Although the situation remains dynamic and evolves each day, the University continues to understand and share the concerns of students, faculty, staff regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a message sent to campus on Thursday, March 5, by President Marc Johnson and Cheryl Hug-English, medical director of the Student Health Center.
“The University has preventive measures and controls in place to support the health and safety of our University community,” the message read. “We continue to review and adapt our planning and strategies as more is learned every day. The University has created a Novel Coronavirus Information Page, which will be updated regularly. The page contains the latest information and includes a variety of sources, as well as tips for faculty, students and staff regarding issues that could arise from coronavirus.”
The information page includes updates for students, faculty and staff regarding international travel, what to do in the event individuals begin to experience symptoms related to novel coronavirus, and information to consider as the campus disperses next week for Spring Break.
The message also included the following information:
Individuals should regularly check the University’s Novel Coronavirus Information Page, which is being updated regularly. The page contains the latest information from a variety of sources, as well as tips for faculty, students and staff regarding issues that could arise from coronavirus.
In addition, to help promote healthy habits and share relevant information about the Coronavirus, the University community is encouraged to visit the CDC's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Communication Resources page, which includes print resources, videos, resources for travelers, a public health image library and more.
In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances. In particular, please consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, which provides updated information regarding this topic.
To date, although the campus has yet to have a confirmed case of coronavirus, both southern and northern Nevada have had confirmed cases. The message from Johnson and Hug-English noted that the University sponsored travel abroad by faculty, staff, students, guest speakers or visiting scholars, to, from or going through China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea has been suspended due to the CDC’s and Washoe County Health District’s 14-day self-quarantine requirements. The University continues to monitor alerts from the U.S. State Department and the CDC regarding non-essential travel. In addition, any organization, unit, program, department or college or school hosting guest speakers or visiting scholars from foreign countries in the coming months should also be aware of the CDC’s traveler information. Questions on faculty travel should be directed to the Provost’s Office.
For Spring Break travel abroad, and given the dynamic nature of the outbreak of novel coronavirus, students, faculty and staff who are planning on personal travel overseas during the upcoming spring break are strongly encouraged to follow the latest guidelines for travel by visiting CDC’s traveler information. These individuals should weigh the risks and benefits of any international travel, stay actively alert and monitor changes and developments that may affect plans. Monitor travel advisories daily, including potential restrictions on border crossings or closed borders. Prepare for the possibility that countries that you visit could decide to implement travel restrictions with short notice, impacting your ability to return to the United States, and to campus. The 14-day self-quarantine period for certain countries could change.
If individuals do choose to go on personal travel to or through China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or Japan, they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return before returning to campus, work or classes. Faculty and staff will be required to use sick leave or annual leave and follow university policy on finding substitutes for classes. Students will not be given special arrangements for homework, attendance or tests.
For faculty, the University recommends that instructors offer students understanding and accommodations such as makeup exams, alternate assignments, or alternate weighting of missed work due to illness. If needed, you can explore the use of existing remote teaching tools and online learning by consulting with Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT).