Dear USF community,
Our University of South Florida leadership team is closely monitoring the latest information related to a novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, but has now spread to other parts of the world, including portions of the United States.
At this time, no cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the state of Florida. University officials have initiated communication, coordination and planning with local health departments using the most up-to-date information from state and federal health organizations.
The U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now issued guidance advising Americans to avoid travel to China. As such, out of an abundance of caution, USF is temporarily suspending all university-related travel to China for students and faculty. No travel to this area will be authorized until further notice.
Although no cases have been reported in Florida, USF Health and USF Student Health Services have provided important information about the virus, tips for prevention and other helpful resources.
HOW DOES IT SPREAD?
Person-to-person spread is believed to occur via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
TIPS FOR PREVENTION
Prevent the spread of respiratory viruses by following hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- 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.
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS
Please keep in mind that this is the cold and flu season, so don't jump to conclusions that you have the coronavirus because you have the symptoms. If you are sick, make an appointment to see your doctor. Students should contact the following to make an appointment to see our health professionals:
- Tampa: Student Health Services (SHS100) at 813-974-2331
- St. Petersburg: Wellness Center (SLC 2200) at 727-873-4422
- Sarasota-Manatee: Counseling and Wellness Center (5805 Bay Shore Rd.) at 941-487-4254
If you are severely ill and cannot get to your doctor, call 911 or go to an emergency room at a local hospital.
For more information about the coronavirus, visit:
Anyone with specific questions about upcoming university-related international travel should email Ben Chamberlain, USF World International Risk and Security Officer, or reach him by phone at (813) 974-3724. More information about traveling internationally on USF business is available here.
The university will continue to share additional updates with our community as necessary.
Steven C. Currall
President and Professor