Sewanee Safer at Home Directive

Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President

Dear members of the Sewanee community,

The Ordinances of the University (Section10) state that “the Vice-Chancellor shall have authority to act to meet any emergency.” And so, to combat the spread of COVID-19, I have joined communities across the state and the country by issuing a Safer at Home Directive for Sewanee—directing all residents of Sewanee immediately to limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. This directive will remain in force until it is lifted or modified.

Residents of Sewanee should shelter inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities” or are outside for exercise and recreation. On those occasions when you are out of your home, the CDC advises you to stay at least six feet away from others.

This message is addressed to faculty, staff, as well as leaseholders on the Domain. It will be forwarded to other community groups, and will appear in the Messenger. If you think that a neighbor in Sewanee will not receive it (because they live off the Domain, do not have email, or do not work for the University and live in a private rental home, for example), please share this important information with them. This message is also addressed to all University students, both those who are on campus by permission and those who might consider returning to campus.

Under this directive, community members may:

  • Go to the grocery, convenience store, gas station, or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru. To find information about local businesses, including take-out menus and hours for Sewanee restaurants as well as other ways to support downtown businesses, please visit the Sewanee Village website.
  • Go to and from work as directed by your employer
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise—just keep at least six feet between yourself and others
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business that delivers

Community members should not:

  • Gather in groups larger than 10 people
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than six feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on a facility’s website

Students currently off campus may not return to campus without explicit permission in writing. Those found in violation of this directive will be escorted off campus by the Sewanee Police Department.

This directive is being issued now because it is urgent that each of us do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The goal is to “flatten the curve” to slow the spread of the virus and ensure we have adequate health care resources for those who get sick with COVID-19 and those who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other medical events.

I remain exceedingly grateful to all of you for your patience and understanding and cooperation as we continue to adjust our routines and take the steps necessary to fight the spread of this dangerous virus. In this case, the best way to pull together is by staying apart. Please continue to care for and support one another through means that do not involve direct contact—dropping off groceries or other essentials for those who cannot get out and being in touch through the various forms of social media. Thank you for doing what we all must to protect one another and our incredible community.


John McCardell


COVID-19 Quick Links

Community Coordination

The COVID-19 Community Team has prepared a survey for the Sewanee community to help identify both community volunteers and community needs. Please complete the brief form found here.

General Information & Reporting