Dear Members of the University Community,

The university continues to work closely with our local, state, and national public health agencies to address the threat presented by the Novel Coronavirus 2019-CoV. We also follow regular updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) at and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at

The United States has been successful in containing the spread of the virus. As of the morning of Sunday, January 26, there are five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in four states within the U.S. With an incubation period of 14 days, it is possible to see more cases announced over the next week or so, linked to Wuhan City, China.

The university began planning and implementing a response as soon as we learned of the national threat. On Friday, January 24, McKinley Health Center contacted students who have a known connection to Wuhan City. Students who did not travel home to Wuhan City over winter break are not at increased risk. Of those who did travel, some have elected to self-quarantine, monitor themselves, and/or wear a surgical mask when going to class and attending other activities.

All students who come to McKinley Health Center with respiratory symptoms are being masked at the entrance and educated regarding ways to keep themselves and others healthy. Students who identify themselves as at risk for a respiratory illness, via phone call prior to visiting the health center or upon entry to the health center, will be masked and receive special handling.

Coronaviruses are generally spread by droplet contact. This commonly means that you must be within 6 feet of an infected person who is coughing and sneezing, or via close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands or touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. Epidemiologists are implementing these intensive “airborne” precautions because the Novel Coronavirus 2019-CoV is not well studied at this point, and they cannot fully exclude the possibility that it could spread through the air. 

Most of our students have been back on campus for at least seven days. In that time, we have had one person with possible symptoms, but it was determined the person did not have the illness. We are very hopeful and taking great strides to keep our campus safe.

As the Director of McKinley Health Center, I want to express my deep gratitude to our international students who have been wonderful to work with during this global situation. 

Robert Parker, FACP, MBA, MD
Director, McKinley Health Center

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