12:17 a.m., Tuesday, February 4, 2020
A message for you from EMU Dean of Students and OISS about the coronavirus outbreak
Dear International Students from China,
Last Friday, you received an email from EMU President Smith about the recent Novel Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. We want to reinforce to you that the University is closely monitoring this outbreak and is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
Health officials and administrators throughout the University will continue to work closely with the Washtenaw County Health Department to prepare for, screen and prevent the spread of illness. As this situation continues to develop, we will provide updates and information to help you stay healthy.
We wanted to reassure you that Eastern Michigan University has systems in place to monitor, identify and respond swiftly to any potential case of coronavirus. For now, it is important to know when and how to access care:
- If you have traveled from China or a surrounding Asian country — or have been in contact with someone who has — within the past 14 days and you subsequently develop a cough, fever greater than 100.4 degrees and shortness of breath, you will need to seek medical attention.
- Call the IHA Health Center @ EMU at 734.896.4110 to speak to medical personnel who can assess and guide your next steps.
Because we are also at the height of the influenza season, here are some tips to decrease your risk of contracting influenza of which we are seeing many active cases:
- Get vaccinated against influenza! It is not too late. As in other years, the coverage is not 100 percent effective, but it can reduce symptoms for those who do become infected and decrease the risk of severe complications. Your flu shot is covered by the EMU Student Insurance policy.
- Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds or more with soapy water and don’t touch your face.
- If you are sick, do not go to classes, cover your cough and seek help, especially with severe symptoms or if you are at high risk for complications due to such conditions as asthma or diabetes.
- Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
We recognize that many of our students and employees are natives of China and/or have family and friends in the country and may be concerned about their well-being. Please know that the University community supports and cares about you, and we send our best wishes for the health of your loved ones.
Two offices on campus, in particular, can serve as helpful resources should you find yourself in need of support. You may call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 734.487.1118 if you would like to speak to a counselor. For other assistance, consider talking with a staff member at the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) at 734.487.3116 or by stopping in the Office at 240 Student Center.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Director of the Office for International Students and Scholars
2:44 p.m., Friday, January 31, 2020
To students, faculty and staff:
The University’s leadership team continues to closely monitor escalating global developments regarding the Coronavirus.
Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it has classified Coronavirus as a global health emergency and the U.S. State Department elevated its China travel advisory to its highest-level warning, Level 4, which recommends a “Do Not Travel” to China due to the illness.
The Eastern Michigan University health and wellness team, under the direction of Dean of Students Ellen Gold, is involved in ongoing dialogue with state and local public health officials, primarily the Washtenaw County Health Department.
It is important to note that no suspected cases of Coronavirus have been reported on our campus or among any of our students, faculty or staff. No cases have been confirmed in Washtenaw County or in the state of Michigan.
Given the heightened warnings from the WHO and the State Department, we have taken important steps to ensure the safety and well being of our community:
- Student programs with planned travel to China through the end of summer are being assessed, with the possibility of being redirected.
- All university-related and university-sponsored travel to China is being suspended for the next two months and will be evaluated on a rolling basis to account for changing developments in the course of the emergency.
Our utmost priority is the health, safety and well being of our students, faculty and staff, as well as our neighbors in the greater Ypsilanti and Washtenaw communities. This priority will guide our actions in response to this health emergency in the days and weeks ahead.
The Washtenaw County Health Department also reminds us that Coronavirus is a travel-related illness, and not an illness associated with contact with Chinese or Asian community members. The Health Department states, “Let’s fight this public health concern with compassion and science, not fear and discrimination.”
The Washtenaw County Health Department has prepared background information and Frequently Asked Questions [PDF] to better inform the public about Coronavirus.
We will provide further updates as necessary.
James M. Smith, Ph.D.