FACE STUDENT CONDUCT CHARGES AND MAY BE SUSPENDED. Your actions will have consequences. Do not put the public’s health and safety at risk because you want to party. This is a grave situation and any actions that put your health and safety or the health and safety of others at risk will NOT be tolerated.

2. All non-essential university related travel is cancelled. Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the Provost and COO. You are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary personal travel.

3. In-person classes ceased 3/13/2020 and will be moved online beginning March 23, 2020.

  • SSW DSW classes will meet remotely March 21 and 22
  • EMBA classes will meet remotely March 21 and 22

Effective Monday, March 16:

  • Flexible work arrangements are being implemented for staff wherever possible.
  • The Commons is only open to Tulane faculty, staff, and students.
  • At 5:00 PM all Tulane libraries will be closed to all but critical staff. These staff will be working to ensure continuity of services online and will only be on site as long as is necessary to do so.
    Students who need access to the library because they do not have a computer or course-specific computer programs need to email Erica Woodley (ewoodley@tulane.edu) as soon as possible so accommodations can be arranged.

Additional recommendations:

  • Avoid sharing drinks or food with others.
  • Use disposable cups and utensils and dispose of them after use.
  • Avoid close contact with others, including handshakes and hugs.
  • Reduce face-to-face exposure by using telephone/conference calls, email, and videoconferencing as much as possible.
  • Avoid others if you are sick or experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.


Robin Forman
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Patrick Norton
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer