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February 27, 2020

Update on SVSU measures regarding coronavirus

Members of the campus community:

We care about your well-being and we want to update you regarding the measures SVSU is taking regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

As of this writing (Feb. 27), there are no confirmed cases in Michigan. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that “for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”

However, this is a developing public health emergency that is spreading in other parts of the world, and we want to inform you about the steps we are taking as a university and steps you can take as individuals. We want you to be educated and to stay healthy.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory-tract illnesses, similar to the common cold. Symptoms may include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and a general feeling of being unwell.

The viruses also can sometimes cause lower-respiratory-tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. These appear more commonly in people with cardiopulmonary disease or a weakened immune system, and in older adults and infants. Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 virus. The best way to prevent infection is to take simple precautions such as: 

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Stay home when you are sick 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Travel Restrictions

The U.S. Department of State upgraded its warning against travel to China to the highest level, advising Americans not to travel there due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As a result, SVSU has cancelled all planned trips to China for the remainder of the academic year, and we have temporary restrictions for all university-sponsored travel to China. These restrictions will remain in place as long as circumstances warrant, and we will continue to monitor federal guidance regarding travel to other countries.

In addition, we have consulted with our sister institutions in China and have canceled inbound trips from students and faculty who had been planning to visit SVSU later this year. 

For personal travel, we strongly advise all students, faculty and staff to follow travel alerts from the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. State Department.

As always, the health and safety of all members of our campus community is our top priority. Ou r Office of International Programs has been offering support services to students who have family or loved ones affected or otherwise have concerns related to this virus outbreak. International Programs also is available to assist students with issues related to international travel, immigration matters. etc. The Student Counseling Center is a resource for students who desire to speak with a trained professional in a confidential setting. We ask everyone to please be mindful of the stresses our community members may be feeling and be sensitive to them and their needs.

Thank you for taking the time to be and stay informed, and for taking precautions to protect yourself and others. We will continue to monitor updates from local, state and federal officials and communicate with you as developments dictate. 

This statement was updated on Thursday, Feb. 27.