The Department of Education Issues New Guidance Including on the Clery Act Amid COVID-19 Crisis

  • A new guidance issued by the Department of Education included information on how institutions of higher education can continue to comply with the Clery Act requirements during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • This guidance is an important reminder that the Clery Act not only applies to safety threats but health threats as well. It includes information on emergency notification requirements:
    • Institutions should notify students and employees about COVID-19 and necessary health and safety precautions, through their regular alert systems.
    • They should also direct them to information from healthcare providers, state health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provide a link to the CDC’s website.
  • Daniel Carter, president of SAFE Campuses noted: “The scope of the guidance is consistent with the general premise of the requirement that it doesn’t work like a crime log with reports of individual incidents but warns about an immediate threat.”
  • In the same document, the Department of Education also addresses the regulatory flexibilities colleges will have as they finish the academic year remotely.