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Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spain

Update: July 30, 2020

As of today, the Madrid provincial government has implemented additional health precautions to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Use of masks is mandatory in all public spaces, even when social distancing measures can be respected, although masks are not required when in rural areas outside of population centers, as long social distancing of 1.5 meters can be maintained. Gatherings of more than ten people are not allowed in public places, nor recommend in private homes. Finally, bars, restaurants and nightlife venues will close at 1:00 a.m. and may require you to provide your contact information for COVID-19 tracing purposes. For more information, the official regulations are available here.

SLU-Madrid continues to monitor the situation in Madrid closely, as we prepare for the opening of the academic year.

Update: July 16, 2020

SLU-Madrid continues to prepare for in-person instruction in September. Protocols – including social distancing, mask use, and reduced staffing in shared offices – are in place to ensure the health and safety of our community. These plans, based on public health directives from national and regional government agencies and recommendations from public health agencies, are subject to change.
 
An overview of our preparations to welcome SLU-Madrid students to campus follows:

New Students: SLU-Madrid's admissions staff will continue to provide guidance to newly admitted students. Information for newly admitted students is available on our admissions page.
 
Continuing Students: Returning students are asked to contact the Office of Student Life (studentlife-madrid@slu.edu) if they plan to take classes remotely, due to travel restrictions or health concerns. Spanish authorities have declared that non-EU students holding student residence cards or with student visas in their passports, will be able enter Spain, provided they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. 
 
Academic Calendar: For Fall 2020, SLU-Madrid is following a hybrid academic calendar, combining on-ground classes with asynchronous teaching across the 15-week semester. Note that on three occasions, Fridays will follow the Monday daily class schedule due to Spanish holidays falling on Mondays. Key dates include:

Monday, August 31: Zoom Academic Orientation for All New and Continuing Students
Tuesday, September 1: First Day of Asynchronous (Remote) Instruction
Friday, September 11: Arrival Date/Housing Move-In
Saturday-Sunday, September 12-13: “Welcome Days”
Sunday, September 13: Convocation of the Class of 2024
Monday, September 14: First Day of On-ground Classes
Tuesday, September 22: Mass of the Holy Spirit
Thursday-Friday, October 29-30: Fall Break
Saturday, November 21: Midyear Commencement
Friday, December 4: Last Day of On-ground Classes
Wednesday-Friday, December 9-18: Remote Coursework and Final Exams

Online and In-Person Instruction: SLU-Madrid faculty have developed online alternatives for students who are not be able to return to campus due to travel restrictions or health concerns. These options are now identified in Banner Self-Service: online synchronous courses are marked with one asterisk (*) and online asynchronous courses with two asterisks (**). Faculty are also preparing to offer some courses in a hybrid or “hyflex” format – partially online, partially in the classroom, to serve students and to maintain social distancing norms on campus. Note too that faculty have been asked to develop a transition plan if, as in Spring 2020, SLU-Madrid is required to pivot to remote teaching.

SLU-Madrid will finalize the mode of delivery of course sections based on the location of registered students. Advising staff will assist in changing student schedules to ensure that students who reside locally remain enrolled in on-ground classes.

On-Campus Protocols: SLU-Madrid's health and safety protocols are being developed in consultation with Spanish health authorities. Current safeguards for the return of Fall 2020 students include:

  • Face Masks: In Madrid, face masks must be worn in all public spaces – both indoors and outdoors – where social distancing cannot be respected. SLU-Madrid will provide all students with face masks; students, faculty and staff will be required to wear them on campus.
  • Social Distancing: SLU-Madrid is reconfiguring all spaces on campus to promote two meters (6.56 feet) of social distancing. In addition, we are installing plexiglass screens in various locations, such as reception desks, and providing face shields for faculty and staff upon request. We are also limiting the number of persons in elevators and restrooms at a given time.
  • Symptom Checking: All students, faculty and staff are asked to monitor themselves to see if they have a temperature higher than 37.5º C (99.5º F) or any symptom compatible with COVID-19. If so, they are instructed to stay home and contact the public health services by dialing 060. Students should also communicate their situation to the Student Life Office (studentlife-madrid@slu.edu); faculty and staff, to the Office of Human Resources (hr-madrid@slu.edu). Temperature screening will be implemented periodically on campus.  
  • Handwashing and Sanitizing Stations: Hand-sanitizing stations with hydro-alcoholic gel are located throughout campus, including all key entrance and exit points.
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting: We have implemented daily disinfecting efforts on campus, with special attention to high touch surfaces. Disinfectant wipes will be available in shared offices and classrooms for additional sanitation during the day.
  • Other Measures: Other efforts are in-place to ensure the health and safety of our community include (but are not limited to): keeping doors open in high-traffic areas, installing foot pedals and limiting drinking fountains to water bottle refills, daily ventilation of buildings, and educational signage to promote best practices.

Host-Family Housing: For Fall 2020, host-family housing is limited to single-room occupancy only; no host family will house more than three students. SLU-Madrid has ensured that infrastructure and services are in place to support students if they become ill or need to self-isolate due to exposure to COVID-19. This safety measure requires host families to provide additional meal service and sanitary measures; thus, 15€ per day will be charged to the student for each day of prescribed confinement. If the host family is affected and/or cannot provide host family services, SLU-Madrid will move the student to a different housing accommodation.
 
Students living with host families will follow the protocols recommended by the Spain’s health authorities. They must take responsibility for personal care and facilitate the cleaning/disinfection of their rooms and belongings. As on campus, students must follow all protocols, including but not limited to, social distancing, travel restrictions, use of personal protection equipment and possible confinement. In addition, host families may set restrictions on visitors to their homes.  Detailed guidelines are available here
 
Nexo Student Residences: Our residential partners have also established health and safety protocols. For additional information, contact: info@nexoresidencias.com.
 
Off-Campus Protocols: The health and safety of our community is a shared responsibility that requires all students, faculty, and staff to be accountable for behaviors on and off campus. All members of the SLU-Madrid community will be required to follow the directives issued by Spain’s health authorities. At present, these include mandatory use of masks on all modes of public transportation and social distancing in public. As we experienced in the spring, local authorities may impose additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory testing, closures and lockdowns.
 
Travel: SLU-Madrid recommends that students from outside of Spain make travel arrangements that permit changes in the event of a need to return home due to unforeseen circumstances. In addition, SLU-Madrid requests its community limit travel over the months ahead.

Sources we turn to for information include the city of Madrid (Ayuntamiento de Madrid), the Madrid Province (Comunidad de Madrid), Spain's National Ministry of Health, the U.S. Embassy in Spain, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Previous campus updates are available for reference