Additional Update to the Community on the Coronavirus

Feb. 26, 2020

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

Since my last message to the community on February 9 about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed the travel advisory for Korea on February 24 to “Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Community Transmission.”   The only other country at this time that has this same level of travel advisory is mainland China.  Based on this update, in addition to the prior official university travel restriction to mainland China, we are also restricting all Brandeis students, faculty, and staff from traveling to Korea on official university business, effective immediately.   

The university will continue to actively track guidance from the State Department and the CDC with the intention of removing restrictions as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. This current restriction applies only to those traveling to Korea or China for university purposes. However, we strongly recommend that those who are planning travel to Korea or China for personal reasons reconsider such plans.

As a reminder, the White House proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. for foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days continues to remain in effect.  Measures to assess symptoms and diagnose the coronavirus (COVID-19) among those who are allowed entry into the United States (U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and their family members) and have been in China within the past 14 days have been implemented and may include quarantine. The U.S. embassy in Beijing and the U.S. consulates general in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang have suspended regular visa services.

We also recommending avoiding travel to Italy and Japan if possible at the moment as the CDC has raised its travel warning for these two countries to “Level 2 - Practice Enhanced Precautions.”  More specifically, the CDC is recommending that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to Italy and Japan.  Italy has placed travel restrictions on some parts of northern Italy; and, other countries in Europe have begun imposing self-isolation periods of 14 days for anyone who is entering their country who has traveled through parts of Italy in recent weeks. It is possible that the number of countries requiring self-isolation for 14 days may increase.

For members of the Brandeis community who choose to travel internationally during the months ahead, please recognize that the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is continuously evolving.  If making travel plans, please continue to monitor: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province--china.html

Given these circumstances, it is understandable that people are concerned for their health and the health of their loved ones.  If you have any specific health concerns and you are a student, please call the Brandeis Health Center at 781-736-3677 for advice on the next steps. We have screening, testing, and care protocols in place.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their primary care physician.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a moment where we all need to think of ways we can be more supportive for those who may be coping with the pressures of the impact of this virus on their families and communities or the stigma they may be experiencing in public settings.  I urge everyone to treat each other with an extra measure of care and concern at this time.

Sincerely,

Lisa M. Lynch

Provost