March 3, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Northern Illinois University continues to closely monitor activities and developments related to the spread and management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in coordination with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health and the DeKalb County Public Health Department. We are writing today to provide you with updated information and resources meant to support the health and wellness of our university community.

To date, no members of the NIU community have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and while the risk level in the United States remains low, the CDC anticipates that reported cases will rise.  Preparations are underway and will be ongoing here at NIU to plan for a variety of potential scenarios that could impact academics, residential living, study abroad and travel.

The CDC has issued travel advisories regarding several countries, including South Korea, Italy and Japan in addition to existing ones in place for mainland China and Hong Kong. This list is likely to be updated in the coming days and weeks to include additional locations. If you have traveled to a country identified by the CDC as a Level 2 or Level 3 advisory, we ask that you follow CDC directions for self-quarantine. If you are planning travel overseas in the near future for NIU-related activities, please refer to NIU’s International Travel Policy and Procedures, register your travel and close pay attention to CDC warnings and advisories. 

If the university feels that it is necessary to cancel or delay a program, the appropriate office will contact faculty, staff and student participants. At this time, in an abundance of caution, the university has canceled or postponed a few academic programs in affected areas prior to faculty or students traveling abroad and has notified participants. The university will continue to monitor for changes to CDC advisories and will respond accordingly.

Personal Health and Preparedness
As with any type of health issue, knowing the facts and making smart choices will be key to the prevention and reduction of spread the virus. The university has created a Coronavirus website with a frequently asked questions tool, as well as resources for faculty, staff and students. This site will be updated periodically to reflect the latest information that pertains to our university. 

As we near Spring Break, the university urges each member of our community to heed the warnings and instructions from the CDC including practicing everyday prevention measures such as frequent handwashing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes. We encourage anyone who is not feeling well to seek timely and appropriate medical care. For students, please call the NIU Student Health Center at 815-306-2777. For employees, we ask that you please call your personal health care provider.

Thank you for doing your part to help our NIU community stay healthy and safe during this challenging time.

Beth Ingram
Executive Vice President and Provost

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