The Evolving Situation Regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus: A Message to Students (Feb. 27, 2020)
For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.
February 27, 2020
I am writing to share information about the evolving situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Denison or in the state of Ohio, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the immediate risk of the virus to the American public is low. However, the CDC also advised on February 25 that the public should prepare for the possibility of an eventual US outbreak. Denison has begun taking action related to COVID-19, including preliminary planning for the possibility of a US outbreak that could affect the campus community.
With spring break just a few weeks away, we are tracking international travel alerts and advisories. We anticipate that some students will need to adjust travel plans in light of the current situation. We recommend exercising extreme judgement when considering all international travel and closely monitoring international travel advisories. We are reviewing university-related international travel on a case-by-case basis. Our primary concern is for the personal health of members of our campus community, but also note that, as the global situation rapidly evolves, travelers could be stranded and unable to return to the U.S. as the result of flight changes, travel restrictions and/or quarantine requirements being put in place with no or limited notice.
We are also in close contact with our students studying abroad and, in conjunction with their program providers, helping them navigate the evolving landscape of travel advisories and restrictions. The Offices of International Student Services, Student Housing, the Provost, and the Dean of Students are also working on contingency planning for Denison international students who may be affected if travel limitations continue into the summer. We anticipate further updates to the community from those offices as the situation evolves.
As we’ve been sharing through social and other media, flu season is in full swing and the risk of infectious illness is high. The CDC urges us all to make regular habits of these standard practices to prevent the flu and other illness:
- Wash your hands frequently, or use commercial hand sanitizers, especially after touching objects in public areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Avoid coughing directly into your hand. When coughing or sneezing, cough into the bend of your elbow or a Kleenex.
- Take good care of yourself - i.e., adequate sleep, consume a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water.
Our hope is that circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 improve in the near future and that travel without restrictions can resume. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation and heed advisories from the CDC and other government agencies.