Dear USF Community,
There have been several significant developments in the monitoring of the coronavirus and we want to ensure you are receiving the most up-to-date information. There are important steps that you can take and that the university is taking to support and protect everyone’s health in our inclusive environment.
Updates: On Jan. 30, the U.S. State Department issued a level 4 travel advisory (do not travel) for mainland China. This is the U.S. State Department's highest-level travel advisory. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its most stringent travel advisory, a level three (reconsider travel), for mainland China. The travel advisories and guidelines above do not apply to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
On Jan. 31, the U.S. government declared a public health emergency but continues to say the risk to the American public remains low at this time. The U.S. government is now asking all individuals traveling back from mainland China to self-isolate for 14 days and has placed a temporary ban on entry into the United States for foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have been to mainland China in the last 14 days. Details about these measures, which are set to take effect on Feb. 2, are still unfolding and further guidance from local and state health authorities and the CDC has not been issued.
Even as these new restrictions unfold and we endeavor to seek clarity from health officials and keep our community informed, we remain committed to our Jesuit values of treating everyone with dignity and respect, ensuring a work-place free of discrimination, and enabling the flow of people and ideas across borders on which all flourishing academic communities depend.
The coronavirus is a dynamic situation that requires an abundance of caution, and, in keeping with our USF mission to support all members of our community, we urge you to follow the guidelines below:
USF international travelers should follow the U.S. government guidelines and defer non-essential travel to mainland China.
Students, faculty, and staff who have been to mainland China and are returning to campus after Jan. 31 should check in with the designated campus contact below and voluntarily self-isolate until 14 days after your return to the U.S.:
- Students should contact Kamal Harb with Health Promotion Services at ext. 6702.
- Faculty and staff should contact Diane Sweeney in Human Resources at ext. 2440.
What does it mean to self-isolate?
- Staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people during the 14-day incubation window. We advise that you do not attend classes in person or come to work, including working in laboratories, during this time.
- Have a designated contact person who is working with you and your dean or supervisor to make sure you have the support you need to continue to work or pursue your studies during this time. Please see above.
- If you are a student living on campus, the university will work with you to reassign or alter your living space to ensure that you are not sharing a room or bathroom with others. Should our ability to do this become limited, we will do our best to accommodate the highest priority cases.
Finally, all campus community members should take the following simple precautions to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading any respiratory viral illnesses as we approach the peak of the flu season:
- Get the flu vaccine.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are feeling ill, contact your medical provider and stay away from classes, group meetings, work, and common areas.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash, and/or cover your cough with your elbow or sleeve.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Please continue to check the resource page on myUSF for updates.