Dear Faculty and Staff,
With the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) over the last few weeks in China and beyond, we know that many in our community continue to be concerned about its potential impact in Austin. As of now, there have been no reported cases of people on campus or in the Austin/Travis County area with the virus. And there is currently no need to restrict any events or large gatherings on campus, including classes in large lecture halls.
During the last two weeks, Texas Global
and University Health Services
have sent emails to keep our community informed about the disease and to outline precautionary measures, including suspending undergraduate student travel to China and limiting faculty, staff and graduate student travel.
Additionally, the university is following new travel guidelines
required by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services and recommended by Austin Public Health. If you have traveled from China during the last few weeks, the following will apply to you:
- If you have been in Hubei Province, China in the previous 14 days and are arriving into the U.S. you will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure you are provided proper medical care and health screening.
- If you have been in other areas of Mainland China in the previous 14 days, and are arriving into the U.S., you may undergo a health screening at ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-isolation to ensure you have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
- If you traveled to the U.S. from Hubei Province, China between January 19, 2020 and February 2, 2020, you should self-isolate.
- If you traveled to the U.S. from other areas of Mainland China between January 19, 2020 and February 2, 2020, follow instructions for self-monitoring and call HealthPoint Occupational Health Program at 512-471-4647 if you experience symptoms of respiratory illness.
The university is proactively reaching out to travelers on official university business affected by these guidelines. If you traveled from China or are in need of any support or guidance, please contact the HealthPoint Occupational Health Program
We recognize that many of you are receiving questions from students or have questions of your own related to the coronavirus. Please consult the University Health Services website
for information about coronavirus prevention, symptoms, treatment, protocols, the university’s efforts to keep the campus healthy and other FAQs.
We also encourage you to practice and share these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- 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.
- Don’t share food, beverages, or smoking devices with others.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you have not received this year’s flu vaccine, it is recommended that you do so, as seasonal flu continues to be a much greater risk to our campus than coronavirus.
We continue to monitor the situation and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Austin Public Health and other official sources. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information and guidance changes frequently. We will continue to update the UHS
website with new or relevant information as the need arises and encourage you to visit the page often.
Finally, we will be using the Healthyhorns social media channels to communicate directly with our students about the coronavirus and how they can stay healthy. Please encourage your students, to follow @Healthyhorns on Twitter
to receive updates.
Terrance Hines, MD, FAAFP
Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer
University Health Services