Coronavirus Health Advisory

Dear Members of the Suffolk Community,

As of Feb. 26, the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the United States continues to be rated low by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC officials are encouraging U.S. communities to proactively prepare to address a potential increase of U.S. coronavirus cases and the international spread of COVID-19 has impacted CDC international travel advisories.

While there have been no reported cases of coronavirus within the Suffolk community, the University continues to follow guidance and recommendations from the Boston Public Health Commission and the CDC. We are monitoring developments closely, including at our Madrid campus and all other international locations in which we have students studying abroad, and communicating regularly with our community. The health and safety of our students and community members is our highest priority, and the University is proactively taking steps to support our students and employees, maximize prevention, minimize risk, and ensure that we are prepared to respond as the situation develops.

With possible travel occurring for Suffolk community members over the spring break and with COVID-19 preparation being emphasized, the update below is being disseminated to the Suffolk community to address the following:

  • Current COVID-19-related travel advisories by the CDC and travel resources for Suffolk community members
  • Spring break housing information for current Suffolk residence hall students from countries on the CDC watch level 1 (Hong Kong), alert level 2 (Iran, Italy, Japan) and warning level 3 (China, South Korea, Venezuela)
  • Reminders regarding COVID-19 prevention steps
  • Guidance should you become ill with symptoms of concern
  • Preparation steps at Suffolk University

Page Updated: February 26, 2020

Travel

CDC levels of traveler alerts for specific countries warranting COVID-19 health risk ratings are listed below.

Level 1, Watch Level, Practice Usual Precautions - Hong Kong

With risk at level 1, the CDC currently does not recommend canceling or postponing travel. For those who travel to Hong Kong, the CDC advises these travelers to follow the prevention steps listed below in this letter.

Level 2, Alert Level, Practice Enhanced Precautions - Iran, Italy, Japan

With risk at level 2, the CDC currently recommends that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to Iran, Italy, and Japan. For those who travel to these countries, the CDC advises these travelers to follow the prevention steps listed below in this letter.

Level 3, Warning Level - China, South Korea, Venezuela

The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to China, South Korea, and Venezuela. The CDC's level 3 recommendation for China does NOT include Hong Kong, Macau, or the Island of Taiwan. The CDC's level 3 recommendation for Venezuela is based upon "outbreaks of infectious diseases" occurring in Venezuela and the CDC's assessment that "adequate health care is currently not available in most of the country."

The U.S. government is continuing suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days.

At this time, American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and family (as specified in the Presidential Proclamation) who have been in China in the past 14 days are allowed to enter the United States. These travelers are being directed to specific U.S. airports and at those locations these individuals are being screened and instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Additional Travel Information for Students

Suffolk has cancelled spring 2020 study abroad trips to China as well as a travel seminar that was scheduled for Italy during spring break. The Center for International Programs and Services is working closely with impacted students to identify other opportunities.

Spring Break Housing for Current Residence Hall Students from Countries on the CDC COVID-19 Watch, Alert, or Warning Lists

If you are a current residence hall student from any of the countries of concern listed on the CDC travel alert (see for updated information), you will be provided the option of remaining in the residence hall at no cost over spring break. Please email Matthew McGrath in the Office of Residence Life, 73 Tremont Street, 7th floor at to request to register for this option.

Important Prevention Reminder

The CDC and Boston Public Health Commission have recommended precautionary measures consistent with routine preventive measures for many types of virus transmissions, including common colds and influenza. They include:

  • Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm, running water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and  water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Not sharing food, drink, or eating utensils
  • No contact with bodily fluids of an ill person
  • Staying hydrated
  • Staying home when ill until fever-free for 24 hours

Important Reminder - Seeking Medical Care

Suffolk has recommended individuals follow CDC guidance regarding when to seek medical care:

Anyone experiencing a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing)

AND WHO HAS EITHER

traveled within China in the 14 days prior to symptom onset

OR

had close contact with someone who is sick and being evaluated for COVID-19 or who has received a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis: 

  • Students should call Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) at 617-573-8260 during business hours to consult with a CHW Nurse Practitioner.
  • Employees should call their personal medical provider.
  • MGH Emergency services may be contacted after-hours at 617-724-4100.

If you are concerned about possible exposure to coronavirus, practice the precautionary measures above and seek consultation and instructions from a medical provider.

Suffolk Preparation for COVID-19

Suffolk University will continue to communicate closely with the Boston Public Health Commission and to consult CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 and will continue to update the Suffolk community as needed. Again, while there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 within the Suffolk community, the University is actively taking steps to prepare for any needed response, with the safety of our students and employees as our highest priority. Those steps include preparing contingency plans to best ensure campus safety, continuity of learning, and business operations across the University.

Community members are encouraged to review CDC COVID-19 information and resources for more details.

Sincerely,

Jean M. Joyce-Brady, Ph.D.
Director, Counseling, Health & Wellness

Sebastián Royo
Vice President of International Affairs

Additional Resources

CDC and US Department of State Travel Advisories and related information

CDC About Coronavirus, including routinely updated health information

CDC Situation Summary

Counseling, Health & Wellness
5th floor, 73 Tremont Street
617-573-8226

Suffolk CARES
12th floor, 73 Tremont Street, Student Affairs Office
617-573-8239

Dean of Students Office/Law School (Law Students only)
4th floor, Sargent Hall
617-573-8329
lawdeanofstudents@suffolk.edu

Center for International Programs and Services
9th floor, 73 Tremont Street
617-725-4151

Interfaith Center
8th floor, Sawyer Building, 8 Ashburton Place, room 823
617-573-8325

INTO Suffolk (INTO Students Only)
4th floor, 73 Tremont Street
617-573-8700

Concerns about Students

Faculty and staff responding to questions from students about coronavirus are encouraged to refer students to these advisory pages for more information.  Faculty and staff should also instruct students who are concerned about their own health related to coronavirus to call CHW (617-573-8260) to speak with a Nurse Practitioner.

Employee Support

Suffolk employees with questions about their health related to coronavirus should contact their personal health providers.  We are aware some employees may have family or loved ones impacted by coronavirus, and others may be experiencing increased distress or worry related to the outbreak.  Employees in need of emotional support are encouraged to contact EAP resources for assistance. For more information visit their website, enter “Suffolk University” for company name, and “guest” for the password, or call them at 1-800-828-6025.

Suffolk University Health Advisory Emails by Date

Suffolk University continues to closely monitor developments related to 2019-nCoV (coronavirus).  Suffolk is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), MA Department of Public Health, and Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and is following established protocols for responding to coronavirus.  On February 1, 2020, the MA Department of Public Health (MADPH) confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Massachusetts.  The affected individual is not affiliated with Suffolk University, is under medical care, and is recovering.  MDPH has advised the risk to the public from coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.  As a result, the campus will operate business as usual.  Classes and activities will be held as scheduled.

Suffolk administrators and health professionals in Counseling, Health & Wellness (CHW) will continue to monitor this situation, following recommendations from the CDC and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and this page will be updated with new information when it becomes available.

When to Seek Medical Care

Suffolk has recommended individuals follow CDC guidance regarding when to seek medical care:

Anyone experiencing a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. cough, difficulty breathing)

AND HAVE EITHER

Traveled in the 14 days prior to symptom onset within China

OR

Have had close contact with someone who is sick and being evaluated for 2019-nCoV or has received a laboratory confirmed 2019-nCoV diagnosis.

If you are concerned about your possible exposure to coronavirus, practice the precautionary measures below and seek consultation and instructions from a medical provider.

  • Students can call CHW Health at 617-573-8260 during business hours to consult with a CHW Nurse Practitioner.
  • Employees should call their personal medical provider.
  • MGH Emergency services may be contacted after-hours at 617-724-4100.

Please note:  Individuals who have traveled within China and do not experience symptoms for 14 days after leaving China do not need to take further action.

Precautionary Measures for All Community Members

The CDC and BPHC have recommended precautionary measures consistent with routine preventive measures for many types of virus transmissions, including common colds and influenza.  They include:

  • Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm, running water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Not sharing food, drink or eating utensils
  • No contact with bodily fluids of an ill person
  • Staying hydrated
  • Staying home when ill until fever-free for 24 hours

Questions about Face Masks

Some have asked questions about the use of face masks.  Public health officials in the United States including the CDC have not recommended the use of face masks by the general public who do not have active symptoms.  Based on this guidance, CHW is not providing face masks to students unless medically necessary following an evaluation.

Information in English and Chinese from CDC

Symptoms
Prevention and Treatment

Travel Information

As of February 2, 2020, the CDC has recommended against all non-essential travel to China and the US Department of State has recommended avoiding all travel to China, a Level 4 warning.  Students and employees considering personal travel to China are encouraged to monitor these advisories closely.

Starting February 2, 2020, increased restrictions on entry to the US were implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, limiting airport entry points from China and requiring mandatory screening and possible restricted movement or monitoring for those travelers who have been in China 14 days prior to arriving in the United States.  These restrictions are subject to change anytime and community members are encouraged to closely monitor travel advisories and restrictions.

Suffolk is aware these changes may cause anxiety or distress among those most impacted by restricted travel.  Support for students is available through Counseling, Health & Wellness and other offices.  Employees are encouraged to utilize EAP resources for support.

Additional Travel Information for Students

Suffolk's study abroad partners have cancelled spring 2020 study abroad trips to China and the Center for International Programs and Services is working closely with impacted students to identify other study abroad opportunities. The University will consider if travel seminars to China scheduled for May 2020 will be offered, as planned.

Additional Travel Information for Employees

The Office of Risk Management (ORM) would like to remind all faculty and staff that according to the University's Travel Arrangements and Reimbursement Policy and Procedures [PDF], travelers may not travel to a country for which the United States Department of State has issued a Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory without prior approval from the Office of Risk Management.

ORM strongly encourages all faculty and staff to report their travel itinerary [PDF] to our global travel assistance provider, Drum Cussac. Travelers can find out more about Drum Cussac and their services on the International Travel page. Those with questions can contact ORM.

Dear Suffolk Employee:

Suffolk University has been closely monitoring developments regarding coronavirus. We have communicated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and have created a web page with information for the campus community. While there are no reported cases of coronavirus within the Suffolk community and the risk to the public in Massachusetts and the U.S. remains low, we understand that this public health issue may be causing increased stress, and for some, concern for loved ones. Please know there are resources at Suffolk to support you. A listing of resources may be viewed here.

Suffolk University prides itself on fostering an environment of care and compassion and values our foundations of diversity and inclusion. We are fortunate to have a strong global community and it is important to support all members who comprise our community and particularly those from areas that are affected by the coronavirus at this time.

Several departments are prepared to assist students. You may refer students directly or contact Student Affairs/Suffolk Cares if you are concerned about a student. A listing of campus departments ready to assist students may be viewed here.

Some have asked questions about the use of face masks. Public health officials in the U.S., including the CDC, have not recommended the use of face masks by the general public who do not have active symptoms. Based on this guidance, Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) is not routinely providing face masks to students. However, for some members of our community, the wearing of masks is commonplace, and we remind the community to be respectful of individuals who choose to wear masks.

If you would like personal support or know of a student who would, please reach out. Employees may contact Suffolk's Employee Assistance Plan and concerns about students should be referred Student Affairs/Suffolk Cares, located on the 12th floor of 73 Tremont Street. You may contact Student Affairs/Suffolk Cares at 617-573-8239 for consultation. You may also email Student Affairs or submit a Suffolk Cares Referral Form.

Sincerely,

Julie Sandell
Provost

Gina Begley
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer

Dear Suffolk Community,

Suffolk University continues to closely monitor developments related to coronavirus. On Saturday (Feb.1), the MA Department of Public Health (MADPH) confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Massachusetts. The affected individual is not affiliated with Suffolk University, is under medical care and is recovering. This communication follows an advisory sent to students and employees last week and provides updated information.

The MADPH has advised the risk to the public from coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts. As a result, the campus will operate business as usual. Classes and activities will be held as scheduled.

Suffolk continues to closely monitor and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), MA Department of Public Health, and Boston Public Health Commission and is following established protocols for responding to coronavirus. Suffolk has advised students and employees to follow CDC recommendations regarding when to seek medical consultation related to coronavirus. View the January 23, 2020 Health Advisory to the Suffolk Community below or the CDC website for specific instructions and virus transmission prevention steps.

We understand this is a concerning situation for the Suffolk Community. Students concerned about coronavirus may contact Counseling Health and Wellness (CHW) for medical screening by calling 617-573-8226 and may contact Suffolk CARES and the offices listed below for personal support. Employees may contact their personal health care providers with screening questions and Suffolk's Employee Assistance Program for personal support. View this Suffolk Coronavirus Health Advisory page for additional resources available to the Suffolk Community for education and support.

Suffolk will actively continue to monitor CDC updates and guidance regarding the coronavirus and will communicate further information in conjunction with other campus administrators as needed.

Sincerely,

Marisa Kelly
President

In this Advisory

  • Travel advisories and related information for Suffolk students
  • Study abroad for students

January 30, 2020

Suffolk University continues to actively monitor developments related to coronavirus. This communication follows an advisory sent to students last week and provides updated information.

Currently, there are no reported cases of coronavirus within the Suffolk community or in Massachusetts, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the overall risk to members of the public in the United States remains low at this time. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency. The virus was first discovered in Wuhan City, China and affects the respiratory system.

Suffolk is in close communication with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and, as with other communicable diseases, we have established protocols for responding to coronavirus. When treating students, University Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) providers are including screening questions related to recent travel in medical assessments as appropriate and are prepared to follow CDC and Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) recommendations and instructions regarding prevention, identification and treatment of this virus.

Suffolk has advised students to follow CDC recommendations regarding when to seek medical consultation related to coronavirus. View the January 23, 2020 Health Advisory to the Suffolk Community or the CDC for specific instructions and virus transmission prevention steps.

Suffolk's study abroad partners have cancelled spring study abroad trips to China and the Center for International Programs and Services is working closely with impacted students to identify other study abroad opportunities. The University will consider if travel seminars to China scheduled for May 2020 will be offered, as planned.

The CDC recently advised individuals to avoid non-essential travel to China. The U. S. Department of Stateadvised individuals to reconsider travel to China and against travelling to the Chinese province of Hubei. Travel advisories are evolving quickly and increased travel restrictions may be implemented. Students considering travel to China are encouraged to monitor these advisories closely.

We understand this is a concerning situation for students, many of whom have loved ones in China. Suffolk is supporting students and advises students to contact Suffolk CARES for further assistance. View the Suffolk Coronavirus Health Advisories page for additional resources available to the Suffolk Community for education and support.

CHW will continue to monitor CDC updates and guidance regarding the coronavirus and will communicate further information in conjunction with other campus administrators as needed.

Sincerely,

Ann Coyne
Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

Sebastian Royo
Vice President for International Affairs

In this Advisory

  • Travel advisories and related information for Suffolk employees
  • Study abroad for students

January 30, 2020

Suffolk University continues to actively monitor developments related to coronavirus. This communication follows an advisory sent to employees last week and provides updated information.

Currently, there are no reported cases of coronavirus within the Suffolk community or in Massachusetts, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the overall risk to members of the public in the United States remains low at this time. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency. The virus was first discovered in Wuhan City, China and affects the respiratory system.

Suffolk is in close communication with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and as with other communicable diseases, we have established protocols for responding to coronavirus. When treating students, University Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) providers are including screening questions related to recent travel in medical assessments as appropriate and are prepared to follow CDC and Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) recommendations and instructions regarding prevention, identification and treatment of this virus.

Suffolk has advised employees to follow CDC recommendations regarding when to seek medical consultation related to coronavirus. View the January 23, 2020 Health Advisory to the Suffolk Community or the CDC for specific instructions and virus transmission prevention steps.

Suffolk's study abroad partners have cancelled spring study abroad trips to China and the Center for International Programs and Services is working closely with impacted students to identify other study abroad opportunities. The University will consider if travel seminars to China scheduled for May 2020 will be offered, as planned.

The Office of Risk Management (ORM) would like to remind all faculty and staff that according to the University's Travel Arrangements and Reimbursement Policy and Procedures, travelers may not travel to a country for which the United States Department of State has issued a Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory without prior approval from the Office of Risk Management. At this time the U. S. State Department has raised its travel advisory for all of China to a Level 3: Reconsider Travel, and for Hubei Province to a Level 4: Do not travel.

ORM strongly encourages all faculty and staff to report their travel itinerary to our global travel assistance provider, Drum Cussac. Travelers can find out more about Drum Cussac and their services on the International Travel page of the website. Those with questions can contact ORM.

We understand this is a concerning situation for students, many of whom have loved ones in China. Suffolk is supporting students and advises students to contact Suffolk CARES for further assistance. View the Suffolk Coronavirus Health Advisories page for additional resources available to the Suffolk Community for education and support.

CHW will continue to monitor CDC updates and guidance regarding the coronavirus and will communicate further information in conjunction with other campus administrators as needed.

Sincerely,

Gina Begley
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer

Sebastian Royo
Vice President for International Affairs

In this Advisory

  • When and how to seek medical consultation for student and employees
  • Reminders about standard prevention measures for prevention of virus transmission 

January 23, 2020

Dear Suffolk  Community,

A new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, was reported in the U.S. in the state of Washington on January 21, 2020. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the coronavirus which has led to hundreds becoming ill in China and to some deaths in China. The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are implementing enhanced health screenings to detect ill travelers traveling to the United States on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China. Based on current information, the risk from 2019-nCoV to the American public is currently deemed to be low. At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.

Anyone experiencing a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) AND who in the last 14 days before symptom onset traveled from Wuhan City, China OR who in the last 14 days had close contact with a sick patient with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient, should consult with a medical provider. Students can call CHW Health at 617-573-8260 to consult with a CHW Nurse Practitioner; employees should call their personal medical provider.

More CDC information about the coronavirus and travel related advisories can be found at:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/novel-coronavirus-china

Counseling, Health and Wellness will continue to monitor CDC updates and guidance regarding the coronavirus and will communicate with the Suffolk community as needed. CHW Health providers will also include travel questions in medical assessments as appropriate and will follow CDC recommendations regarding this virus.

As always, recommendations for prevention of virus transmission include:

  • Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm, running water for at least 20 seconds
  • Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve
  • Avoiding touching your eyes or nose
  • Not sharing food, drink or eating utensils
  • No contact with bodily fluids of an ill person
  • Staying hydrated
  • Staying home when ill until fever-free for 24 hours

We wish you a healthy spring semester.

Sincerely,

Jean M. Joyce-Brady, Ph.D.
Director, Counseling, Health & Wellness

Paul Heinzelmann, MD
Medical Director