Information on self-quarantining and self-monitoring for recent travelers

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Since our message last week in which we announced university travel restrictions and reporting requirements related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State (DOS) have significantly updated their guidance on travel and guidelines for monitoring the health of those who have recently entered the U.S. from China.

We have also continued to stay in close contact with our local and state public health officials about this outbreak. While there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Ohio, for the safety of our university community, we are implementing additional guidelines consistent with federal public health recommendations.

Self-quarantine for recent travelers

Any Ohio State student, faculty or staff member who returns to the U.S. from China after Sunday, February 2, at 5 p.m. EST will not be permitted to come to work, attend class or participate in any campus or community activity for 14 days after leaving China.

  • The reason for more strict restrictions is because the increase in coronavirus cases in China in recent days has increased the infection risk for more recent travelers.
  • At this time, please note that travel to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau does not apply to this restriction.
  • Students, faculty or staff who need assistance with these restrictions can contact
  • The university will work with anyone impacted by the restrictions to identify the appropriate accommodations for completing academic work or attendance for employment.

Self-monitoring for other travelers

  • For individuals who returned from China before Sunday, February 2, at 5 p.m. EST, public health officials recommend self-monitoring for fever and respiratory symptoms but no other changes in activities at this time.
  • If you have these symptoms, please see your physician or visit the emergency department. Based on our communication with travelers who returned prior to February 2, many of them are already limiting their public activity and voluntarily working from home/not going to class.

Travel restrictions

  • As announced last week, university-sponsored travel to China remains prohibited for all students, faculty and staff members until at least March 6, 2020.
  • Any personal travel to China through at least March 6, 2020, must be reported to the university at
  • All information gathered through this process will remain confidential. All reports should include an Ohio State name.# and a cell phone contact number.
  • The CDC and DOS have listed China at their highest level of travel alerts, and all U.S. airlines have announced temporary cancellation of service to and from China.
  • The U.S. federal government has also placed new restrictions on some non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents coming to the U.S. who have recently been in China. Non-U.S. nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, with prior travel to China in the past 14 days will be denied entry to the U.S.

While we want to take all precautions to advance the safety of our community, please remember that unless you have recently returned from China, there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors related to coronavirus. The best way to prevent the spread of any type of infection — including the flu, which is much more prevalent in the U.S. — is to practice routine hygiene etiquette:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands or use alcohol hand rub after coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Anyone who is ill should keep a safe distance from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs.
  • Anyone who is seriously ill should seek medical advice from their doctor or from an emergency department.

We will continue to send updates as university, local and federal guidelines change. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors is our top priority.

For additional information about coronavirus, including symptoms, treatment or a list of university precautions and requirements, please visit the university’s coronavirus webpage.