Dear WPI Community,
The university continues to monitor the outbreak of the coronavirus that began in China and was recently declared to be a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). As with other infectious diseases and public health concerns, WPI is following the guidance and direction of local, state, national and international health agencies.
In light of the U.S. State Department’s elevation of the travel warning for China to a Level 4, there will be no WPI-sponsored travel of students, faculty, or staff to China until further notice. WPI also strongly encourages all community members to adhere to the U.S. State Department’s warning when considering personal travel to China. If you have any questions about travel to China, contact Regina Roberto, Director of WPI Health and Wellness Services, at 508-831-5520.
The CDC is asking that anyone who traveled to China in the last 14 days and feels sick with fever or cough, or has difficulty breathing do the following:
· Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
· Avoid contact with others.
· Do not travel while sick.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
NOTE: These guidelines are periodically updated and can be found here.
Of course, we are also at the height of cold and flu season, which are far more likely to impact students, faculty, and staff. Generally speaking,symptoms of coronavirus are remarkably similar to those of the flu and the common cold. During regular business hours, any students with these symptoms should contact WPI Health Services at 508-831-5520; there is a physician on call after hours and on weekends.
In addition to routine cleaning, WPI has increased disinfection work for all points of public contact on campus, including door handles, handrails, and other high-touch areas in academic, residential, and other buildings. More hand sanitizers and sanitizer dispensers can be found around campus, and campus food servers are being extra vigilant about food station/dining area sanitization. The entire community can help prevent the spread of germs by following the CDC’s guidelines.
The university will continue tracking this evolving situation and determining appropriate and prudent measures of prevention and response, and will keep the community informed.
Regina Roberto MSN APRN BC Gary Collins
Dir. WPI Health and Wellness Services Assoc. Dir. for International Risk Management, IGSD