Dear USF community,
The University of South Florida continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority as university leaders work closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in the state of Florida. The following information is intended to help inform travel plans in the coming weeks and provide guidance from USF Health experts.
USF World international travel guidance USF will continue to follow guidelines from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control to assess the risk associated with the international destinations of USF travelers. Please be advised: the current situation is very fluid. Conditions can change rapidly in the country you are visiting and could impact your ability to re-enter the U.S.
USF has processes in place to review planned international travel. Student travel to a U.S. Department of State Risk Level 3 or 4 location, or a CDC Level 3 location, is not permitted. Presently, China and South Korea fall into these categories. All student travel to these locations is currently prohibited.
Given the current global conditions, USF is suspending all future faculty and staff business travel to U.S. Department of State Risk Level 4 locations, or CDC Level 3 locations until further notice. We expect faculty and staff adhere to travel guidelines determined by university policy and procedure, however deans and supervisors can further limit faculty or staff travel given heightened health and safety concerns. Faculty and staff are encouraged to consult with their dean or designated supervisor prior to scheduling any type of international travel for university business.
At this time, all USF spring and summer study abroad programs in locations outside CDC Level 3 Advisory areas remain in place. Should it become necessary to cancel any programs, students and faculty will be contacted immediately.
Before you travel, pay attention to the risk levels of any country you are visiting, understanding that risk assessments may change from day to day. Airports worldwide have set up, or are in the process of setting up, health-screening checkpoints for international passengers. At this time, anyone with a fever or other flu-like symptoms should not travel internationally, as they may be detained for further testing and observation. The International Air Transport Association has a continuously updated website for countries around the world that is a valuable resource for travelers.
- If you are outside the United States and need assistance, contact the USF World 24/7 International Assistance Line +1-813-317-5815 or by email.
- If you are concerned about the status of a future study abroad program, contact your Education Abroad Program Manager or you may reach out to James Pulos, Associate Director, USF Education Abroad. All students enrolled in education abroad programs have been contacted via email. Please be sure to check your email regularly for important communications.
- If you are a business traveler with questions about a planned overseas trip, contact Ben Chamberlain, Risk and Security Officer.
For the general American public, the immediate health risk is currently low. Nonetheless, there is increasing concern that person-to-person spread will eventually occur more widely in the United States.
Keep in mind that this is the cold and flu season, so you should not assume you have the coronavirus even if you have similar symptoms. If you are sick, stay home and 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 a doctor, call 911 or go to an emergency department at a local hospital.
- If you are returning from a country with coronavirus and you are requested to maintain 14 days of self-isolation, please contact Dr. Joseph Puccio, Executive Director of Student Health Services, at 813-974-0444.
It is always a good idea to practice habits that help prevent disease, especially during cold and flu season:
- Obtain the influenza vaccine if you haven’t already.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly if you have been in contact with someone who is sick.
- Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Should the coronavirus evolve to more directly impact the state of Florida or the Tampa Bay region, be assured that USF’s Emergency Management team and our university leadership have plans in place to adequately ensure appropriate response, coordination of resources and continuity of academic and business operations as necessary.
For reliable, up-to-date information, visit:
USF has also set up a dedicated website for updated information and resources. Please continue to check usf.edu/coronavirus for details.
The health and well-being of our community is of utmost importance. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely and provide continued updates as needed.
Steven C. Currall
President and Professor