A Message to the UConn Community About Coronavirus

UConn has trimmed millions of dollars from its budget, but still faces challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. (UConn Photo)

Editor’s Note, Jan. 31 2020: The U.S. Department of State updated its travel advisory two days after this message was distributed, directing people not to travel to China in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The most current travel advisories regarding China can be found on its website.

This message was sent via email to all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Connecticut, on behalf of UConn Student Health & Wellness and UConn Global Affairs.

To the University Community:

UConn is closely monitoring the public health situation related to the novel strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan, China.

No one in Connecticut has been diagnosed with coronavirus to date, but we want to ensure that our students, faculty and staff know where to find information about UConn’s preparation, response measures, and relevant travel policies.

The U.S. Department of State has also issued a China travel advisory in which it advises people to avoid traveling there if possible, particularly in areas of increased risk.

Although the University currently has no undergraduate programs with participants studying in China, students and employees who plan to visit China for other professional or personal reasons are reminded to register their travel with UConn Global Affairs and seek approval as required by University policy.

The Medical Care division of UConn Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) is closely following updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and working in collaboration with the local and state departments of public health.

Answers to specific questions about coronavirus are also available on SHaW’s website at shs.uconn.edu/coronavirus, along with preventative actions to help prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory viruses.

According to the CDC, individuals with recent travel through Wuhan, China in the past 14 days could have been exposed to 2019-nCoV, so students who visit SHaW with fever and symptoms of a lower respiratory illness are being screened for recent travel.

We are prepared to care for any of our Storrs students who may screen positive for a possible 2019-nCoV exposure.

UConn faculty and staff who might have been exposed to the virus and who exhibit flu-like symptoms are also encouraged to contact their healthcare providers.

Symptoms may be flu-like including fever, cough, congestion, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear between two and 14 days following exposure. It is unclear how easily the virus is transmitted, but the CDC considers the immediate health risk to the general population from the virus to be low at this time.

If you are experiencing symptoms and are concerned that you may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV, contact your medical provider immediately. UConn students on the Storrs campus may seek care at SHaW, 234 Glenbrook Road.

All UConn students, including those on our regional campuses, may access the 2019-nCoV information line during regular business hours at (860) 486-8987. After hours 2019-nCoV concerns can be directed to the 24/7 nurse advice line at (860) 486-4700.

We recognize that the situation is rapidly evolving and are monitoring for new CDC recommendations and guidelines daily along with our state and local departments of public health and the Governor’s office.

At UConn Health, healthcare providers are screening patients in urgent care and the Emergency Department according to the CDC guidelines.

This is an evolving situation, and the University will continue to monitor and update the SHaW website if there are further changes. International students can also find resources through International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).

We recognize that many of our students and employees are natives of China and/or have family and friends in the country and may be concerned for their well-being. Please know that the University community supports and cares about you, and we send our best wishes for the health of your loved ones.