FIU continues to keep a close eye on coronavirus, as the number of cases increases around the world. It is important to note that no coronavirus cases have been reported at FIU and there are no confirmed cases in Florida.
As previously announced, FIU has suspended all university-affiliated travel to China until further notice, following the State Department’s “do not travel” advisory for China. Decisions about other upcoming trips to China’s neighboring countries scheduled for late spring and summer are being made as the programs’ departure dates approach and FIU knows more information on the impact that the virus is having on those countries. A spring 2020 College of Business program to Vietnam has been cancelled.
FIU has developed a protocol for members of the university community and visitors arriving from China. The new university protocol is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and is designed to minimize the possibility of coronavirus transmission.
Students, faculty, staff and visitors arriving from China who pass the reentry screening at the airport and appear to be in good health must still pay close attention to their health over the 14 days following their arrival. FIU is asking these members of the community, as well as those who have been in contact with anyone recently arrived from China, to stay home and avoid close contact with others during this two-week period.
Students who have recently traveled to China or have been in close contact with someone who recently traveled to China should reach out to their professors to arrange ways to complete their academic obligations remotely during this time.
Faculty and staff should contact the Division of Human Resources at 305-348-2181 to ensure proper designation of leave and receive important information about work arrangements.
Faculty members and supervisors are encouraged to be supportive of students and staff during this cautionary quarantine period.
If you are aware of students, faculty, staff or visiting academics who have been to China, please be sure they are aware of this protocol and encourage them to seek medical assistance if they experience any symptoms.
Here are some tips from the World Health Organization on how to stay healthy:
- Maintain distance of at least three feet from any individual with respiratory symptoms.
- Refrain from touching mouth and nose.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially if you touch your mouth and nose and other potentially contaminated surfaces.
- Reduce as much as possible the time spent in close contact with people who might be ill.
- Reduce as much as possible the time spent in crowded settings.
- Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows.
For those with respiratory symptoms:
- Stay at home if you feel unwell and follow CDC and local public health recommendations.
- Keep distance from well individuals as much as possible (at least three feet, but ideally six).
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, with tissues or other suitable materials, to contain respiratory secretions. Dispose of the material immediately after use. Clean hands immediately after contact with respiratory secretions.
Some in South Florida have started to wear masks out of an abundance of caution. Dr. Aileen Marty, professor of infectious diseases at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, has created a video with instructions on how to wear masks correctly as a preventive measure.
Students with concerns may contact FIU Student Health Services at 305-348-2401. Faculty, staff and other members of the community may contact FIU Health at 305-348-3627(DOCS).
For more information, please visit the Florida Department of Health website.