Dear Members of the University Community,
The health, safety, and well-being of our campus community is our top priority.
In recent weeks, a novel coronavirus — first detected in December in Wuhan, China — has become an emergent public health concern internationally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3 for China regarding the virus; and the U.S. State Department has designated China as a Level 3 Travel Advisory location, with Hubei Province as a Level 4.
There are reports of a limited number of cases of the virus in the U.S. But there are no reported incidents on our campus. And we continue to be advised that the risk of transmission to members of our community is very low.
A workgroup of senior University of Kentucky administrators is meeting regularly to monitor issues associated with the virus and communicate with the campus. There is a website specifically to provide current information about resources as well as answers to questions: https://uknow.uky.edu/content/coronavirus-response. As this situation or warning levels change, we will update the campus.
However, it is important that we take steps to prevent illness — whether it is the flu or other illnesses — and that, when we are sick, we quickly take steps to be assessed and treated. We know that members of our campus community travel to and from China on a regular basis for work, study, research and programs. However, in response to these warnings from the CDC and State Department; conversations with our insurance carrier about the scope of coverage; and in an abundance of caution:
• UK students will not be permitted to travel to China at this time. Under UK Administrative Regulation 4:9, students may not conduct UK-endorsed travel to any country or region under a Department of State Level 3 advisory (or higher) or a CDC Warning Level 3. This applies to all students at the University (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) as well as to graduate medical education (GME) residents, regardless of whether the student is earning academic credit associated with the trip.
• All non-essential University-sponsored travel to China by faculty, staff, or students will not be approved at this time. Appeals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We are working with those impacted to re-arrange or reschedule trips planned in the near term.
• If you have traveled to or from China in the last 14 days and experience symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please seek medical attention immediately. You should also notify the health care facility in advance with your symptoms and travel history. You can read other frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus: https://uknow.uky.edu/content/coronavirus-response.
• If you have questions about warning levels or travel plans, contact UK’s Office of International Health, Safety, and Security within the UK International Center at 859-218-4961.
• If you have concerns about your health, please contact University Health Service at 859-323-2778.
• If you are feeling anxious or have concerns, we encourage our students to reach out to our Counseling Center at 859-257-8701; and we encourage our employees to reach out to Work-Life resources at 859-257-8763.
We will continue to keep the campus informed.
Our community’s health depends on all of us. We are a diverse, inclusive, and global campus; our public health depends on our individual decisions; and we must be mindful when members of the community are in need.
Thank you for your commitment to who we are as an institution.
Eli Capilouto, President
University of Kentucky