Coronavirus Preparedness - Update 1

February 28, 2020, 4:51 p.m.

To: University Community
From: Cory Nomura, Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration, and Donna Eddleman, University Dean of Student Affairs
Subject: Coronavirus Preparedness Update

The University has been following the news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies. While the CDC states the risk of contracting the new coronavirus in the United States at this time is low, we want to update you on our response and efforts to keep our community safe.

We also want to reassure you that there are currently no known exposures to coronavirus on any of our campuses nor in any of our study away programs. Nonetheless, we take the issue seriously, and we want to make you aware of the steps we are taking and provide information that might guide responsible action.

  • We are working with liaisons at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and Marin County Health and Human Services Office, and are following CDC guidance to provide up-to-date information and recommendations as they are released.

  • To coordinate the University response, we have created a Coronavirus Response Team:
    • Donna Eddleman, University Dean of Student Affairs (chair)
    • Krystle Armbruster, Director of Health Services
    • Cory Nomura, Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration (liaison to Marin campus)
    • Ken Grcich, Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs
    • Jeremy Hammond, Director of Human Resources
    • Stephanie Johnson, Director of Media Relations
    • Andrea Muilenburg, Study Away Office Director
    • Mika Ono, Interim Chief Communications Officer
    • Michelle Rogers, Chief of Staff and General Secretary
    • Jeff Talbott, Chief of Public Safety
    • Teresa Webster, Environmental Health and Safety Manager
    • Steve Wuhs, Assistant Provost for Internationalization
  • At this time, we are following U.S. Department of State recommendations for all countries. Since China and the city of Wuhan is currently at a level four (Do Not Travel), we are prohibiting all University-related student and business travel to China. Additionally, all study away programs in the areas affected by this travel advisory have been suspended. Some faculty and staff have canceled plans to travel to South Korea, currently rated level three (Reconsider Travel). Please be aware that, given the global nature of the epidemic, any country’s public health status is unpredictable, especially over the longer term, and individuals leaving the United States could be subject to quarantine before reentry. We continue to monitor recommendations from the U.S. Department of State globally, with particular attention to areas with U of R student and faculty activities, including Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Austria, and Japan.

  • We ask that any member of the student body, faculty, or staff who has been in the Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, or other affected area within the last few weeks and who has a fever with respiratory symptoms immediately contact the Student Health Center or a health care provider by phone and make arrangements to be evaluated. The Student Health Center can be reached at 909-748-8021, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.

During this time, we remind you that while a majority of the cases have occurred in Wuhan, China, we must not single out, nor stigmatize anyone in our community based on national origin. Anyone with a cough or fever does not necessarily have coronavirus. While a flu shot will not prevent coronavirus, it will offer protection from the flu and help lessen the public health burden of infectious disease.

Many of the same standard health practices that protect against the seasonal flu can also be used to prevent coronavirus, including:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Be meticulous about practicing good hand hygiene, especially after sneezing or coughing and before and after touching your face, being around a sick person, and eating; wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid contact with others who are sick
  • Do not travel while you are sick
  • Those who cannot avoid being in an area affected by a coronavirus outbreak are advised to avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat)

We expect an elevated level of public health concern to last for many months, so please look out for periodic announcements. For more information on COVID-19, see the FAQ from the CDC. Information on the University’s response is also available on the Coronavirus Resources web page.