February 26, 2020 - Coronavirus Update and Travel Advisory

Coronavirus state of emergency update and campus preparedness

Feb. 26, 2020

Dear USF Community,

The University of San Francisco is continuing to monitor the evolving worldwide COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and is working closely with local authorities at the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and our healthcare partners to ensure our community is informed and well-prepared. Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the United States must prepare for the possibility that the virus will spread to the U.S. In addition, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in order to strengthen the city’s preparedness. Although there are no cases of coronavirus among San Francisco residents, this declaration allows the city to mobilize additional resources and to accelerate preparedness planning.

With this context in mind, it is important for all members of the USF community to stay informed of the latest developments regarding the coronavirus and be aware of the steps we are taking and that each of you can take to keep our community healthy and safe. As a reminder, please check the myUSF resource page for information and updates.

On-Campus Preparedness

In line with USF’s Pandemic Prevention and Response Plan, the university will activate its Emergency Operations Center at certain thresholds to coordinate USF’s response. While we have not currently met any of those thresholds, we are prepared to respond if the situation dictates.

This response will include the activation of the university’s Policy on Continuity of Instruction to ensure that classes will continue to be held in the event that social distancing policies are implemented by the CDC and SFDPH. Human Resources will work with staff and managers on telecommute options. Other university events will be canceled. Any notifications based on changes in the operating status will be disseminated via Dons Alert emergency notifications.

Travel Advisory Update

As spring break approaches, we wish to remind all students, faculty, and staff of the resources available to them if they are planning travel. USF travelers are advised to regularly check the CDC Travelers' Health website and the State Department website for the latest information and advice regarding their destination. The CDC has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for South Korea, which recommends against non-essential travel there. The U.S. State Department also raised its travel advisory levels for various countries in recent days based on the spread of the virus. This is a rapidly developing situation and advisories will continue to change frequently. Please stay up to date and review the resources for travelers on the myUSF resource page.

Traveling to affected areas may also make it difficult to return to the U.S. or result in travelers having to self-quarantine upon their return. USF will assist travelers however we can, but missing several weeks of classes could make it challenging for students to complete the semester.

We are working with every USF program abroad to support USF students and personnel, provide daily risk assessments, and offer alternatives as needed. Students are encouraged to contact the Center for Global Education with questions about travel. International students should contact isss@usfca.edu with questions about travel. Faculty and staff with questions about international travel should contact Anastasia Vrachnos, associate vice provost of international initiatives.

For the Campus Community

The best way to stay healthy and protect ourselves and others is to follow the recommended steps to prevent the spread of illness.

USF is home to students, faculty and staff from over 100 countries and 49 states whose backgrounds and perspectives make our campus one of the most diverse academic communities in the country. As we continue to navigate the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak as a community and work to keep our campus safe, we remain committed to our Jesuit values of inclusion, respect, caring for the whole person, and caring for each other.

 

Sincerely,

Shirley McGuire
Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs

Julie Orio
Vice President of Student Life

Wednesday, Feb 26