Feb. 27: Novel Coronavirus Update

Feb. 27: Novel Coronavirus Update

The following message was distributed to the CalArts community from CalArts President Ravi Rajan:

Dear CalArtians,

I am writing with an update on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and CalArts’ current actions and preparations. I want to assure you that CalArts is taking this international outbreak seriously and that we are monitoring the situation closely, working with the LA County Department of Public Health and receiving updates and information from the Center for Disease Control CDC and National Institute of Health. There are no confirmed cases of the virus at CalArts.

It is important for you to know that we have a very strong Infectious Disease Pandemic Response Plan and that we have leadership experienced in helping communities through infectious outbreaks. Associate Vice President Jesse Smith is working closely with other members of the leadership team to ensure we are taking steps now to keep the campus healthy and to prepare for future actions, if needed. He is meeting with key campus groups today and over the next few days including the Academic Council, Deans Council, Staff (via a previously scheduled emergency preparedness meeting), the Student Union, and Resident Assistants.

As a reminder, here are a few tips to prevent the spread of the flu and other infectious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick; and 
  • Practice healthy habits (get enough sleep, exercise, nutritious meals, liquids, etc.).

In addition, if you or a family member is experiencing flu-like symptoms, we ask that you stay home and that you communicate with your faculty and/or supervisor to make them aware of your situation.

Most major airlines continue to announce flight cancellations to and from outbreak-impacted areas such as China, South Korea, and Northern Italy. The list may expand in the days and weeks ahead. We urge you to review U.S. State Department travel warnings. In addition, if you have planned travel on behalf of CalArts to any of these locations in the coming months it is highly likely your plans may need to change. Provost Tracie Costantino and our Deans will be discussing how to navigate impacts on research, exhibitions, performances, recruiting, and other critical activities.

In line with our community’s values, it is also important for us to recognize that many people of Asian descent in the U.S. are facing stigma and discrimination based on misinformation and ignorance about the spread of the virus. Often individuals who have not had the influenza virus vaccine are required to wear masks in public settings to protect themselves. This is also true of individuals who have respiratory conditions or the common cold. To treat any member of our community differently based on race, ethnicity, gender or country of origin is discriminatory and does not represent the values of this community.

We take the health and wellness of our community very seriously. We will continue to provide updates via email and we will post communications and other information on calarts.edu.

Take good care,


Go to Coronavirus Information and Updates