Letter from Interim President Harroz - Coronavirus
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
All OU Faculty, Staff, and Students:
In response to the ongoing outbreak of a serious respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that can be spread from person to person, both the Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued travel advisories for travel to parts or all of China. Chinese authorities have imposed strict travel restrictions, and China announced it will suspend all tour groups and the sale of flight and hotel packages for its citizens headed overseas.
Based on information from the CDC and public health and infectious disease experts about this Coronavirus, the University of Oklahoma is implementing a range of travel guidelines and restrictions to China. These guidelines and parameters vary based on campus; however, all individuals who have traveled to any part of China are required to undergo a medical screening before return to campus is permitted. Please read on for campus-specific information.
OU Health Sciences Center and OU-Tulsa Campuses Travel Guidance and Restrictions
Given the evolving situation and the public statement from China’s president that the outbreak is accelerating, as well as our responsibility to protect the health of the campus, our patients (many of whom are immunocompromised or being treated with immunosuppressant therapy), and the community, OUHSC and OU-Tulsa are suspending all student, faculty, and staff travel for University business or academic purposes to China effective today.
- OUHSC and OU-Tulsa students, faculty, and staff MAY NOT TRAVEL for University business or academic purposes, including but not limited to study abroad, research or grant activity, internships, to perform academic work for credit, service, conferences or presentations, teaching or training, performances, recruiting, or athletic competitions in China.
- Travel to China for personal reasons is strongly discouraged.
- Hosting incoming visitors from China for personal purposes is strongly discouraged. These visitors are subject to the Other Precautions in items 2 and 4 in the section below if they will be on campus.
- Hosting incoming visitors from China for University-related purposes (visiting lecturers, visiting scholars, researchers, etc.) requires prior approval of the college dean or appropriate vice president and the Provost’s Office prior to the visitor’s arrival; permitted visitors are subject to the Other Precautions in item 4 below.
OU Norman Campus Travel Guidance
The Norman campus strongly discourages faculty, staff, and students from engaging in official and/or personal travel to China.
Other University-wide Precautions (All Campuses)
- Individuals committed to travel to China not otherwise suspended above are required to be in touch with their college dean or administrative vice president and the Provost’s Office prior to making plans.
- Anyone who is considering hosting visitors (including family) from China on University property is required to obtain approval from the college dean or appropriate vice president and Provost’s Office prior to the visitor’s arrival.
- Faculty, staff, and student travelers returning from China are required to contact OU Health Services or OUHSC Employee Health by telephone within 48 hours of their departure from China and prior to return to campus to arrange and complete a medical screening.
- Faculty, staff, students, and visitors who traveled to or from China during the month of January must contact OU Health Services or OUHSC Employee Health to arrange for a telephone medical screening immediately.
- OU will continue to follow the evolving epidemic of this Coronavirus and may modify these measures as further information becomes available. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the University arriving from China may be required to self-isolate for up to 21 days upon their arrival. These travelers should ensure they have sufficient time available for isolation, if this is required.
Faculty, staff, and students contemplating travel to China must adhere to the items above and are strongly encouraged to visit the CDC website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices for Travel Notices and Updates.
Joseph Harroz, Jr.