Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources


Last updated: March 30, 2020

As we receive updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus Disease 2019, we want to keep you informed as well.
We encourage you to visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information available. Ensuring that you are taking the right sanitary precautions is a very important step in the prevention of any flu-like illness. For this particular virus, washing your hands is of the upmost importance.
Another key resource is NAFSA’s (Association of International Educators) website, which provides details on critical updates, travel notices, and how international education is being affected.

If you have a question that is not addressed in the comprehensive information below, please call our COVID-19 hotline at 703-284-5782 or email

CDC information and recommendations:

  • COVID-19 is present globally, and a pandemic has been declared by the World Health Organization’s (WHO).
  • The general population in the United States, which is unlikely to have been exposed at this time, is considered to have a low immediate risk. Currently, the goal is to contain the spread of the virus and the impact of the virus globally.
  • COVID-19 is a respiratory disease similar to influenza. Individuals should take everyday preventative measures and take antiviral medication if prescribed. However, there is currently no vaccine or treatment for the illness.
  • If you are ill, you are advised to stay home, avoid travel, and wear a mask when outside the home. Avoid taking ibuprofen products if you have COVID-19 symptoms, which can make the virus worse. It is best to take acetaminophen as directed.

Marymount plan:

  • Marymount is closely monitoring the course of COVID-19. Recommendations from the CDC, World Health Organization, and Virginia Department of Health are being implemented as received. We are also participating in weekly discussions with the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area in order to jointly monitor coronavirus developments on campuses throughout the region.
  • We are tailoring our existing communicable disease protocol to COVID-19 scenarios. This plan includes contingencies for single cases on campus, as well as a potential outbreak in the DMV area.
  • Regarding programming, our standing committee made the decision on March 6, 2020 to cancel all 2020 Global Classroom Programs and short-term faculty-led programs during Spring Break. Click here for a complete list of Travel Health Notices
  • On March 11, 2020, the University decided to extend Spring Break by two days and resume classes online-only on March 18. As of March 18, it was decided that all lecture and lab courses will be delivered online-only through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. For more information, please click here.
  • Also on March 18, it was decided that the traditional commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 2020 would be canceled in order to best protect the health and safety of the greater Marymount community. However, we are reaching out to graduating seniors to receive their input on how they would like to celebrate this milestone and their achievements at Marymount, whether through a postponed commencement to be held at a later date or a virtual commencement ceremony. More details are forthcoming.
  • Marymount has developed resources for faculty to assist with migrating their classes online. These resources can be found on our "Keep Teaching" page.
  • Marymount has also developed resources for students to help them be successful in a remote-learning environment. These resources can be found on our "Keep Learning" page.

Who to contact at Marymount:

  • Health Concerns: Please reach out to Student Health Services at 703-284-1610 or
  • Global Education/Study Abroad questions: Please reach out to Victor Betancourt at  
  • International student travel concerns: Please reach out to Aline Orfali at
  • Media inquiries: ​Please direct any media concerns or questions to Communications Specialist Nick Munson at
    • You can view a list of Marymount Community members with expertise related to the COVID-19 pandemic here.
  • Residence Life concerns (on Main Campus or at the Rixey): Please reach out to Susan Boyd in the Office of Student Living at, 703-284-1608, or visit the Office in person at Berg 1001.
  • General COVID-19 questions: Please call our hotline at 703-284-5782, or email

Information for Study Abroad or traveling abroad:

For all current Marymount faculty or staff members traveling abroad on a University-sponsored trip, it is necessary to register your travel on the MU portal as soon as possible. 

Register Upcoming Travel 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. It was initially transmitted from animals to humans, and is now spreading through human-to-human transmission. It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019, and it has caused an outbreak of pneumonia illnesses.

Since then, cases of COVID-19 have been identified globally, including in the United States.  The number of cases continues to grow daily. In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic.

COVID-19 is a public health concern because:
  • It is newly identified, and there is not a lot known about it.
  • There are two other human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-Cov) which have caused severe illnesses in the past few years.

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this virus a new public health concern based on the current available information.

Currently in the U.S., the immediate health risk to those who have not been exposed is considered low. However, COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the risk assessment may change.

It is important to monitor the CDC website to learn of any updates on the change in risk status.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may be flu-like:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • GI disturbances
  • Sore throat

How is it transmitted?

As more cases in the U.S. are identified, it is more likely that human-to-human transmission is occurring. Currently, transmission occurs through respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing), which can also live on surfaces.

What if you are traveling?

The CDC and U.S. State Department have issued travel guidance to countries related to COVID-19. It is important to check the CDC website ( regularly to monitor for changes. 

If you are traveling as part of a Marymount University-sponsored trip, please be sure to sign up on the International Travel Registration website. (

If you have traveled outside of the U.S., you may undergo a screening for COVID-19 when you return. This is occurring at larger airports at this time.

How do I prevent getting sick?

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent this virus. Therefore, the CDC recommends avoiding exposure to the virus.

Here are some ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people. If possible, maintain a six-feet distance.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Currently, the CDC does not recommend wearing a mask unless you have symptoms.
If you are a student and you have a fever and flu-like symptoms, it is important that you notify Student Health Services. Please make an appointment for evaluation so we can provide you with the appropriate protective equipment as you come into the clinic.

What is MU's Student Health Services (SHS) doing about COVID-19?

SHS is working as part of a university committee regarding COVID-19. SHS is also working with the Arlington County Public Health Department, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. We are closely monitoring the CDC, WHO, VDH, and Arlington County websites for guidance. We recommend that you frequently check the CDC website ( if you have questions. SHS is also available to answer your questions at 703-284-1610.

What if I am a faculty or staff member with more questions?

If you are employed by Marymount University and have questions related to how COVID-19 will impact you, you are encouraged to reach out to your HR representative.

Marymount facilities and operations information

Communications with details and information about housing and parking policies

Are residence halls still open?

Yes. While we encourage students to stay home if possible during this temporary period, our residence halls and dining services are open.

Are family and friends from outside Marymount allowed in my dorm room?

Out of an abundance of caution, we will be restricting non-Marymount student guests in our halls. You may not have any non-Marymount guests, friends or family visit you in your residence hall. This is for your safety, as well as the safety of the entire community.

Will I receive a refund for housing or parking costs?

In light of our recent request for Marymount students to leave main campus housing if possible, we have been working on a plan to appropriately address questions about credits or refunds for housing and dining. Our pivot to online learning for the remainder of the semester also means that many students will no longer need their MU Student Parking Permit.
To communicate more information related to these plans, the Division of Financial Affairs sent email announcements to affected students with more details. 

Communications to the Marymount community: