NOTE: This was guidance sent out in March for the University community. For the latest travel updates, visit the University’s travel page.
With many members of the University community having questions about travel for Spring Break and beyond, we want to provide you with information on the latest precautions, guidance, and advisories in place, as well as further details on how the University is addressing COVID-19.
For the safety of all University community members, the following actions have been taken and travel precautions put in place:
- University-sponsored travel for faculty, staff, and students is not permitted to countries with a CDC3 rating (Centers for Disease Control Warning 3), which are currently China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. This CDC Warning Level 3 restricts all non-essential travel to a destination due to the high risk to travelers.
- The University has brought back all students from programs in China, South Korea, and Italy. Students recently returned from affected areas are in quarantine and being monitored for symptoms for 14 days as recommended by New York State and the CDC. Moving forward, all students, faculty, and staff returning to the US from CDC3 countries will not be permitted to return to campus activity or to work for 14 days and should plan to remain in quarantine, preferably at home, before returning to campus. Quarantining involves separating well persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19 from other well persons during the incubation period. For more definitions, see COVID-19 Terminology: Usage and Definitions.
- If students have upcoming international travel planned through the Center for Education Abroad (CEA) or other University office, we recommend consulting with a CEA advisor on what options are available should you need to postpone. The best contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Faculty and staff are reminded to register their international travel with the Office for Global Engagement to ensure that the University’s travel assistance and support is available to them: http://www.rochester.edu/global/travel/faculty-and-staff-travel/.
For personal/vacation travel during the University’s upcoming Spring Break week and beyond, we continue to recommend that individuals become very aware of their location-specific travel risks and advisories amidst fast-changing governmental regulations, which could quickly disrupt transportation options and cancel flights. It’s difficult to fully anticipate what changes will occur, who will be impacted, or how they will be impacted, so everyone is encouraged to stay informed using reputable sources such as the CDC and WorldAware.
While there are currently no travel restrictions within the US, this could change. If you choose to travel, it’s even more important to remember the basic steps we all can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19, the seasonal flu and other infectious diseases:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.
- Avoid close contact with people who 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.
All students, faculty, and staff returning to campus from Spring Break who have visited U.S. or international locations where COVID-19 is present and feel like personal exposure was possible should consult with University Health Service about the screening process by calling (585) 275-2662. At URMC, employees should call SMH Employee Health at (585) 487-1000, option #2 and then option #1.
There is clearly a high level of COVID-19 concern right now all over the world, with constant news headlines and social media activity that can make us all feel like we are in imminent danger. Without minimizing health concerns, it’s important to remember that most of us are not at high risk. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases globally are mild and do not require extensive treatment; while any infectious disease poses a risk, for most people in reasonably good health, the symptoms will be similar to a cold or mild flu.
You also should know the University is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and taking steps to keep students, faculty, and staff safe. The Coronavirus University Response Team (CURT) and its subgroups are continuing to address a wide array of issues and contingency plans, including campus and hospital emergency operations, employee management, student support, travel, campus events, and summer and alternative programs for students who are impacted by travel restrictions.
We are continuing to update our Coronavirus Resources and Updates website with the most recent facts and resources about COVID-19 and will continue to provide regular updates to the University as important information emerges.
COVID-19 has become a global health concern and understandably has created a lot of worry among our students, faculty, and staff. The University has many resources and services ready to assist individuals in coping with the stress caused by the current climate:
CARE Network Resource Center (University-wide for students)
Please remember that you can submit a CARE Report for yourself or any other student you are concerned about, and someone from the Office of the Dean of Students will reach out to offer needed support services.
University Counseling Center (University-wide for students)
(585) 275-3113—24 hours a day
University Faith Communities at the Interfaith Chapel (on River Campus for students, faculty and staff)
Employee Assistance Program (University-wide for faculty and staff)
Chaplaincy Services (at Medical Center for students, faculty and staff)
(585) 275-2222—24 hours a day
The Office for Global Engagement (University-wide for students, faculty and staff)
University Health Service (University-wide for students)
International Services Office (University-wide for international students studying here as well as for international scholars and employees)
Education Abroad (for students studying internationally)
Office of the Dean of Students (for AS&E College students)