Update to campus on coronavirus (Feb. 20, 2020)
Michigan State University is closely monitoring the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which was first reported in the Hubei province in China and has since spread to a growing number of countries, including the United States.
It’s important to note that there are no confirmed cases in Michigan and no suspected cases at MSU. Unless you have traveled from China in the past two weeks or have been around someone ill with this new coronavirus, your risk of being exposed is very low.
What is MSU doing?
The university has assembled a task force that meets regularly to monitor the spread of the new coronavirus from its place of origin in Wuhan, China. The task force now has recommended all university-sponsored travel to China, Singapore and Hong Kong be suspended for students, faculty and staff through July 31, 2020. This suspension took effect on Feb. 20 and includes all study abroad programs in those areas.
MSU's University Physician, the Office of International Health and Safety and other campus leaders continue to work with our local, state and federal partners in closely monitoring the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China. MSU also is working diligently to support those members of the campus community impacted by the outbreak of the virus elsewhere.
The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) advisory for China and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Warning-Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel) for China. Additionally, the White House has suspended entry of most foreign nationals who had been in China at any point during a 14-day preceding period.
MSU worked with members of the campus community who were in China on university-sponsored business to return home. The outbreak is having a significant impact on travel to and from China as well as restricting services such as health care, domestic transportation and food service.
MSU's Office of International Health and Safety continues to assist all international travelers while monitoring the outbreak. If you are abroad on MSU-sponsored international travel and have specific questions, contact International SOS at (215) 942-8478. If you are considering international travel or are currently abroad and have general travel health and safety questions, contact the Office of International Health and Safety at 517-884-2174. An FAQ is posted on the OIHS website.
All of these steps greatly impact MSU's students, scholars and faculty from the affected countries and regions, and our Office for International Students and Scholars is supporting our fellow Spartans. The university will continue to welcome and support our students, visitors and scholars from China and elsewhere in the international community – they each are essential in the continued fueling of discoveries and scholarship and more importantly, the vibrancy of our Spartan community. For any questions, please contact OISS at 517-353-1720 or.
What can you do?
Stay informed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's dedicated page on COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.
Treat others with respect. This outbreak is causing anxiety among many members of the MSU community. However, we cannot let that anxiety drive us to disrespect others. MSU is committed to supporting and advocating for the international members of our community and creating a campus environment where everyone feels safe and at home.
In general, all travelers should continue to practice good hygiene and be prepared for enhanced screening procedures at major airports, which may cause travel delays. Members of the MSU community can always seek travel guidance from the MSU Travel Clinic if they have specific questions or concerns.
While there are no additional precautions recommended for the campus community at this time, it is important to remember the steps you can take to prevent the spread of any virus, including the flu:
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your doorknobs, light switches and commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes frequently.