You likely are aware of increased media reports about a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. We are closely monitoring this evolving situation and want to assure you that currently risk to the OSU community is considered low.

We are writing to provide you information so you are aware of coronavirus symptoms and how to seek medical attention if needed.

The coronavirus now appears to be spreading from person to person, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the level of contagiousness has not yet been determined. It can take up to two weeks to develop symptoms of the virus, which include fever with a cough and/or shortness of breath. If you have concerns about your health due to possible exposure to the virus or following recent travel to China, please contact your primary health care provider. If you visit your care provider, a clinic or emergency care center, it is best to call in advance of visiting a care provider so precautions can be taken to minimize exposure to others.

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important practices as part of your daily routine, especially during flu season:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with another person’s saliva, whether in your own living or social environments.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to support a healthy immune system.

We also want to update you on federal travel advisories regarding China and provide you information on OSU’s international travel policy.

China is currently designated a high-risk travel destination. The U.S. Department of State has issued an advisory to reconsider travel to China, and the CDC has issued an advisory to avoid nonessential travel to the country. As a result, and in accordance with the OSU International Travel Policy, any university-sponsored travel to China at this time requires a petition process. Faculty/staff travel requires approval by a senior administrator. Undergraduate student travel requires approval by the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and graduate student travel requires approval by a college dean. Please contact Samuel Gras, international health and safety coordinator, for information about the petition process and any travel-related questions.

We will continue to actively monitor this situation and advise you to visit the CDC website for the most current information on the coronavirus. 

We thank you for your attention to your personal wellness and efforts to keep OSU community members safe.

January 28, 2020