As spring break approaches, we want to share important information about the impact coronavirus is having on international travel and on other considerations. The University of Northern Colorado continues to monitor the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, to ensure the safety of our campus community.
Beyond public health considerations, we are concerned about the well-being of students affected by the impact of the outbreak, including worries about family members in quarantined areas as well as travel restrictions. A university committee is making contingency plans to accommodate the housing, educational, and other needs of international students who might not be able to travel home this summer, as well as the needs of students expecting to arrive for fall semester.
Another dimension of concern is the impact on civility. Many of our affected community members live daily with anxiety and should not have to experience jokes, blame, or other hurtful expressions. UNC is an inclusive and global university, so this time calls for increased awareness and understanding of how this situation affects all students, faculty, and staff from local areas, around the country, and abroad.
While the impact of the virus is focused in certain areas, the situation is dynamic and changing every day, and it is important to keep in mind the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) current and evolving travel warnings, and the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisories.
The health and safety of our students is our highest priority. Travelers should continually evaluate local conditions at their intended destination. Because the situation is fluid, there is a possibility that any country you visit may decide to implement new or different restrictions while you are outside the U.S.
Additionally, you should consider possible flight cancellations and additional quarantine measures or restricted re-entry on your intended return to the United States.
If you travel outside the United States, think about purchasing travel insurance in case of an interruption to your plans. If you purchase travel insurance, make sure it covers epidemic situations and the areas to which you want to travel. Remember too, that there are some amazing travel opportunities for spring break within the United States.
Watch for the updates on the CDC’s website regarding travel precautions to specific areas, and keep in mind basic hygienic practices to protect yourself:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Discuss travel to areas experiencing cases of COVID-19 with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more severe disease.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
If you find that you have spent any time in one of the impacted areas (or the situation changes while you are traveling), and feel sick with fever or cough, or have difficulty breathing, the CDC recommends the following:
- Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
If you are sick with any type of illness and need to miss class, please contact your health provider and notify your faculty about any expected absences. If you have further concerns, feel free to reach out to Student Outreach and Support within the Dean of Students office.
Finally, as you may have heard, Colorado has had its first confirmed case of Coronavirus. We are monitoring the situation and we will notify you if the campus community is impacted. For more information about coronavirus and how the university is responding, visit the Student Health Center website.
Gardiner “Tuck” Tucker, Ph.D.
Dean of Students
Important Contact Information:
Student Health Center - 970-351-2412
Dean of Students Office - 970-351-2824
Counseling Center - 970-351-2496
Center for International Education - 970-351-2396
UNC Police Department - 970-351-2245
Emergency - 970-351-2245 or 911