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Novel Coronavirus Advisory Notice

NOTICE REGARDING TRAVELLERS TO/ FROM CHINA

Starting this February 2nd, U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members who have been in the Hubei province in China are now subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Additionally, “foreign nationals” who have traveled to China in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the United States.

Furthermore, U.S. citizens who have visited any other part of China will be screened at U.S. airports/ports-of-entry and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the screening test for the Coronavirus is merely a “point-in-time” snapshot that cannot conclusively rule out the risk of a person developing the disease during the 14-day incubation period.

Therefore, the 14-day self-quarantine is essential, and required for public safety.

As an employee, or student of Morehouse School of Medicine—if you experience a situation which involves possible, or actual contact with any individual(s) who are subject, or could be subject to self-quarantine due to the Coronavirus, then please contact the MSM Office of Human Resources via the following channels:

Contact Information:
Human Resources: (404) 752-1713 (Direct Line)
dbritt@msm.edu (Email)
Gregory Antoine, M.D.: 404-756-5294

Morehouse School of Medicine is monitoring the public health situation relating to an outbreak strain of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. As of Tuesday, February 2 the U.S. Department of State has a travel advisory level for China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of Tuesday, February 2 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Alert Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel for all of China. Previously, the CDC warning was for Wuhan, Hubei province, only.

Due to the Level 4 advisory from the Department of State, MSM-sponsored travel to China at this time is suspended until further notice. MSM encourages all members of the MSM community to consider postponing personal travel to China at this time, given the uncertainty about how rapidly the virus is spreading, as well as the possibility of travel disruptions due to new areas in China that are under quarantine. If, however, travel to China is deemed urgent, individuals must contact their respective deans or division heads to make them aware of their planned travel and safety plans. 

Be aware that in response to this outbreak, many countries are implementing health screening of international travelers. Also, some major airlines have suspended flights between the U.S. and China. . As of Tuesday, February 2, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency due to the illness spreading to 22 countries, including six cases in four states in the U.S. at this time.

As of January 31, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed six cases in California, Arizona, Illinois and Washington. While we are not aware of any cases in the Atlanta community or in the State Georgia, we are closely monitoring the situation, coordinating with colleagues in our community, and following the latest guidance from public health officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and the CDC.

Additionally, the CDC offers the following guidance:

  • Consult with a doctor prior to travel if you have any health-related concerns;
  • Avoid traveling while sick (Traveling with a fever from an unrelated condition could result in increased screening and other travel issues);
  • Expect additional screening at airports and transit hubs—allow for extra travel time;
  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
  • Practice good hygiene through frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment; and
  • Enroll in international travel medical insurance.

Signs and symptoms related to this coronavirus strain include fever, cough, runny nose, headache or sore throat. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or other complications. We encourage any faculty, staff and students who are not feeling well or who have questions or concerns to contact the NEED. Any student, faculty, staff or researcher who has recently traveled to China and have any of the symptoms mentioned above should contact their health care provider. The following actions are useful advice for preventing the spread of viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

For more information and the latest public health guidance, please refer to the CDC and the GDPH websites.