Updated: March 24, 2020
This webpage will be the most updated, authoritative resource about how COVID-19 relates to our upcoming programs.
Announcements from the CDC
As of March 13, 2020, the CDC has issued a “Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions” global travel health notice due to the COVID-19 virus. We do not know how long this travel health notice will remain in effect, but we have been working diligently over the past two weeks to offer our summer students some increased flexibility in their trip planning. With our first summer programs starting two months from today, and our last program of the summer still five months away, all summer programs remain scheduled as planned
Summer Programs Currently Running as Scheduled
At C.E.L.A. Belize, student safety is our first goal. In this unprecedented climate of COVID-19’s global spread, we have to think beyond just student health and consider our responsibility in contributing to the health and safety of all members of our communities, including the elderly and immunocompromised. Because our students are committed to caring for global health causes such as health and conservation, we know that you respect and value these concerns as well.
With regards to upcoming programming for SUMMER 2020 (May 16 – July 25), we are committed to making the most responsible programming choices for our participants and their families. This situation is rapidly evolving and it is difficult to responsibly make changes in any summer programming this far ahead of program dates.
At this time, we are not cancelling any of our summer programming. However, we know that changes in your schedule can create anxiety and stress, and as such, we would like to provide some options for summer students so that you can choose the course of action best for you and secure your peace of mind as you head into summer season. We have made these enhanced options available so you can make the best decision for you about your upcoming travel plans with C.E.L.A. Belize. Our regular cancellation policy remains unchanged.
Protect your Investment: Peace of Mind options from C.E.L.A. Belize
We are offering the following enhanced flexibility options to any of our currently accepted or enrolled students. You do not have to choose any of these options – if you are already enrolled in a course and want to stay enrolled in that course, you do not need to take any action.
(1) Switch to a later program. If you are an enrolled student this summer and would feel more comfortable moving your program to a later date, you may transfer the tuition you’ve paid, including your deposit, toward another C.E.L.A. Belize program later in the summer. This option is subject to availability, but we will do our best to accommodate you.
(2) Transfer your tuition to next summer. If you like, you can transfer your tuition payments toward summer 2021 programming. This will allow you to secure your place in the 2021 program of your choice, on the dates of your choice, and secure 2020 tuition. And you won’t have to submit a new application or be re-accepted to the program, It will also ensure that you do not lose a single dollar of your tuition funds. This option is available until April 5th.
How can I be sure my program is running as scheduled?
Currently, all our summer courses are running as scheduled. There is plenty of time before summer begins to see how things evolve and make a reasonable, informed decision. Read our Response Plan to find out how we will make decisions about cancelling programs.
CDC COVID-19 Travel Health Notices
The CDC uses a 3-level system for travel health notices. If no level is issued for a specific country, that means no travel health notices are in place for that country.
Level 1: Travelers should practice usual precautions and the CDC does NOT recommend canceling or postponing travel.
Level 2: Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should discuss travel with a healthcare provider and consider postponing or cancelling nonessential travel.
Level 3: CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel.
Our Response Plan
In the event that the CDC announces a Level 3 Travel Health advisory for Belize within 40 days of a program start date, we will cancel that program session and follow our normal policy for program cancellations. If C.E.L.A. Belize cancels a program, enrolled students have the option to switch to a different program if available, apply their admission towards a 2021 program, or receive a full tuition refund. You would need to work directly with the airline or travel agent through which you booked the reservation.
We will not be cancelling any program before that program’s Evaluation Date listed below. The key metric used on the Evaluation Date will be the CDC level for Belize (with a “Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel causing us to cancel), but other metrics such as airline restrictions will be considered as well.
Program Start Date: May 16
Evaluation Date: April 5
Program Start Date: May 30
Evaluation Date: April 19
Program Start Date: June 13
Evaluation Date: May 3
Program Start Date: June 27
Evaluation Date: May 17
Program Start Date: July 11
Evaluation Date: May 31
Staying Healthy: Best Practices
In accordance with CDC recommendations above, C.E.L.A. provides all students with:
- Handwashing stations before and after all meals
- Hand sanitizer throughout the day and whenever handwashing stations are not available or practical
- Antiseptic wipes to sanitize all eating or work surfaces prior to use
We each have an important role to play in helping to limit the spread of this virus that can be dangerous to certain members of our communities, which helps to preserve hospital resources and keep medical care accessible for ourselves as well as our families and neighbors. We encourage all of you to do your part by following best practices that can help limit the spread of any virus, including:
- Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Use your elbow, or if possible, use a tissue and throw that tissue away.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap throughout the day. If soap isn’t available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Practice social distancing, avoiding large crowds for the time being.
- If you have a fever, seek medical care and do not go to work or school.
- Consider donating to your local food pantry – community health means keeping everyone healthy! Lower income families may find increased need for support at this time.
Thank you for trusting C.E.L.A. Belize with your educational and travel goals. For everyone, this is an uncertain moment where we are being called to make responsible choices for community health. We hope that in making additional options available to you, we can help to bring you peace of mind in planning ahead for your summer. We will continue to monitor the situation and bring you updates as needed.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you have. We are available by phone during business hours at +1 (617) 368-0715 or [email protected]. When calling the office, please leave a voicemail if you would like your call returned.