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Coronavirus FAQs

Updated February 14, 2020, 3:30 PM

*It is essential that everyone at Tulane remain supportive, respectful, and welcoming toward the members of our community who were born, lived, or traveled to the areas of the world most affected by this global issue. Tulane is committed to maintaining an academic community where every member can thrive in an environment that is free of all forms of discrimination.

FAQs about coronavirus

What is the current status of the novel coronavirus as it relates to Tulane?

  • There are currently no identified cases of coronavirus in the Tulane community.
  • Health authorities throughout the world are focused on this illness and Tulane’s highly trained medical staff is closely following developments while working with other university offices to make well-informed decisions for the protection of the Tulane community.

What is coronavirus?
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory disease. It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Additional information about this emerging disease can be found at the CDC.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Currently, the CDC believes that symptoms appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Coronavirus can be transmitted person-to-person. Additional information about coronavirus symptoms can be found here.

What is the incubation period?
The current evidence suggests a typical incubation period (time from exposure of the virus to the development of symptoms) is 2 to 7 days but might be up to 14 days in some individuals.

Should we be wearing face masks?
Masks are only recommended for use in healthcare facilities by those who are being assessed or treated for a potential illness.

What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is when a person does not leave their home for a designated period of time to eliminate the opportunity of exposing others to any germs or infectious diseases they may have. If someone is suspected of having coronavirus, healthcare professionals may ask that they self-isolate for up to 14 days.

How do I prevent coronavirus?
While there is still much that is unknown about the virus, we know what we can do to reduce our risk for infection from many infectious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often (using soap and water for at least 20 seconds), especially after you have touched someone who is sick. If soap and water are not available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, make sure to cover your coughs and sneezes by using the crook of your arm or disposable tissues. If you use disposable tissues throw them away after use and then wash your hands with soap and water.

What is the treatment for coronavirus?
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV are treated with supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

What happens if there is a confirmed case on campus?
If a 2019-nCoV virus is confirmed, then CDC protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the Louisiana Department of Health. Tulane University will fully support this effort.

How do I stay up to date on this situation?
Tulane continues to monitor and provide updates online. You can check the university’s emergency website and the Tulane Campus Health website for updates. Major notifications and announcements may also be shared via email. Be sure to check your university email on a regular basis.

FAQs about Tulane’s response

What is Tulane doing to protect the health of our community?

  • Tulane officials are working with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, the Tulane Office of International Students & Scholars, Tulane Campus Health, the Tulane Office of Emergency Preparedness & Response and other key offices to monitor the evolving situation.
  • Tulane is following the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding screening and prevention.

What should members of the Tulane community do to protect themselves?

  • Public health officials have issued no recommendations for isolation, the use of masks, or other special precautions for anyone not experiencing symptoms.
  • Because it is cold and flu season, and this virus has similar symptoms to the cold and flu, it is important to not make any assumptions; individuals should have any respiratory illness evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  • Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call +1-504-862-8121 during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m. This is applicable for all Tulane faculty, staff, students, scholars, and their families.
  • The university has implemented restrictions regarding travel to China. These follow the guidance of the CDC and US State Department. The university’s travel advisory can be found here.
  • The university has communicated with members of the community who had recently registered to travel to and from China.

Why isn’t Tulane screening every person that has recently been in China and those with whom they may have been in contact?
The university is following CDC and WHO guidelines on all screening and response protocols. These evidence-based protocols are the national (and international) standard. While screening protocols based on these guidelines are in place at airports across the world to identify those who are ill and prevent them from traveling, guidelines from the CDC and WHO do not include restricting travel or quarantining/isolating individuals who are asymptomatic (i.e., without symptoms), simply based on their travel history or home address.

Likewise, CDC and WHO guidelines recommend collecting a travel history on any person experiencing respiratory symptoms. Tulane Student Health Center clinicians are collecting this data during phone consultations and medical visits.

If the CDC and WHO issue new guidelines related to coronavirus, the university will adjust clinical protocols accordingly in order to rapidly identify, evaluate, and support any students at risk.

If you, your family, or guests at your house recently traveled to/from China and have or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should:

  • Call the Tulane Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.) immediately.
  • Immediately follow the advice of the healthcare professional at the Tulane Student Health Center.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
  • Wear a mask if you need to leave your home while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the crook of your arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Please note, the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to those of cold or flu. Exhibiting any of the above symptoms should not cause panic. We are currently in the middle of Flu season.

What happens if there is a confirmed case on campus?
If a 2019-nCoV virus is confirmed, then CDC protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the Louisiana Department of Health. Tulane University will fully support this effort.

I am from China and am concerned about family and friends who are in China, what do I do?
Know that you are not alone in this difficult time. Students can walk-in to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours, students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at +1-504-264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at +1-504-920-9900. Students may also email SRSS@tulane.edu to communicate with a Case Manager.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here.

*I am a student in China and am applying to Tulane for admission in summer or fall 2020 but cannot provide all documentation at this time due to coronavirus. Will I still be able to apply?
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted the operations of many services in China, including operations at the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC) and the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). We know these operational disruptions are beyond your control. Please reach out to the admission officer for the program or school you are applying to and let them know which pieces of your application you will be able to submit by the deadline.

How do I stay up to date on this situation?
Tulane continues to monitor and provide updates online. You can check the university’s emergency website and the Tulane Campus Health website for updates. Major notifications and announcements may also be shared via email. Be sure to check your university email on a regular basis.

FAQs for Faculty, Staff, and Scholars

What should members of the Tulane community do to protect themselves?

  • Public health officials have issued no recommendations for isolation, the use of masks, or other special precautions for anyone not experiencing symptoms.
  • Because it is cold and flu season, and this virus has similar symptoms to the cold and flu, it is important to not make any assumptions; individuals should have any respiratory illness evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  • Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call +1-504-862-8121 during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m. This is applicable for all Tulane faculty, staff, students, scholars, and their families.
  • The university has implemented restrictions regarding travel to China. These follow the guidance of the CDC and US State Department. The university’s travel advisory can be found here.
  • The university has communicated with members of the community who had recently registered to travel to and from China.

If I have any symptoms related to coronavirus should I stay home from work or classes?
The symptoms related to coronavirus are similar to those of the flu and cold, both of which are prevalent during this time of year. If you have a fever or any other cold or flu symptoms you should not report to work or attend classes.

If you have recently (within 14 days) traveled to or from China, or if you have been around people who have been in China within the past 14 days, then you should call the Tulane Student Health Center for a medical screening. Call +1-504-862-8121 during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m. This is applicable for all Tulane faculty, staff, students, scholars, and their families.

If you have not recently (within 14 days) traveled to or from China, or if you have not been around people who have been in China within the past 14 days, then you should call your primary care physician or the Tulane Student Health Center (+1-504-862-8121 between 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m.) to speak with a healthcare professional.

If you are ill, it is your responsibility to communicate with your supervisor and/or professors about your absence.

I am supposed to travel to China in the near future, can I still go?
As of Wednesday, January 29th, Tulane students, faculty and staff MAY NOT TRAVEL to China for university business or university academic purposes, including but not limited to study abroad, internships, academic work for credit, service, conferences or presentations, teaching, training, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be sent to the Office of Academic Affairs and Provost, for review by the Provost. Please send any requests to Kady Weingart for processing. The full Tulane travel advisory provides additional information.

Faculty, staff and students contemplating travel to China must adhere to the items above and are strongly encouraged to visit the State Department website for Travel Notices and Updates and the CDC website for Travel Notices and Updates.

Tulane will continue to follow this rapidly evolving situation and may modify these measures as further information becomes available.

If I have an employee, student, or scholar arriving from China, can I ask them to self-isolate?
No. The only person who can ask a person to self-isolate is a healthcare practitioner, who will only do so if it aligns with CDC guidance. Faculty and supervisors may not ask their employees or students to self-isolate. All travelers arriving from China are required to contact the Tulane Student Health Center by telephone +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.) within 24 hours of their arrival in the U.S. from China and prior to entering campus to arrange and complete a medical screening.

I am a faculty or staff member and I am concerned about a colleague or student, what do I do?
Please call the Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.) to report your concerns. Do not ask your colleague or student to quarantine or self-isolate.

If you, your family, or guests at your house recently traveled to/from China and have or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should:

  • Call the Tulane Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.) immediately.
  • Immediately follow the advice of the healthcare professional at the Tulane Student Health Center.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
  • Wear a mask if you need to leave your home while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the crook of your arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Please note, the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to those of cold or flu. Exhibiting any of the above symptoms should not cause panic. We are currently in the middle of Flu season.

I am from China and am concerned about family and friends who are in China, what do I do?
Know that you are not alone in this difficult time. Students can walk-in to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours, students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at +1-504-264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at +1-504-920-9900. Students may also email SRSS@tulane.edu to communicate with a Case Manager.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here.

I am a visiting scholar, what resources are available to me?
We are so glad that you are here. If you have arrived in the U.S. within the past 14 days and begin experiencing any symptoms associated with coronavirus, immediately call the Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.).

If your family traveled with you or recently joined you and any of them begin experiencing symptoms associated with coronavirus, immediately call the Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.). You should take precautions to not expose yourself to others if you have been in close contact with someone who is feeling ill.

If you are feeling anxious about family and friends who are in China, there are several resources available to you. Students can walk-in to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours, students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at +1-504-264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at +1-504-920-9900. Students may also email SRSS@tulane.edu to communicate with a Case Manager.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here.

I am a foreign national and I was in China within the past 14 days. Will I be able to enter the U.S.?
Effective at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on Sunday, February 2, 2020, President Trump is implementing a ban on foreign nationals who have been in China in the past 14 days and they will not be allowed to enter the U.S. Foreign nationals who are family members of U.S. citizens will be allowed to enter, but will be subject to new screening guidelines.

If you are a scholar who will not be able to enter the U.S. due to travel restrictions, please reach out to the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) at oiss@tulane.edu or +1-504-865-5208 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). We want to support you during this incredibly difficult time and we are looking forward to when you will be able to join us in New Orleans.

Should I participate in campus activities and events?
At this time individuals without any symptoms can continue to participate in campus events. The university, following guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health, CDC, and WHO, has not cancelled any activities or events due to the current coronavirus concerns.

*I am a scholar who is supposed to start at Tulane in February or March, what do I do?
The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has recommended that start dates be delayed beyond April 1, 2020. The Office of Institutional Scholars & Students (OISS) will reach out to affected scholars and their supervisors to begin coordinating these changes.

How do I stay up to date on this situation?
Tulane continues to monitor and provide updates online. You can check the university’s emergency website and the Tulane Campus Health website for updates. Major notifications and announcements may also be shared via email. Be sure to check your university email on a regular basis.

FAQs for Students and Scholars

What should members of the Tulane community do to protect themselves?

  • Public health officials have issued no recommendations for isolation, the use of masks, or other special precautions for anyone not experiencing symptoms.
  • Because it is cold and flu season, and this virus has similar symptoms to the cold and flu, it is important to not make any assumptions; individuals should have any respiratory illness evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  • Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call +1-504-862-8121 during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m. This is applicable for all Tulane faculty, staff, students, scholars, and their families.
  • The university has implemented restrictions regarding travel to China. These follow the guidance of the CDC and US State Department. The university’s travel advisory can be found here.
  • The university has communicated with members of the community who had recently registered to travel to and from China.

If I have any symptoms related to coronavirus should I stay home from work or classes?
The symptoms related to coronavirus are similar to those of the flu and cold, both of which are prevalent during this time of year. If you have a fever or any other cold or flu symptoms you should not report to work or attend classes.

If you have recently (within 14 days) traveled to or from China, or if you have been around people who have been in China within the past 14 days, then you should call the Tulane Student Health Center for a medical screening. Call +1-504-862-8121 during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m. This is applicable for all Tulane faculty, staff, students, scholars, and their families.

If you have not recently (within 14 days) traveled to or from China, or if you have not been around people who have been in China within the past 14 days, then you should call your primary care physician or the Tulane Student Health Center (+1-504-862-8121 between 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and +1-855-487-0290 after 5:00 p.m.) to speak with a healthcare professional.

If you are ill, it is your responsibility to communicate with your supervisor and/or professors about your absence.

I know someone (friend, roommate, classmate, etc.) that was recently in China, but they aren’t sick. Should I do anything?
Unless the person is experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath there are no additional steps to take beyond the seasonal recommendations to help prevent colds and the flu. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

If you, your family, or guests at your house recently traveled to/from China and have or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should:

  • Call the Tulane Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.) immediately.
  • Immediately follow the advice of the healthcare professional at the Tulane Student Health Center.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
  • Wear a mask if you need to leave your home while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the crook of your arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Please note, the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to those of cold or flu. Exhibiting any of the above symptoms should not cause panic. We are currently in the middle of Flu season.

I am from China and am concerned about family and friends who are in China, what do I do?
Know that you are not alone in this difficult time. Students can walk-in to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours, students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at +1-504-264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at +1-504-920-9900. Students may also email SRSS@tulane.edu to communicate with a Case Manager.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here.

I am a visiting scholar, what resources are available to me?
We are so glad that you are here. If you have arrived in the U.S. within the past 14 days and begin experiencing any symptoms associated with coronavirus, immediately call the Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.).

If your family traveled with you or recently joined you and any of them begin experiencing symptoms associated with coronavirus, immediately call the Student Health Center at +1-504-862-8121 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or +1-855-487-0290 (after 5:00 p.m.). You should take precautions to not expose yourself to others if you have been in close contact with someone who is feeling ill.

If you are feeling anxious about family and friends who are in China, there are several resources available to you. Students can walk-in to CAPS for Counseling Services (located in the Science & Engineering Lab Complex) or Case Management and Victim Support Services (located in the LBC, G02) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours, students may access The Line for confidential counseling services at +1-504-264-6074 or the Student Affairs Professional On-Call at +1-504-920-9900. Students may also email SRSS@tulane.edu to communicate with a Case Manager.

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. Information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here.

Should I participate in campus activities and events?
At this time individuals without any symptoms can continue to participate in campus events. The university, following guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health, CDC, and WHO, has not cancelled any activities or events due to the current coronavirus concerns.

I am supposed to travel to China in the near future, can I still go?
As of Wednesday, January 29th, Tulane students, faculty and staff MAY NOT TRAVEL to China for university business or university academic purposes, including but not limited to study abroad, internships, academic work for credit, service, conferences or presentations, teaching, training, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be sent to the Office of Academic Affairs and Provost, for review by the Provost. Please send any requests to Kady Weingart for processing. The full Tulane travel advisory provides additional information.

Faculty, staff and students contemplating travel to China must adhere to the items above and are strongly encouraged to visit the State Department website for Travel Notices and Updates and the CDC website for Travel Notices and Updates.

Tulane will continue to follow this rapidly evolving situation and may modify these measures as further information becomes available.

I am a foreign national and I was in China within the past 14 days. Will I be able to enter the U.S.?
Effective at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on Sunday, February 2, 2020, President Trump is implementing a ban on foreign nationals who have been in China in the past 14 days and they will not be allowed to enter the U.S. Foreign nationals who are family members of U.S. citizens will be allowed to enter, but will be subject to new screening guidelines.

If you are a scholar who will not be able to enter the U.S. due to travel restrictions, please reach out to the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) at oiss@tulane.edu or +1-504-865-5208 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). We want to support you during this incredibly difficult time and we are looking forward to when you will be able to join us in New Orleans.

*I am a scholar who is supposed to start at Tulane in February or March, what do I do?
The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has recommended that start dates be delayed beyond April 1, 2020. The Office of Institutional Scholars & Students (OISS) will reach out to affected scholars and their supervisors to begin coordinating these changes.

*I am an undergraduate or graduate student interested in studying abroad in China in summer 2020 or fall 2020. Will I be able to do this?
This is an evolving situation and we cannot predict what will happen over the coming days, weeks, and months. You are encouraged to have a backup study abroad location in case you are unable to participate in a program in China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

How do I stay up to date on this situation?
Tulane continues to monitor and provide updates online. You can check the university’s emergency website and the Tulane Campus Health website for updates. Major notifications and announcements may also be shared via email. Be sure to check your university email on a regular basis.