Extension of travel restrictions and reporting requirements through at least

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We write to provide an update related to the coronavirus outbreak, which is now officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. Among other information, this update extends the previously announced travel restrictions and reporting requirements through at least April 20, 2020.

While the spread of COVID-19 is still considered to be low risk within the United States and there are currently no confirmed cases in Ohio, we continue to monitor the guidelines and recommendations from health officials to protect the safety and well-being of our community. Updates are as follows:

Temporary travel restrictions extended

Ohio State is extending the temporary restrictions for university-sponsored travel to mainland China for all faculty, staff and students through at least Monday, April 20. We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State (DOS), and will share plans prior to April 20 to either end the restriction early or, if needed, extend it.

Personal travel and reporting requirements

For personal travel, we continue to strongly advise all students, faculty and staff to follow travel alerts from the CDC, DOS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Those with personal travel to or from China will continue to be required to report their travel to travelreporting@osumc.edu through at least April 20 so that we can offer proper resources and immediately assist any member of our community who may become ill. Details of this requirement are available on the university’s coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage.

All information gathered through this process will remain confidential.

For students living in a residence hall that closes over spring break and whose personal travel may be impacted by the DHS restrictions, please contact housing@osu.edu no later than Friday, February 28, if you are unable to make other housing arrangements.

Self-quarantine and monitoring for recent travelers

Previously announced self-quarantine and self-monitoring guidelines consistent with federal public health recommendations remain in place. Any Ohio State student, faculty or staff member who returned to the United States from China after Sunday, February 2, at 5 p.m. EST is not permitted to come to work, attend class or participate in any campus or community activity for 14 days after leaving China.

Since our last update, the Ohio Department of Health has established a process for local departments of health to manage self-quarantine and selfmonitoring requirements. These agencies will reach out directly to, and manage the monitoring of, anyone returning to the United States from China.

Ohio State remains available to support our students, faculty and staff. Those who need assistance can contact travelreporting@osumc.edu.

We continue to take all precautions, but please remember that unless you have recently returned from China, there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors due to COVID-19. The best way to prevent the spread of any type of infection — including the flu, which is much more prevalent in the United States — 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.
  • If you are ill, keep a safe distance from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs.
  • If you are seriously ill, seek medical advice from your health care provider 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 community is our top priority.

Thank you,

Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost

Gladys M. Gibbs, MD, MS
Director, Student Life Student Health Services

Andrew Thomas, MD, MBA Chief Clinical Officer
Senior Associate Vice President for Health Sciences