Restriction of travel and mandatory reporting for South Korea

What's new in this update:

  • Restriction of university-sponsored travel by faculty, staff and students to South Korea through Monday, April 20, 2020.
  • Mandatory reporting of personal travel to South Korea through April 20.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

We write to provide an update related to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID19). While there are currently no confirmed cases in Ohio, we continue to monitor the guidelines and recommendations from local, state and federal health officials to protect the safety and well-being of our community.

Continuing to be proactive about the safety of our university community, Ohio State is including South Korea in the temporary restrictions for universitysponsored travel for all faculty, staff and students through at least Monday, April 20, 2020. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an elevation of travel alert status and a recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel to the country.

Those with personal travel to or from South Korea will also be required to report their travel to 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.

The previously announced restrictions for university-sponsored travel and mandatory reporting of personal travel to China also remain in effect through at least April 20. We will continue to monitor guidance from the 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.

All information gathered through this process will remain confidential.

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. The situation in any particular travel destination can change quickly. A number of other countries have been assigned a Travel Alert Level 2 status by the CDC. The university may add travel restrictions in the future if countries are elevated to a Travel Warning Level 3 status.

We continue to take all precautions, but please remember that unless you have recently returned from China or South Korea, 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