Issued March 4, 2020
As the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, there is growing potential for it to disrupt travel during Eastern Illinois University’s Spring Break beginning March 14 through March 22.
Spring Break Travel Within the United States
As of March 2, 10 states have reported confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Although Spring Break destinations may not currently be within cities and states in which positive and presumptive cases have been diagnosed, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) situation is rapidly evolving. At this time, there are no destinations in the United States which require self-isolation for 14 days after having visited, although this could change.
Spring Break travelers are strongly encouraged to regularly check updates to the CDC COVID-19 Situation Summary (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html) and Johns Hopkins Hospital’s GIS Map (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6) for locations where COVID-19 has been detected. Should areas in the United States require 14 days of self-isolation, students will be notified through EIU e-mail.
In recent weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have raised health-related travel advisory levels and issued alerts for several countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. Individuals traveling abroad should consider the possibility of experiencing travel difficulties returning to the United States, including quarantine.
Any student, faculty member, or staff member traveling from international areas designated by the CDC as Level 3 Travel Health Advisory (Warning, Avoid Nonessential Travel) or Level 2 Travel Health Advisory (Alert, Practice Enhanced Precautions) must self-isolate at their permanent home/residence before returning to campus. Before being allowed to resume normal campus activities, those who have traveled must provide documentation of 14-day self-isolation.
During the 14-day self-isolation period, faculty and staff will be required to use sick leave days.
During the 14-day self-isolation period, students should contact all faculty to inquire how they may continue their studies remotely.
As of March 2, the CDC has issued the following travel guidance related to COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html):
If you are considering international travel this spring, Eastern Illinois University Health and Counseling Services and international travel officials encourage you to continue to monitor Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State (travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html) and the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html).
As with any other virus, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure. You can help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus by doing the following:
Eastern Illinois University will continue to work closely with local, state, and national public health organizations regarding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) concern and will take necessary precautions to safeguard the health and wellness of our campus community. Please be alert for additional university messages containing COVID-19 updates and other associated warnings and protocols. Updates and additional information may also be found at the Health and Counseling Services Medical Clinic website.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) International Travel Self-Isolation Policy: March 4, 2020
Any student, faculty member, and staff traveling from international areas which have been designated as falling under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travel Health Notice Level 3 (Warning, Avoid Nonessential Travel) and Travel Health Notice Level 2 (Alert, Practice Enhanced Precautions) who wish to return to campus must self-isolate at their permanent home/residence after departing from the country in question and before returning to campus/Charleston for a period of 14 days. The CDC maintains a list of COVID-19 Travel Health notices at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Self-isolation is defined as “staying in one’s dwelling (house, apartment, room) entirely during the 14 days. Individuals self-isolating should not go to classes, athletic events, work, or other social gatherings until the 14 days after the departure from the country in question has passed.” Those in self-isolation should avoid public spaces and places, as well as avoid taking public transportation. If living alone, those in self-isolation should plan for others to bring food and other necessities to them.
Eric S. Davidson
Interim Director, EIU Health and Counseling Services
Joseph R. Baumgart, M.D.
Medical Director, EIU Health and Counseling Services