COVID-19 - Campus Safety - Christopher Newport University

Campus Safety


Christopher Newport University administrators and health and safety experts are monitoring COVID–19 developments, meeting regularly and following the university’s policies and protocols. We receive frequent updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Public Health (VDH).

Official Communications from the Administration

From the Director of Emergency Management emailed to students, faculty and staff.

As you return from spring break, here is the latest on the university’s response to COVID–19 (known as the coronavirus).

We have no indication that anyone connected with the university has contracted the virus. Because the situation is constantly changing, we are taking precautions to protect the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Members of the Christopher Newport community are required to follow CDC guidelines and self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus if they have traveled to or through a Warning Level 3 notice area (currently Italy, South Korea, China and Iran).

University-sponsored travel by students, staff and faculty to CDC Warning Level 3 notice areas (currently Italy, South Korea, China and Iran) is prohibited.

Carefully consider any decision to travel anywhere that has been or may become a designated Level 3 location. The 14-day self-isolation period will be required before you can return to campus if the CDC’s travel notice areas change.

If you are a student and have flu-like symptoms, call University Health and Wellness Services weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (757) 594–7661, or the 24-hour Riverside Nurse at Riverside Regional Medical Center at (757) 595–6363.

If you are a faculty or staff member, call your primary care physician or the Riverside Nurse at (757) 595–6363.

Riverside cannot answer questions about class attendance, quarantines and other university-specific issues.

In the days immediately ahead, please be mindful of your health and the safety of those around you. All the standard rules apply:

  • Faculty, staff and students who are sick should not go to class or work.
  • Wash your hands frequently (the CDC recommends washing for 20 seconds).
  • Do not share water bottles.
  • Keep your work and living spaces as clean as possible.

While our housekeeping staff does a remarkable job, your efforts (and cleaning supplies for your office or room) will help prevent the spread of illness.

Here is a March 5, 2020 status report on other actions taken by the university:

  • A spring break study abroad trip to Italy was successfully rerouted to England.
  • Staff members have taken additional steps to clean and disinfect heavily used spaces, including common areas in residence halls and dining facilities.
  • A webpage is now available at and includes answers to questions we have received from parents, students and colleagues.

If you have questions about the university’s plans and response, we urge you to first read the FAQs on the website. If you don’t find the answer there, contact the appropriate on-campus office or Jim Hanchett, chief communications officer, at (757) 594–7699, or Tammy Sommer, director of emergency management, at (757) 594–7428.

When warranted, updates will be posted on, and on the university’s social media channels.

We look forward to a safe conclusion of the semester and ask for your help and vigilance to make that possible. Together, we can surmount this challenge. Go Captains!

From the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students emailed to students and posted on Facebook

Greetings everyone,

Can you believe we're only days away from Spring Break? This semester sure does fly by, and before you know it we 'll be in exams and then graduation will be here. I sure hope you seniors are checking off memorable opportunities from your “bucket list” before your big day. I have a few things (I promise just a few) to share about Spring Break, being safe and healthy, and so I ask that you just take a minute to peruse this note.

No doubt many of you are about to head out of town by the end of this week (and yes, we know a few of you are gonna try and sneak out of here even earlier). Some of you are going to use this time to interview for grad school opportunities or internship and summer employment positions. Good luck to all of you, and be sure to touch base with your faculty members and the Center for Career Planning if you need some last-minute tips, reminders, or just positive vibes as you put yourself out there. Remember, all of those possibilities are "mutual-match", which means it not only has to be right for the grad school or employer, but also for you. You 'll find the right one, and you 'll be glad that you did.

Some of you are spending your break on service outings or similar adventures to help others. You will certainly have a meaningful week away from campus that will have an impact on you as much it will on those in a different community. Be sure to learn…about yourself and about folks with different backgrounds or from different parts of the you make the most of the week.

Certainly, there will be more than a handful of you that are leaving for a well-deserved respite. Maybe you 're headed home or to see family and friends. Others of you are gearing up for a Spring Break adventure that you 've been planning for a while; I 'm sure the anticipation is high (but please try to focus on classes the rest of the week). Regardless of what your plans are for Spring Break, be safe. Take your time getting to your destination and back to campus at the end of the week. You 're all very important to us, so get the rest you need before heading out on your adventures.

Some of you may be planning an excursion to an exotic locale, maybe a cruise, maybe some time in the sun. Prepare smartly with your group and always do things together. By the way, sunscreen is really ok. Water is a healthy way to quench your thirst. Resting up, sleeping in, and relaxing are all acceptable. It is a vacation after all, not a contest to see how much you can cram into a short amount of time.

Regardless of your plans, you also need to remember it is flu season. You 're likely to interact with a lot of folks. Follow the appropriate guidelines for disinfecting, hand washing, avoidance of public surfaces, etc. The CDC Flu Prevention recommendations are pretty straightforward and worth a look. Some of you may have some extensive plans and while it may be unlikely that you are headed to an area or in a situation related to the coronavirus that you 've heard about, you should heed the CDC traveler advice for coronavirus. Please know that the university continues to actively monitor the coronavirus situation; we will post relevant updates on the CNU Alert website, so be sure to check there regularly. So you 're aware, there are no confirmed cases of this virus in Virginia or the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

Enough for now as I promised to keep it short. Just remember, be smart and be safe. We want all of you to come back to us after break healthy, happy, and ready for a great finish to the semester.

Kevin Hughes

Frequently Asked Questions

Health and safety personnel are in regular contact with the VDH and continue to monitor events related to COVID–19. Additionally, the university is taking steps in residence halls and other buildings to prevent the transmission of bacteria that could result in the flu and other illnesses.

We will follow CDC and VDH guidance. Our priority is to get appropriate medical attention to ill individuals while taking measures to prevent the spread of the illness.

No. The CDC does not recommend use of face masks in the U.S. at this time for those who are well.

The CDC does recommend the following:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Wash hands regularly (CDC guidelines recommend washing for 20 seconds)
  • Avoid touching public surfaces
  • Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Seek medical care if feeling ill

It is cold and flu season. Do not assume that someone who is sick or wearing a mask has coronavirus. Individuals may choose to wear a mask for a variety of reasons, and may wear one even when they do not have a respiratory illness.

If you are a student and have flu-like symptoms, call University Health and Wellness Services weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (757) 594-7661, or the 24-hour Riverside Nurse at Riverside Regional Medical Center at (757) 595-6363.

If you are a faculty or staff member, call your primary care physician or the Riverside Nurse at (757) 595-6363).

The CDC recommends you call before visiting any medical office or hospital in person.

University Health and Wellness Services

Freeman Center
First Floor

(757) 594-7661
(757) 594-8853 (fax)
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Encourage anyone who is feeling ill to contact their health care provider. As a general precaution, anyone who is feeling ill should not come to work or attend classes or university events.

Students on a spring break trip to Italy were rerouted to England. A summer trip to Rome and Bologna, Italy, is under review. No other alterations have been made to summer study abroad trips at this time. 

Semester-abroad students attending externally managed programs in Italy and South Korea have either had their trips canceled or have been given the option to return to the U.S. and finish courses remotely from their home.

Dining Services is taking many steps to prevent the spread of infection, including reducing the number of self-serve options and replacing them with staff assistance. For example, To control cross-contact, staff will individually plate hot food from the service lines. We appreciate the patience of our patrons as we implement these measures.

Employees who obtained approved travel priors and booked airline or rail tickets, conference registration fees or hotel accommodations should first pursue obtaining a full refund from the vendors. If only a partial refund can be obtained documentation must be submitted to substantiate the initial cost and the reduced refund received in order to be reimbursed for the difference.

In the instance of airfare or rail tickets where the vendor supplies a voucher to be used by the traveler at a later date, the original documentation of cost and a copy of the voucher must be submitted to the Business Office in order to obtain full reimbursement. The original voucher must be given to your departmental admin so that it may be used for future business travel.

Please contact Andrea Moore at (757) 594-7214 or Erin Gray at (757) 594-7293 with questions.

quick edit report a problem