COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Updates and Information
Welcome to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus page where we will regularly update Academy status. We are sharing information in multiple locations to keep our stakeholders informed. You can find information and posts here on the website, in our News Release archive, via direct email to faculty, staff and midshipmen, and on our social media sites (Facebook: @USMMAOfficial, Twitter: @USMMAo, and You Tube: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy-Official USMMA). We are also providing information directly to the National Parents Association and the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation. We ask that you check these locations often for operational updates from the Academy.
The safety, health and well-being of the USMMA community is our primary concern during this rapidly-changing health crisis. Midshipmen have been instructed not to return to the Academy and are currently taking classes and training online. We hope this delayed return will be resolved soon. We will review and evaluate the health crisis regularly and will contact midshipmen to return when we are confident that is the appropriate course of action.
The USMMA Coronavirus Response Team meets regularly to discuss this rapidly-evolving health crisis, and to consider new information concerning prevention and safety for everyone.
Do you have a question that isn't addressed in one of these communications? Drop us a line at ExternalAffairs@usmma.edu.
USMMA Announcements on COVID-19
- USMMA Announcement on COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, March 2, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #2, March 5, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #3, Delayed Return, March 12, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #4, Amplifying Guidance, March 13, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #5, Faculty and Staff, March 17, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #6, Message from the Dean, March 20, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #7, Message from the Superintendent, March 22, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #8, Remote Library Support, March 26, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #9, Message from the Superintendent, March 26, 2020
- USMMA Coronavirus Update #10, Message from the Superintendent, March 26, 2020
Leadership Video Updates
- Superintendent's Video Message, March 20, 2020
- USMMA Leadership Update Message, March 27, 2020
- USMMA Superintendent on Sea Year, March 30, 2020
- USMMA Superintendent on 2020 Graduation, March 31, 2020
- USMMA Superintendent, April 1, 2020
- USMMA Superintendent teleconference with USMMA National Parents Association, April 7, 2020
All Spring sport seasons have been canceled, as have athletic recruiting visits and travel.
Admissions Open House Canceled
Dear United States Merchant Marine Academy Appointees:
In light of the ongoing and rapidly-changing COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus outbreak, and out of an abundance of caution and concern for your safety, we have decided to cancel the spring Appointee Open House, currently scheduled for April 18, 2020.
While we are disappointed that we can’t welcome you to USMMA to celebrate your appointment, we are committed to following the Center for Disease Control, as well as state and local guidelines restricting group events greater than ten, to halt the spread of the virus.
We have received a number of inquiries from you, your families and your colleagues about the cancellation and our plans going forward. Like many other institutions, we are constantly evaluating the status of the outbreak and its effect on Academy programs and initiatives. We are also reviewing potential issues that may require attention due to the cancellation, and we will have additional guidance on that soon.
In the meantime, we hope that you are safe and well. We thank you for your support and patience during this difficult time.
Visitors and Campus Services
The USMMA campus is currently closed to the public. The Seafarer Snack Bar and the Navy Federal Credit Union are closed until further notice. The Navy Exchange is open, but with a reduced operating schedule.
Additionally, we have implemented the following restrictions that apply generally to movements at and around the Academy:
1. Scheduled group visits, team movements, and conferences or meetings will be postponed, or canceled for the foreseeable future.
2. The museum and the library are closed to outside visitors (Library open remotely, see Update #8).
3. All Academy travel is restricted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why did you decide to postpone the return of the midshipmen?
A. We believe that current conditions with respect to COVID-19 are so variable and unpredictable that they preclude us from welcoming the regiment back to the Academy. Once we are more confident in our ability to provide a safe and healthy space for the returning classes, we will reach out and direct the midshipmen to return.
Q. How long will it be before the midshipmen return to the Academy?
A. We hope this delayed return will be resolved soon. USMMA will review and evaluate the health crisis regularly and will contact midshipmen to return when we are confident that is the appropriate course of action.
Q. Can midshipmen come to the Academy to pick up personal items or Sea Year gear?
A. Yes they can. Midshipmen that need to visit the barracks to pick up essential equipment should contact their Company Officer prior to arriving, check in at the front gate upon arrival, pick up their equipment or gear, and depart campus.
Q. What about the cadets that will return from dry-dock with the Kings Pointer?
A. Sea Year cadets aboard the Kings Pointer will remain with the vessel until such time as they have orders to proceed to their next Sea Year assignment, or their Home of Record to await further instructions.
Q. Will this delayed return impact the graduation date for the Class of 2020?
A. At this point, we do not believe so. We may have to modify the current academic schedule somewhat to accommodate for the delay, but we do not anticipate a modification to graduation at this point. Our priority remains accomplishing the overall Academy mission, and specifically preparing the Class of 2020 for licensing, graduation and commissioning into the fleet.
Q. Will this delayed return affect the Classes of 2021, 2022 or 2023?
A. At this point, we do not believe so. We may have to modify the current academic schedule somewhat to accommodate for the delay, but we do not anticipate any change in class academic status.
Q. As a result of this delay, will the Patten Health Clinic hours and staffing be modified to support isolation of symptomatic midshipmen?
A. We are always evaluating staffing levels based on mission requirements and we have the ability to adjust based on those evaluations. We are preparing limited isolation capability within Patten Hall for unforeseen contingencies, but our process is to evacuate symptomatic midshipmen to the local hospital where they can receive care appropriate for their condition, whether it is related to COVID-19 or some other ailment. Should a midshipman need to use the Patten isolation facility, they will receive appropriate support, including food distribution.
Q. Will midshipmen be allowed to pick up food deliveries outside the front gate?
A. We are constantly evaluating the COVID-19 situation and will review this question once we have determined when the midshipmen will return.
Q. Are the academic and living areas being disinfected?
A. Yes. We have contract staff that cleans all common spaces on a regular basis. That same staff is currently cleaning an disinfecting learning and work spaces around the campus. Cleanliness and preventive hygiene is a big part of living in the barracks and learning in the classroom, and we will continue to ensure they are maintained in a high state of cleanliness.
Q. Will the ban on travel from Europe have an impact on Midshipmen?
A. The government recently announced a 30-day ban on travelers entering the U.S. from Europe. We do not currently know the details concerning the ban, or how it might affect midshipmen needing to return from Europe to the States, so it would be premature to comment. Midshipmen affected while on Sea Year-related travel should contact their ATR with questions. Midshipmen affected while on personal travel should contact their Company Officer and keep them informed of their plans.