COVID-19 Updates

As you know, universities and organizations across the country are working to address the significant public health challenges presented by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety and well-being of our entire community is a top priority here at the University of Minnesota and with Engineers Without Borders-USA UMN. To limit the spread of COVID-19, the University of Minnesota suspended all in-person classes and on-campus events for the remainder of the Spring semester, beginning March 17. Additionally, in-person instruction has been suspended for Summer term classes. (For the most up-to-date information from the University of Minnesota, check the Safe Campus website.)

You may be wondering how COVID-19 could impact our planned travel to Guatemala and Ethiopia this spring. EWB-USA UMN wishes to protect both our student members and international community partners from the impacts of COVID-19. We follow the travel procedures and requirements of our parent organization, EWB-USA, as well as the University of Minnesota.

As of March 22, an international travel ban has been officially declared by the University during our dates of travel, and we will not be able to travel to implement our projects as scheduled in May. The team has developed contingency plans for alternate travel dates and project teams are meeting virtually on a regular basis to continue project progress. We will keep updating this page as new information is made available.

Thank you to those who attended our first Town Hall Q&A Webinar on April 29th, we really enjoyed speaking with you! The Webinar discussed our project year and contingency plans, and reviewed sent-in questions. A recording is available on our Media Gallery page.

As of May 27, there are 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Comalapa – the municipality containing our Guatemala partner communities. To prepare for an anticipated wave of cases, EWB-USA is actively working alongside partner hospitals in Guatemala in improving sanitation and patient and health practitioner safety. Our partner community in Ethiopia has not reported any cases of COVID-19.

This is an unprecedented time in our world. One thing that remains unchanged is EWB-USA UMN’s commitment to our partner communities in Ethiopia and Guatemala, as well as our local partners at Lincoln International High School.

Travel Contingencies: Our Project Leads discuss the recent changes to our chapter and how we have adapted to those changes.
Community Partners: Our Project Leads discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our partner communities around the world and in our own backyard.

Last updated: 5/29