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January 30, 2020

Colleagues,


News coverage about the emergence of the Coronavirus is generating a great deal of attention in the media and raising some concerns in our community, so I want to share with you the latest information on our response to this situation.

Campus Response
While no NIU students, faculty or staff have tested positive for Coronavirus, the Northwestern Medicine Student Health Center at NIU will continue to screen students as appropriate and within its normal intake and triage process. Those procedures follow guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the DeKalb County Department of Public Health. 

Should any of you encounter students who are not feeling well, or who have questions or concerns about their health, please suggest that they contact the Student Health Center at 815-306-2777. Individuals who have been in a high-risk area (currently identified as Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China) within the last 14 days, or who have had contact with someone who has the Coronavirus infection and are now experiencing a cough, difficulty breathing or a fever should contact the Student Health Center at once. 

Faculty, staff, and other members of the NIU community who have concerns about their health are encouraged to reach out to their primary care health providers.


Travel Restrictions
The CDC recently changed its travel advisory, issuing a Travel Warning-Level 3- Avoid Nonessential Travel for all travel to China. The U.S. Department of State recommends reconsidering travel to China.

At this time, NIU strongly urges members of the university community to follow the CDC advisory and avoid nonessential travel to China. We also recommend that any individuals who are planning to travel to China prepare for the possibility that travel to and from China might be disrupted for some time.

Faculty and staff who travel abroad on university business should register their travel at 
niu-travel.terradotta.com/. Registration allows the university to provide health and safety information before, during and after travel.

Health Care Precautions
Finally, medical professionals are urging all members of the public to be diligent about engaging in self-care that can help minimize the chances of contracting or spreading any respiratory infection — whether it’s influenza or a common cold:

•  Stay away from ill people and stay away from others if you are ill.
•  Wash your hands often with soap and water.     
•  Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or tissue.
•  Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
•  Get an annual influenza (flu) shot through your primary care provider, local quick-care clinic or campus health center.
•  Clean and disinfect common touch surfaces frequently.

Students received similar information in an
email from the Dean of Students Wednesday afternoon.

Should you want more information on the Coronavirus and the evolving global response the following resources are available:

•   
World Health Organization (WHO)
•   
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

We will provide updates if needed. For now, take good care of yourselves and watch out for the wellbeing of our community members.

Regards,

Beth Ingram
Provost and Executive Vice President
Northern Illinois University

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