University Update on Coronavirus Travel Guidelines
Published: Friday, February 28, 2020
All Norman, HSC, and Tulsa Faculty, Staff, Students, and Residents:
Over the past several days, there has been a concerning increase in the number of transmissions of the CoVID-19 Coronavirus. In response to the virus, this January, the University implemented travel guidelines and restrictions for faculty, staff, student, and resident travel to and from China and Hong Kong (the “impacted countries”). Based on the number of new cases and transmission rates, the potential for exposure to the virus acquired through travel, information from experts in public health and infectious disease, and to provide for the safety of our campus communities as well as our OUHSC and OU-Tulsa patients and hospital partners, the University is adding Italy, Iran, Japan, and South Korea to the list of impacted countries subject to OU’s travel guidelines and restrictions below.
Travel to impacted countries for University purposes is suspended effectively immediately. Faculty, staff, students, and residents MAY NOT TRAVEL for University business or academic purposes, including but not limited to study abroad, research or grant activity, internships, academic work for credit, service, conferences or presentations, teaching or training, performances, recruiting, or athletic competitions.
Under the travel guidelines and restrictions, faculty, staff, students, residents, and visitors who return or have returned from travel to or through any of these impacted countries – Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and China (including Hong Kong) – must comply with the guidelines and restrictions below and must remain away from University campuses (including off-campus U.S. sites) through the incubation period. The incubation period runs from the date of their arrival in the U.S. or their last contact with an individual arriving in the U.S. from or through any of these countries, whichever is longer. The current incubation period is 14 days but may be lengthened as additional information becomes available.
Travel from Impacted Countries that Occurred Prior to March 1:
Individuals who return or have returned from an impacted country in the past 14 days (since February 12) may not return to campus until they 1) complete the telephone medical screening through their Student/Employee Health service, and 2) complete the 14-day incubation period, and 3) complete follow-up telephone medical screening call through Student/Employee Health. Any such individuals who are on campus today must immediately contact Student/Employee Health: Norman: (405) 325-4611; OUHSC: (405) 271-9675; OU-Tulsa: (918) 660-3102.
- Employees – Human Resources representatives will work with departments to ensure these employed individuals who stay home during the incubation period are placed on administrative leave with pay.
- Students – OU Student Affairs will work with the appropriate deans and academic offices to ensure students who must observe the incubation period are not penalized academically and receive assistance, if necessary, with related matters. More information can be accessed by contacting campus-specific Student Affairs offices: Norman Student Affairs: (405) 325-3161; OUHSC Student Affairs: (405) 271-2416; OU-Tulsa Student Affairs: (918) 660-3100.
- Residents – Residents returning from travel to or through an impacted country must call their program directors to determine how missed rotation times due to the self-isolation period will be managed. The Graduate Medical Education offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa will ask program directors to remind any residents and fellows who have returned from travel to or through an impacted country within the past 14 days to contact the Student/Employee Health service on their campus immediately.
- Visitors – Visitors (e.g., scholars, student interns, applicants, family, guests) who traveled from or through an impacted country may not come to campus (including off-campus U.S. sites) during the incubation period. Visiting scholars and student interns traveling from or through an impacted country who have not yet departed that country will have the start time for their visas deferred by two months (period to be reevaluated weekly).
Travel to/from Impacted Countries Occurring On and After March 1:
These travelers are subject to the same screening and 14-day incubation period described above. In addition:
- Employees – Administrative paid leave will generally not be an option for employees who elect to travel to an impacted country after (or who schedule their return after) March 1. Employees taking personal trips to an impacted country (including layovers through an impacted country) must be prepared to comply with self-isolation requirements upon their return. During this incubation period, employees must use PTO if available or, if no PTO is available, Leave Without Pay.
- Students – Academic assistance/exceptions for students taking personal trips to or through an impacted country will be at the discretion of the faculty member and subject to syllabus and applicable policy requirements.
- Residents – Residents taking personal trips to or through an impacted country are expected to include the incubation period in their request for time away from rotations. Residents returning from such travel must call their program directors to determine how missed rotation times due to the self-isolation period will be managed.
- Visitors – Visitors (e.g., scholars, student interns, applicants, family, guests) who traveled from or through an impacted country may not come to campus (including off-campus U.S. sites) during the incubation period.
We understand that many members of our community have upcoming conferences or summer study abroad plans that this suspension may affect. We will continue to monitor this situation and will provide updates, including to the list of impacted countries, as needed.