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March 9, 2020 - Message from Interim Provost Leaman

Dear Campus Community,

For those of you who took time off for spring break or did some traveling, welcome back. I hope you enjoyed yourself. I know many of you worked through the break, and I appreciate your efforts.

You’ve no doubt been hearing news about the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019, (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by this new coronavirus recently identified in China. Since my last email on February 28, the number of international and national coronavirus cases has continued to rise. However, no cases of COVID-19 have yet been confirmed in the state of Ohio or at Wright State.

The safety of our university community remains our primary concern, and we have plans in place to address emergencies, including those resulting from infectious disease. I want to assure you that a Wright State University working group is monitoring the situation daily and meeting regularly to lead our efforts to prepare for COVID-19. The working group includes representatives from Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Wright State Physicians, International Affairs, Facilities, Academic Affairs, Residence Life and Housing, and administrators with the authority to deploy resources. Wright State and Student Health Services at Wright State Physicians are following the guidance of national, state, and local health agencies.

To help keep you healthy and informed, Wright State has created a website with information about COVID-19, Wright State’s response, prevention, and other important details.

What You Should Do:

Although there is no vaccine for COVID-19, I encourage you to get a flu vaccine if you have not yet received a flu shot. It is more likely that members of our community will contract seasonal flu than the coronavirus, and it is not too late to get your flu vaccine. While getting a flu vaccine now will not prevent cases of COVID-19, a vaccine can reduce the risk of other serious communicable diseases.

Wright State Physicians, 725 University Boulevard, still has flu vaccines available. Faculty, staff, and students can get a flu shot at Wright State Physicians without an appointment Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Lake Campus faculty, staff, and students can contact Health and Wellness Services at beth.wells@wright.edu, or reach out to their family physician, local health department, or pharmacy for more information.

I encourage everyone to employ these preventive practices that will help curtail the spread of all respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands if visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Staff from Wright State Facilities, Hospitality Services, and residence halls worked throughout the break to clean surfaces that receive frequent contact in preparation for the resumption of spring semester.

Travel Guidelines:

There are no Wright State-sponsored trips or research activities in the affected areas that would elevate the risk to the university community. We’ve been communicating with our international students from affected countries to provide guidance and support.

As I mentioned in my February 28 letter, Wright State is currently restricting university-sponsored travel to any countries that are under a CDC Threat Level 3 travel warning due to COVID-19. As of today, that includes travel to China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. This restriction applies to all faculty, staff, and students on individual trips and study abroad programs for spring semester.

If you have traveled to a country that is under a CDC Threat Level 3 travel warning, please follow the CDC’s after-travel health precautions.

The University Center for International Education will make a determination by March 20 on which summer international programs may be canceled. Decisions will be based on CDC and U.S. Department of State information, as well as consensus among institutions with programs in affected areas. For personal travel, the university strongly advises all students, faculty, and staff to observe travel alerts from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State.

Thank you in advance for your diligent care for our students, yourselves, and each other as we head into the home stretch this spring semester. Please remember that this is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to provide updates through Wright State's COVID-19 website.

Douglas W. Leaman, Ph.D.
Interim Provost

 

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