Mar 4, 2020
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
As the situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to evolve, we are sharing this message to keep our campus community updated. For the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to check the COVID-19 Update Page frequently.
To date, no cases have been reported at the University of Mississippi or elsewhere in Mississippi.
If You Are Sick
If you believe that you have been exposed to or contracted the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you should contact your doctor by phone immediately. Students should also contact Student Health and faculty and staff should contact Employee Health.
UM Travel Restrictions
Evaluating university-associated international travel is an ongoing process, and we are working to ensure that we can best support our faculty, staff and students. Current university travel restrictions include:
•Until further notice, there is a university travel prohibition for university-affiliated travel (by students, faculty and staff) to areas under•CDC Alert Level 2 (Sustained Community Transmission, Practice Enhanced Precautions),
- CDC Warning Level 3 (Avoid All Non-essential Travel) OR
- U.S. Department of State Advisory Level 4 (Do Not Travel due to COVID-19). This currently includes travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. • Spring and summer programs in areas under a CDC Alert Level 2 or CDC Warning Level 3 will be cancelled or suspended. This currently includes China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. We continue to monitor all summer programs for changes in status.
University personnel and students who are currently in these areas should return to their home countries, and follow the guidelines on the COVID-19 Update Page regarding returning from an affected area.
It is important to note that upon entering the United States from affected areas, students, faculty and staff will experience some limitations on their movement and activity by the CDC, the U.S. State Department, the Mississippi State Department of Health and/or the university. This measure is in place to assist the individual and protect the health and safety of our community. We will work with state and local public health officials to determine the best plan for entering students, faculty and staff.
If you have questions about scheduled university travel to an area under any CDC level or what this restriction means for you, please contact the Office of Global Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org. We continue to monitor this situation closely, including any additional travel restrictions that may impact our university community. The COVID-19 Update Page will be kept current regarding all travel restrictions for the university.
We know that many in our community may travel over spring break next week. We strongly discourage any personal trips to areas currently under a CDC Alert Level 2 or a CDC Warning Level 3. Anyone who travels to one of the countries under these levels will face limitations on their movement and activities upon re-entry to the United States.
We recommend that all travelers stay aware of travel notices that have been issued or may be forthcoming from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of State, including country-specific information on destinations throughout the world. Individuals traveling to any region under an alert or warning should check-in with the university’s Office of Global Engagement to receive advice and additional information.
We all have a part to play in contributing to a healthy community by preventing the spread of infectious illnesses. While there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection, the following are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
See the CDC for additional information about prevention and treatment. If you suspect that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, notify your physician, Student Health or Employee Health immediately.
Currently, there is not a case of COVID-19 in Oxford or Mississippi. The CDC, Mississippi State Department of Health and local and university health care experts will be involved if a case is detected in our area. We remain in close contact with them to understand their protocols and refine our plans as the recommendations from national and state authorities evolve and change.
The safety, health and well-being of the university community remain our highest priorities. This includes being supportive, respectful and compassionate of all members of our university community during the uncertainty and anxiety that accompanies widespread illness. Please visit the COVID-19 Update Page for the most up-to-date information from the university on this topic. We will continue to monitor the developing situation and provide updates to the campus community as needed.
Noel E. Wilkin, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs