March 5, 2020 

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community: 

The Colleges continue to monitor the latest information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and manage our campus response accordingly. While there are now several confirmed cases in State of New York, no members of the HWS community have been diagnosed and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes, “most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus….” However, because the circumstances surrounding the virus are rapidly evolving and more cases will likely be diagnosed in the coming days, appropriate precautions, planning and communication are essential. 

The working group of Hobart and William Smith staff — from the Offices of the President, Provost, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Deans, Campus Life and the Center for Global Education — is meeting daily to discuss developments and assess our plans going forward. We remain in constant contact with local healthcare service providers and local and state health departments, whose guidance shapes our precaution and response strategies. 

In accordance with HWS international travel policy, the Colleges will not sponsor travel to CDC-designated Level 3 sites, which at this time includes China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. Because of Italy’s designation as a Level 3 site, over the weekend we canceled our program there and have worked to get all students back to their homes in the United States. Those students and the faculty leading the program have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and will return to campus after spring break. 

We are working with other offices on campus including the Center for Teaching and Learning and IT Services to review how alternate teaching and learning methods might be employed in the event of cancelation of additional global education programs. 

We advise those traveling during spring break to exercise appropriate caution and consult the CDC’s COVID-19 travel information and U.S. State Department travel advisories related to COVID-19. If you become symptomatic during spring break, please do not to return to campus; first seek an assessment and advice from your local health care provider on how to proceed. As a reminder, students wishing to stay in Geneva for spring break can register for housing by visiting the myHousing portal. 

In the meantime, continue to practice good hygienestay home if you have flu-like symptoms and remember to stay apprised of the facts and help stop the spread of fear and rumors regarding the virus’ origin or transmission. 


Mary Coffey
Provost and Dean of Faculty

Robb Flowers
Vice President for Student Affairs

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Page
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Messages to the Community

Update on Fall Reopening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - June 24, 2020

HWS Return to Campus Update for Employees Sonya Williams - June 11, 2020

Fall 2020 Study Abroad by Mary Coffey and Thomas D’Agostino - June 5, 2020

Planning Underway for our Fall Opening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 28, 2020

Forward, Together by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 12, 2020

Using the CARES Act to Stay on Track for Graduation by John Young - May 12, 2020

Updates from Campus by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

An Update to Parents and Family Members of Admitted Students by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

Greetings from Human Resources by Sonya Williams - April 15, 2020

Grading for Spring 2020 Semester by Mary Coffey - March 30, 2020

Timeliness and Timelessness of an HWS Education by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 27, 2020

Introducing the HWS Student Emergency Fund by Julie Bazan ’93 and Rick Solomon ’75, P’10 - March 24, 2020

Staff Telework Resources by Sonya Williams - March 24, 2020

Message Regarding Commencement by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 20, 2020

Postponed: HWS Reunion by Bob O’Connor P’22 - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing by Robb Flowers - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing and Services by Robb Flowers - March 17, 2020

A Massive Natural Experiment by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 16, 2020

With Gratitude by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Face-to-Face Instruction Canceled by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 13, 2020

Follow-Up Note on Colleges’ Response to Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 11, 2020

From the Dean of Spiritual Engagement by The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd - March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Contingency Planning by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 10, 2020

An Update on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 5, 2020

Information on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - February 28, 2020


General questions and comments should be directed to:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Questions regarding health issues should be directed to:

Hubbs Health Center
119 St. Clair Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-781-3600
Appt. Phone: 315-781-4530
Fax: 315-781-3802