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Environmental Health and Safety

March 04, 2020

Dear UNC Community: 

I am writing to update you on steps being taken to monitor the evolving worldwide coronavirus outbreak and ensure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. I also want to encourage you to bookmark the website UNC has developed to keep you informed of the latest information regarding our planning and response at go.unco.edu/coronavirus.

UNC’s leaders are working closely with campus health officials, emergency management representatives, staff from the Center for International Education, and local, state, and federal officials to discuss COVID-19. We are actively reviewing our continuity of operations plans and taking proactive steps to minimize exposure and risk for our campus community. Together, we are looking carefully at broad concerns such as international travel and readiness of our pandemic and business continuity plans, to name just a few.  

Decisions are being made based on many factors, including the most recent restrictions and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department, the World Health Organization, and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. As the situation is rapidly evolving, we know that UNC will likely make additional decisions in the weeks ahead. We will share those with you via campus announcements in UNC Today for employees and Around Campus for students, and the website listed above.   


  • Per recent CDC guidance, UNC is suspending study abroad activities in South Korea and Italy. The Center for International Education is working to make sure all seven students that were studying in those countries are back home or on their way.   
  • We will continue to monitor the situation for other UNC students who are currently studying in other countries. 
  • University-affiliated international travel is being monitored closely. Future travel decisions will be based upon guidance from public health officials. 
  • Students returning from study abroad should follow the advice of public health officials and their medical provider in relation to self-quarantine or other treatment. 
  • Student Health Center personnel are obtaining the travel history for all patients. Based on their travel history, personnel are taking appropriate action. All patients with fever, cough or sore throat are being provided with masks, regardless of travel history. 
  • UNC is still welcoming applications from international students for the fall semester; international students represent an important part of the Bear family as we look forward to welcoming them, pending compliance with travel and immigration guidelines. 

There are many complexities to consider as the global threat of COVID-19 evolves rapidly. While the CDC has indicated that the risk to the general American public is low, UNC will continue to monitor the evolving situation and make decisions based on facts and with the health and safety of our community as the primary focus. 

 Finally, we’d like to ask you to please help us prevent stigmatization by becoming familiar with the facts about COVID-19 and supporting community members with compassion and kindness. I urge anyone with questions about COVID-19 or the University’s response to this virus to  visit our site, which we will continue to update on an ongoing basis.   


Blaine Nickeson
Associate Vice President for Administration
Finance & Administration