Fall 2020 > Updates > ​March 3, 2020—Travelers to Level 3 alert countries

Travelers to Level 3 alert countries should self-quarantine and report returns from China, Iran, Italy and South Korea

​​​​​March 3, 2020

In light of the continued spread of COVID-19, formerly known as Coronavirus, many of you may have understandable concerns around travel, both abroad and locally. At this time, we are aware of several presumptive positive cases in the State of Illinois. Illinois has had two previously confirmed cases of COVID-19 and both patients made a full recovery. None of the cases has had any known connection to DePaul.

Be aware that the university has been monitoring the situation since January and will continue to do so. We ask that you take this time to review the information provided below, especially if you are planning to travel internationally during the upcoming spring break.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has stated that the health risk to the general public in the Chicagoland area continues to remain low for COVID-19. You can learn more on the CDPH website: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdph/provdrs/health_protection_and_response/svcs/2019- novel-coronavirus--2019-ncov-.html.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated travel notices: China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea are at Level 3 (avoid all nonessential travel); Japan is at Level 2 (sustained community transmission of COVID-19); and Hong Kong is at Level 1 (practice usual precautions). New countries can be added to this list at any time. Before traveling, check the CDC's COVID-19 Information for Travel website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.

In addition to these travel warnings, it is important to note that CDPH has advised that travelers returning from any country with a travel alert Level 3 should stay home and monitor their health for up to 14 days. If you are traveling or returned from any travel alert Level 3 country on or after February 28, please contact the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu or 773-325-7129 as soon as possible. Absences for this purpose will be excused and alternate arrangements will be made for teleworking and online school assignments, if possible.

If you begin to experience symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider. Students also may call DePaul's Health Services (AMITA Sage Medical at 773-549-7757) for medical advice.

Approximately 65 DePaul students are currently abroad. University staff have been in contact with each of them to provide travel updates. Destinations of upcoming study abroad programs scheduled for spring break and summer are being monitored daily. Additional guidelines issued by CDC on March 1 were taken into consideration. Academic Affairs evaluates programs on an individual basis when destinations are designated with a Level 2 or 3 CDC travel warning. As a result, a short-term program in Japan during spring break and a first-year abroad program to China scheduled to occur this summer have been canceled. A term-long program to Shanghai this summer is on hold. DePaul is monitoring the situation and will make additional decisions about upcoming programs abroad as new information becomes available.

In general, everyone at DePaul should work to minimize the spread of any infectious disease, including COVID-19 and influenza. The CDC recommends the following:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Visit the COVID-19 factsheet from CDC with more detailed information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

As international response to COVID-19 continues to take shape, the DePaul community is reminded to stay informed by reliable sources and to remain compassionate to students, faculty and staff who may have family or friends in countries that are affected. More information about the COVID-19 virus can be found on the Student Affairs website: go.depaul.edu/COVID​​

Shannon Suffoletto
Director, Office of Health Promotion and Wellness

Cheryl Hover
Associate Director of Emergency Management, Office of Public Safety