In an advisory sent out to the University of Miami community Friday, Jan. 31, UM Communications confirmed that there are no known coronavirus cases on campus. The message stated that the university is taking proactive steps to monitor the risk of outbreak and is following the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization guidelines on campus and at its medical centers.
The novel coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, has rapidly spread across China and to several other countries over the past few weeks, causing nearly 12,000 confirmed cases of infection and over 250 deaths, as of Jan. 31, The New York Times reported. WHO declared the virus a public health emergency on Thursday, Jan. 30. Countries around the world, including the United States are scrambling to secure entry ports and limit the spread of the virus. All travelers from China arriving at Miami International Airport will be screened for symptoms, as per CDC guidelines.
In the message, UM Communications stated that while the officials at the university do not believe the virus poses any immediate health risk to its campuses, the administration will be taking proper precautions.
In line with the travel advisory sent out by the U.S. State Department, UM is implementing its own travel guidelines. All UM travel to China has been suspended and all study abroad programs to the country for spring and summer have been postponed. The university recommends that all personal travel to China be avoided and that any international university travel is registered with International SOS before departure.
The university is requiring that all students who returned from China within the past 14 days contact Student Health Services via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and any staff, faculty or exchange student who returned in this time frame contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018.
As the flu continues to affect several in the United States this season, the university also suggested that students and staff consider getting the flu vaccine.