COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Updates
To our AUC Community:
As a medical school, the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and communities are of paramount importance to us. As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving public health situation, please be assured we are taking the necessary precautions to lower the risk of exposure and do our part to curb the spread of the virus.
On March 13, 2020, we made the decision to shift all courses online for the remainder of the semester. We believe this decision, consistent with best practices from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), will best protect our AUC community.
Although the news and virus itself can be disruptive to our everyday lives, our focus remains clear: continue delivering on our mission to train tomorrow’s physicians while prioritizing our students’ well-being. We are very fortunate that the strength of our online education capabilities enables us to be agile and adaptable, providing a well-orchestrated learning experience. Our learning management system is built to support online education, and our faculty continue to update themselves on new technologies and interactive learning modalities to support our students through their medical education journey.
September Session FAQs (Prospective and Accepted Students)
No. AUC School of Medicine has elected to waive the MCAT requirement for impacted applicants for the September 2020 semester in cases where the MCAT exam was unavailable due to COVID-19 related interruptions. AUC’s evaluation for admission is conducted on an individual basis and uses a holistic approach. Applicants are required to submit MCAT scores for all attempts in the previous five years. For those applicants who have attempted the MCAT one or more times previously but may have been prevented from a final MCAT attempt also due to testing-center closures, please submit your application with current MCAT scores and consult with an admissions ambassador about your individual situation.
NOTE: Recent U.S. Department of Education guidance permits waiving the MCAT requirement for impacted applicants when related to continued COVID-19 related interruptions.
That’s ok. Over the past several months, COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the availability of standardized medical school admissions tests in multiple countries. As a result, AUC School of Medicine has elected to waive the standardized admission test requirement for impacted applicants that are applying to the September 2020 semester. Please submit your application and consult with an admissions ambassador about your individual situation.
It will start online. AUC has made the decision to start our medical sciences courses virtually for the fall semester, beginning on August 31, 2020. Since we have already temporarily transitioned our medical sciences curriculum to an online-learning platform, we are well-prepared to continue to deliver an interactive and seamless online learning experience through the September semester for our students.
No. Our campus locations are currently closed to students. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
We do not know. We have begun to gradually reopen campus for essential operations and will expand access to students as local circumstances allow. Students can expect some ongoing restrictions, new safety protocols, and social distancing policies.
Students who had previously left may elect to return and take advantage of any campus amenities that have resumed. No one will be forced to move to Sint Maarten or UK during the middle of the semester.
Yes. If both your local government and our local governments allow international travel, then it is your right to move when you feel it is safe to do so. At this time, we do not know when Sint Maarten or UK airports will resume international service.
There are several ways for you to connect with future classmates. One of the easiest ways to connect is to join one of AUC’s private Facebook groups. If you have not received any invites, yet, please reach out to your admissions ambassador or contact [email protected].
According to the World Health Organization, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure.
AUC is taking precautions to lower the risk of exposure and do our part to curb the spread of the virus. With this in mind, we are shifting all basic science courses for Sint Maarten students to online delivery via Canvas for the remainder of the semester. We believe this decision, consistent with best practices from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will best protect the Sint Maarten community.
Since classes will be available online, students can choose to return home to finish out the semester. We ask that students consider the risk of traveling to the U.S. before making their decision. Classes will pause until Wednesday, March 18, 2020, to allow students time to travel and settle into their preferred location. If they identify in the high-risk category according to CDC guidelines, they are asked to please reach out to [email protected] to assist with logistics of their travel.
Students who choose to remain in Sint Maarten must complete their coursework from their residence. To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread, students are not permitted on campus. All students, regardless of location, are asked to take precautions, including practicing social distancing and CDC-recommended hygiene guidelines.
If you choose to leave Sint Maarten, please plan for your pet or plan on bringing your pet along with you.
Precautions can be taken to minimize your risk and prevent exposure and spread of the disease. The CDC has published a medical decision-making tool that you can use to understand your risk and which gives guidance based on risk.
It is important that we work together to take common sense precautions that can reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
Per CDC guidelines
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and frequently disinfect common work surfaces.
- If you or a family member develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, or are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms, work with to alert appropriate contacts and practice social distancing.
Travel Advice, including reduction:
We have been monitoring all government-issued travel guidance and have made the decision to follow the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice regarding travel to areas with increased risk of COVID-19, as follows:
- AUC is cancelling travel for all colleagues to countries that have been given a Risk Assessment Level 2 or higher travel advisory. These countries are China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City (Level 3), and Japan (Level 2). As the CDC provides travel advisories for additional countries, we will update our guidance.
- We strongly encourage you to follow the same guidance and carefully consider any travel between countries.
- If you have traveled to any of the restricted countries, we ask that you notify [email protected] so we can take appropriate precautions.
- All campus community activities are suspended until further notice. Students and colleagues will be notified via SIREN and email for information about activities resuming.
- Campuses will be monitoring if anyone visiting the location has flu-like symptoms that include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, headache or difficulty breathing OR if they have traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Japan or Italy (or been in close contact with someone who has traveled to these areas). If you are planning to visit a campus and have any of these symptoms, we ask that you do not attend events on campus.
- To ensure the safety of our campus communities, each campus may have additional protocol specific to that location.
- We have instituted social distancing measures on campuses to reduce the likelihood of exposure or transmission. This includes postponing group meetings and other activities that require large groups to be confined in closed spaces. We are also asking employees who have traveled to an area with heightened risk to practice social distancing and not come to campus.
If you believe you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or believe you are displaying symptoms, please contact your local health department and email us at [email protected] so we can take appropriate precautions.