Dear Colleagues and Students,
I hope the first half of the semester has gone well for all of you. With many travelling or taking some much-deserved time off over Spring Break next week, I want to encourage you to keep yourself and those around you safe.
If you are travelling, make sure someone you trust knows where you are going and when you plan to return, and has a means of contacting someone at home if you are in need of help. When you arrive at your destination, learn your surroundings and ensure you know how you will return before going out by yourself or in a group.
I know the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is top of mind for many. The health risk in this country, including in Pima County and Maricopa County, is currently low. Federal, state, and local officials are working to minimize the risk from the virus and limit its spread, and the University will do the same.
As the situation continues to develop, we will monitor available information and work with public health officials to stay prepared. I encourage you to visit the University’s Coronavirus Information page for details on COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you feel sick, updates on public health, student and campus services, as well as the impact on campus activities, including events and classes.
As Provost Liesl Folks shared in her emails on COVID-19 and international travel, the Centers for Disease Control is updating Travel Notices, and our public health committee is monitoring those notices. The CDC has released country-specific risk assessments for COVID-19.
The highest risk is Level 3: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
All University-sponsored travel and academic travel to these four countries by graduate and undergraduate students is suspended and will not be authorized until further notice. University of Arizona faculty and staff travel deemed to be essential by the traveler's Department Head or Dean will be reviewed by the International Travel Safety Oversight Committee (ITSOC) and subject to approval by the Office of the Provost prior to departure.
A 14-day self-isolation period is required for all travelers from Level 3 countries. This self-isolation should be at home or an off-campus residence for 14 days. Monitor symptoms, and if COVID-19 symptoms occur, seek medical attention. The University will provide resources and assistance to students who may have challenges following this guideline. Please contact the Dean of Students if you need assistance.
Level 2: Japan
Level 1: Hong Kong
While the University does not have requirements for personal travel, we encourage you to understand and take account of the risks, and we urge you not to travel to Level 1, 2 or 3 countries or those with active community spread of COVID-19. The CDC defines community spread as “spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown.”
I urge you to stay informed and prepared, practice good hygiene (wash your hands!), stay hydrated, get enough rest, and remain attentive to your health during Spring Break, but there is no reason for panic. Students with health concerns, stress, or other issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak can contact Campus Health for support and assistance.
I also want to remind everyone of the University’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy and the Student Code of Conduct, which prohibit all forms of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, relationship violence, and gender-based stalking. We expect all members of our community to uphold both the spirit and the letter of this policy and the code of conduct, treating each other with respect at all times, whether you are on or off campus.
If you have a concern or want additional information about sex discrimination, please visit the Title IX website,www.titleix.arizona.edu. If you or someone you know are affected by sex and/or gender-based violence, the Survivor Advocacy program offers free and confidential services. For more information on emotional support, academic support, Title IX navigation, advocacy, and connection to community resources, please visit survivoradvocacy.arizona.edu.
Finally, whether you are travelling or staying in Arizona, I encourage you to take care of one another this coming week. Use good judgment, respect those around you, wash your hands, and return to campus rested and ready for the final part of the academic year.
Robert C. Robbins, M.D.
The University of Arizona