We are writing with an update on Penn’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China. We are continuing to monitor the situation with our partners on campus, including Penn Medicine, and remain in constant communication with public health officials at the local, state and federal levels. There continue to be no cases of the virus on our campus or in Philadelphia, and the risk to our community remains low.
However, in light of new guidance issued February 4, 2020, by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we are recommending that all Penn students, faculty and staff returning from mainland China self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the U.S. They should refrain from class, work and normal activities; self-monitor their temperature; and, if they develop fever, cough or lower respiratory symptoms, seek care either with their health care provider or, in the case of students, with the Student Health Service. Information about self-isolation can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Over the past few weeks, Campus Health, Penn Global, and International Students and Scholars have been in touch with individuals who have recently returned from China. We will continue our outreach efforts and inform those impacted by these new guidelines about next steps. Anyone needing more information can consult our Campus Health website or reach our Public Health office at 215-746-0806.
If you have traveled in China and returned to the U.S. on or before January 21, 2020, and do not show any symptoms of disease, no further action is needed. The U.S. Department of State “Do Not Travel” advisory remains in effect for China.
Influenza-like illnesses are common at this time of year, and we advise everyone to take steps to stay healthy and well. These include frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve, and staying home if you are not feeling well.
For members of the Penn community who have family and friends in the impacted regions, this can be a troubling time, and we remain committed to providing support and guidance. We urge all members of our community to continue to treat each other with kindness and respect, especially as we together face a situation with the potential for discrimination. Student Health and Campus Health are updating their websites regularly, as is Penn Global, and we encourage you to go to any of those sources for updated information as this situation develops.
Communications to students, faculty, and staff:
Jan. 30, 2020: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/announcements/coronavirus-update
Jan. 24, 2020: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/announcements/update-coronavirus