March 25, 2020

In light of the rapidly evolving situation precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens has made the difficult decision to postpone until summer 2021 the Summer Session, Summer Seminars, and Wiener Lab Field School planned for summer 2020.


March 9, 2020

We face the spread of COVID-19 around the world at the same time as many of us are planning air travel for the summer. The potential extent and speed of the spread of the virus is unknown. We cannot rule out problems lasting well into the summer. At present, the disease is not treatable; however, it also seems - like common influenzas - to affect the elderly and others with lessened immune systems more than those who are otherwise healthy. Health Department websites for various countries are good sources for advice on avoiding contracting and spreading the virus (see links below). 

At present, many airlines that have had to cancel flights to affected areas have been waiving change fees and offering credit on future flights. Many hotels are likewise being very supportive. We understand, however, that only the most comprehensive travel insurance policies are likely to cover costs stemming from epidemic- or pandemic-related cancellations. Be sure to read any policy very carefully before purchasing. 

At present, the ASCSA does not plan to cancel or reschedule any summer programming. As we are doing currently, the ASCSA will follow all recommendations and requirements put into place by the Greek authorities. At present, we recommend that people either delay purchases for summer air travel or be very aware of terms regarding refunds, rebookings, or cancellations. Trip cancellation insurance should be carefully considered. 

In the event that we are required to cancel programs, either due to requirements from the Greek government or due to airline travel restrictions, all fees will be refunded. If programs go ahead, but a participant's college or university, other place of employment, or country of origin has imposed travel restrictions, the School will refund all fees. Other reasons for individual cancellations and refunds will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Travel and Health advisories:
Link to WHO
Link to CDC
Link to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Link to Greek Ministry of Health



Message from the Director
 

9 March 2020

Dear ASCSA community,

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased significantly In Europe and to a certain extent in Greece. We expect this number will continue to climb with more widespread testing. It is also reasonable to assume that, at some point, there could be a confirmed case within our community. Understandably, these possibilities lead to elevated concern and anxiety, especially for those who are in higher-risk populations

Campus Status 
The Athens campus continues to remain open and is operating normally. We are fortunate that no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in our vicinity, but we continue to watch the global and regional situation carefully and assess the local impact. 

After careful review of our local situation and following consultation with health professionals, we have assessed that the risk of transmission associated with lectures and library use remains low. However, at this time and in accord with the Ministry of Health’s directive, we are canceling all public events for the month of March.

Operations
As we consider future developments, staff should take steps to prepare for the possibility of reduced operations, should that become necessary, including business to be conducted fully online or remotely. For the time being we assume that our facilities will remain open. Staff will have access to their offices, labs, and other facilities. The libraries will remain open to registered readers. Dining services in the Blegen will also continue to serve lunches for members M-F.

Travel
Additionally, members and staff should consider seriously whether personal travel is necessary at this time.  There are real restrictions, for example, on getting into the U.S., as well as the potential challenges of booking flights. Please inform your supervisor or the assistant director of any imminent travel plans outside Greece.

Travel restrictions will become stricter as confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase and high-risk Level 2-3 regions are identified. Whether you travel abroad or locally, you should be prepared to arrange for self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return should you return from a restricted jurisdiction (International or Domestic) or are exposed to an individual suspected positive for COVID-19. Other unanticipated restrictions may apply as public health officials monitor the situation.

Your Health & Wellness 

As a reminder, we recommend observing the following:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stop touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Instead of shaking hands, find alternate ways to greet people.
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not travel. 
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor to arrange a time to be seen.
  • In the event that you do experience any symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, fever, and shortness of breath) you should immediately contact either the members’ doctor Nick Michalopoulos or the staff doctor Τζένη Πανταζή.

We will continue to make regular updates concerning modified operations as new information is available. 

Yours sincerely,

Jenifer Neils

Director