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COVID-19 Updates – March 11, 2020

To All LLI Members and spring presenters

We are writing to let you know that the leadership of LLI, together with the Bard College Response Team, has been regularly monitoring the possible risks associated with COVID-19 in our local area. We are grateful to Erin Cannan, Bard Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Civic Engagement, and a key member of the Bard Response Team, who graciously took time on Monday morning to meet with our Planning and Evaluation Committee, to update us about Bard’s plans. Erin has been communicating with us regularly as Bard’s response changes as new, reliable information about COVID-19 becomes available. We spoke with Erin again Tuesday afternoon to get the latest updates from Bard’s Response Team.

The Executive Committee of the LLI Council has been in touch with each other since hearing from Erin because we need to decide before the planned orientation for presenters, producers, class managers, and AV team members this Friday, and before the Beethoven Bash social gathering planned for this coming Sunday. The Executive Committee has the authority to act on behalf of the Council when a decision needs to be made between Council meetings.

Given the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus and increased risk of serious complications from infection among those more than 60 years of age, the LLI Executive Committee has concluded that we must, regrettably, cancel our spring program. Having our members gather in medium to large groups puts them at risk, and that is something we do not want to do. We are deeply sorry about this. A tremendous amount of work has gone into planning our spring semester and we were just about to begin a very exciting term, including some wonderful new social gatherings and special programs for our members. All our programs are canceled until further notice. The LLI program at Vassar College has also canceled its spring term.

Some members of our tech team are researching the possibility of offering some limited LLI spring programming online, which would be wonderful. Bard has generously offered to help us with this initiative. We will keep you posted about these developments. Also, the Center for Civic Engagement is going to host some online programs which our members are invited to sign up for. If this is of interest to you, please email civic@bard.edu to be put on their list of participants.

The Bard Response Team is in touch regularly with local authorities, the Dutchess County Health Department, the County Executive, and other colleges in the mid-Hudson area. Here is a link to the current information from Bard Health Services, which is updated daily. You may want to check this site regularly for more information. It also describes the measures the College is taking to help and support its own students. We will also be posting information on LLI’s website.

Thank you for your understanding. There is nothing more important to us than the well being of our LLI members. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at news@lli.bard.edu.

Sincerely,
Tom Esposito, President
On behalf of the LLI Council

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