February 5, 2020

Dear UD Community,

As many of our Blue Hens prepare to return to campus following the Winter Session, I want to take a moment to welcome you all back and remind everyone to prioritize personal health and safety to ensure a successful start to a new semester ahead.

At this time in particular, we hear daily reports in the media about the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a virus recently identified in Wuhan, Hubel Province, China, that can cause respiratory illness. We are watching this evolving situation closely, with particular attention to communities served by our Office for International Students and Scholars. In addition, Student Health Services has protocols in place and is well equipped to handle contagious diseases. Importantly, no cases of 2019-nCoV have been reported at the University.

With that said, it is important to remember that the physical health of our community is equally connected to the social and mental health of our community. For our Chinese students in particular, we extend our compassion and concern for this situation and the impact this may be having on their loved ones back home. UD offers a number of resources should you need someone to talk to at this unsettling time. I also encourage all Blue Hens to put our values of supporting members of our community into practice – from all races, nationalities and individual backgrounds – welcoming them with kindness and compassion. The geographic origins of this event are related to place and contact, not ethnicity, so please be sensitive to this aspect as we collectively monitor the health of our community.

Of note, only those individuals who have traveled to China within 14 days pose a potential risk to those near them. Any members of our UD community falling under this category will only be permitted to return to the U.S. after careful screening and compliance with travel protocols implemented by the U.S. government to ensure proper monitoring and public health management. Information addressing concerns pertaining to UD class attendance for the spring semester that may be impacted by travel delays will be forthcoming from the Provost's Office this week.

With heightened attention to this coronavirus, it is important to apply best practices for good hygiene at all times in all circumstances to promote better health, especially if you feel sick during flu season. Your best first line of defense involves following these simple rules:

  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands, or cough/sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Clean hard surfaces in shared spaces with disinfectant.

Symptoms of the coronavirus infection include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Additional information and guidance about this virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be found here. For information on the current situation in Delaware, please visit the state’s Division of Public Health webpage.

Again, I want to wish you all a very healthy, safe and enriching semester ahead. Eleni and I look forward to seeing you on campus!

signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis
President

What to do if you feel sick

  • Students in Newark are encouraged to call Student Health Services (SHS) at (302) 831-2226 to make an appointment. SHS must follow certain protocols for suspected cases of coronavirus, so please do not arrive unannounced at Laurel Hall.
  • Students not currently in Newark experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare providers.
  • Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms should also contact their healthcare providers.
  • For those who are traveling, information about GeoBlue, the University’s international medical insurance provider – available to all members of the UD community – and other details about UD-supported travel assistance can be found at this link.
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