Recommendations on coronavirus

Last updated: 31/03/2020

IESE since late January has monitored closely and responded to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as it has spread across the world.

At this time, classes and other activities on our campuses are temporarily suspended and we are offering online classes whenever possible. Only those professors and employees who provide essential services or support to online classes are allowed on our campuses.

You can find the latest information on the COVID-19 and recommended measures to take on the websites of the World Health Organization (WHO) (in English and Spanish), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as on the government websites of individual countries.

Below you will find more details on how this outbreak is affecting us, and you can email health@iese.edu with any coronavirus-related questions and concerns.

  • At this time, classes and other activities on our campuses are temporarily suspended and we are offering online classes whenever possible. Only those professors and employees who provide essential services or support to online classes are allowed on our campuses.
  • Below are additional program-by-program details:
    • Master in Management: classes are being offered online
    • MBA: classes are being offered online
    • PhD: classes are being offered online
    • Executive MBA: some online classes are being offered and others are being rescheduled
    • Global Executive MBA: classes have been suspended and new dates are being evaluated
    • The Alumni Learning Program is being offered online, with open access to the public via IESE’s LinkedIn profile
    • National Open Programs and International Open Programs have suspended classes, and they are being rescheduled
    • Custom Programs is evaluating programs on a case-by-case basis
    • All other programs, activities and events in the next 15 days are being rescheduled
  • At this time, classes and other activities on our campuses are temporarily suspended and we are offering online classes whenever possible. Only those professors and employees who provide essential services or support to online classes are allowed on our campuses.
  • All other IESE employees are telecommuting starting March 16, until public health officials recommend a change in this policy.
  • An email address for all coronavirus-related queries has been created: health@iese.edu
  • International travel has been severely disrupted by the coronavirus, and IESE recommends that its employees, professors and students exercise extreme caution when considering travel,  in order to minimize the spread of the virus and the risk of infection.
  • Since the outbreak is continuously evolving, IESE recommends checking the websites of the WHO,  ECDC, and CDC, as well as the government websites of individual countries, which are being updated regularly with travel advice. Spain’s Health Ministry updates its recommendations for travelers on its webpage, which includes specific information on the new coronavirus.
  • Employees or students who have colds or flu-like symptoms (fever and cough or difficulty breathing) should follow the recommendations of public health officials in their countries regarding testing and treatment. They should also advise their supervisor or program director of their condition, so that the appropriate protocols may be put into place regarding contact with others.
  • Additionally, an email address for all coronavirus-related queries has been created: health@iese.edu.
  • What are the coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses that normally affect only animals. Some, however, can be transmitted to people from animals. They produce clinical conditions ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases, such as the coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and the coronavirus that causes the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV). We now find ourselves faced with a new type of coronavirus — 2019 (n-CoV) — that affects people; it was first detected in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, in China. Much still remains unknown about 2019 (n-CoV).

The new coronavirus is called SARS-CoV-2. The disease that causes SARS-CoV-2 is called COVID-19.

  • What are the symptoms related to COVID-19?

The most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In some cases, there may also be digestive symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, significant difficulty breathing, kidney failure and even death. The most serious cases usually occur in elderly people or those who suffer from other previous illnesses, including heart, lung or immunity problems.

  • How is COVID-19 spread?

Although it is still not known precisely, in the case of other infections caused by similar viruses, the transmission usually occurs through contact with infected animals or by close contact with the respiratory secretions generated by another sick person’s coughing or sneezing. These secretions tend to infect another person if they come in contact with their nose, eyes or mouth.

  • Is the infection very contagious?

The infection is transmissible from person to person, and its contagiousness depends on the amount of the virus in the respiratory tract. In order for the infection to occur, a direct contact of the respiratory secretions of an infected animal or of an infected person with the mucous membranes of another person (nose, mouth, eyes) is necessary. Airborne transmission over distances greater than one or two meters seems unlikely.

  • Is it dangerous?

As with other respiratory diseases, COVID-19 may be more serious for some people and may cause pneumonia or respiratory difficulties. In rare cases, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) seem to be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill with the virus. There is no specific treatment for the new coronavirus, but some antivirals that have shown some efficacy in recent studies are being used. Yes, there are many treatments to control your symptoms, so health care can improve the prognosis.

  • What is the situation in Spain?

Spain’s Health Ministry website contains up-to-date information.

  • Do masks protect against infection?

Surgical masks greatly reduce the risk of contagion, but their use is not recommended for healthy people in their day-to-day activities. The WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) only recommend them for people with respiratory problems, chronic patients and health personnel. It is the infected people who must wear such protection to avoid further contagion, but a person who is not affected by the new coronavirus should not wear the mask.

  • Where are the risk zones?

While the virus originated in China, it has spread across Asia to Europe and the United States. We recommend checking the website of the WHO for the latest information on the spread of this global pandemic.

Evolution of crisis

These are the articles we’ve published in recent days related to IESE’s response to the crisis:

March 17, 2020
New IESE open-access sessions on coronavirus crisis

March 16, 2020
IESE campuses join fight against coronavirus

March 11, 2020
IESE confirms first coronavirus cases on campus

March 10, 2020
IESE temporarily switches to online classes on Madrid campus

March 10, 2020
6 leadership essentials to get through the coronavirus crisis

Dean’s message of support

Faced with this complex situation, Dean Franz Heukamp offered this message of support for the IESE community: