Update for USU Community on Coronavirus

Update March 2, 2020

Yesterday evening, March 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance on student foreign travel for institutions of higher education. This statement recommends that universities “consider postponing or canceling upcoming foreign exchange programs” and “consider asking current program participants to return to their home country.” The statement specifically referenced problems students may face, including “unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, and challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad.” This CDC guidance extends to countries without current travel advisories or guidance.

The health and safety of our students and employees abroad is of the upmost concern for Utah State University. In light of the CDC’s guidance, USU has asked those in semester-long study abroad programs and those employees conducting university-related international travel to consider returning home.  

Learn more about university-related international travel and what USU is doing about COVID-19

Update Feb. 27, 2020

Utah State University officials continue to work with local health departments to monitor federal and state guidelines concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Information about this disease, including confirmed cases in the United States and how the disease is spread, can be found from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USU officials recommend that community members get information about COVID-19 from reliable sources only.

USU is committed to protecting the health and safety of the USU community. An interdisciplinary team of campus officials is monitoring and will continue to monitor COVID-19 and evaluate its potential impact on the campus community, including community members traveling internationally. As part of this effort, USU is monitoring CDC travel guidance, the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories and International SOS risk assessments to advise USU travelers on school-sponsored trips or planning future trips.

For the most updated information about how USU is addressing issues related to the COVID-19, visit https://dps.usu.edu/emergency/COVID-19

Original Story: Jan. 28, 2020

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This message is a follow up to the email to students and employees sent Friday, Jan. 24 about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The message below was emailed to all students and employees on Tuesday, Jan. 28. 2020.

Utah State University wants to reassure the campus community that the coronavirus is NOT spreading in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the American public to be low. Utah State University is working with the Bear River Health Department to monitor this and other illnesses.

The CDC is closely tracking the virus and providing updated information to the public. Here is what you need to know:

  • No cases have been confirmed in Utah: There are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., including one confirmed, non-severe case in a student at Arizona State University. By comparison, influenza activity is widespread and high in Utah at this time with 407 hospitalizations reported so far this season.
  • Individuals without symptoms are not thought to be contagious: 2019-nCoV is thought to spread by direct person-to-person contact when people who are ill cough or sneeze. This is how influenza and other respiratory diseases spread.
  • Symptoms may be mild to severe: The CDC believes symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

The CDC recommends everyday preventative actions to prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases, including 2019-nCoV and influenza.

  • 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, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is unavailable, use the inside of your elbow, never your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and have travelled to impacted areas within the last two weeks, please seek care at a local emergency department (Logan Regional Hospital or Cache Valley Hospital). Call the hospital ahead of time to let them know you are coming.

  • Cache Valley Hospital:  435-713-9700
  • Logan Regional Hospital: 435-716-1000

At this time, the U.S. Department of State has issued a level 4 travel alert (do not travel) to the Hubei province and a level 3 travel alert (reconsider travel) to China. The CDC has issued a level 3 alert: avoid nonessential travel to China.

Learn more from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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