Coronavirus Precautions

Coronavirus Precautions

Stethoscope and blood pressure cuff; image on Pixabay by user Bru-nO

An emergency preparedness team of University leaders, in consultation with outside experts, is continuing to evaluate the 2019 Novel Coronavirus global outbreak as it relates to Fairfield’s community.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. Since December 2019, when it was first identified in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including the U.S. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as of today, Feb. 28, there have been more than 83,000 reported cases of the disease worldwide, and 20 provinces across Italy have been impacted by 650 cases.

In response to recent reports of confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus cases in Italy, Fairfield University has closed its Florence University of the Arts program for the remainder of the spring semester, as a precautionary measure. All 142 students enrolled in the program are planning to depart Italy by Saturday, February 29.

The University considered multiple factors in the decision to suspend its Florence program, including the health and safety of students, the risk of country quarantines, potential loss of academic credits, and timing within the semester. All students enrolled in the Florence program will be allowed to return to Fairfield University on March 15, after spring break, and resume classes on campus. Students will have the option of taking both online and hybrid courses to ensure they remain on track toward their graduation date.

Amidst ongoing health and safety concerns, Fairfield University is also strongly encouraging students, faculty, and staff to be mindful of their travel choices, based on information from the CDC and educational partners from study abroad locations. How the coronavirus is affecting travel across Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world is evolving. As countries evaluate travel into and out of their regions, limitations and bans are being put into effect, often with little or no prior warning.

Fairfield University and Fairfield Prep have no confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus at this time, nor are there any cases under investigation, though processes and protocols are in place should that change.

The World Health Organization recommends basic protective measures such as good hand and respiratory hygiene, to help prevent the spread of the disease:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Maintain social distancing.
    Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing, and have a fever.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene.
    When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
  • Stay informed on the latest developments and follow advice given by your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products.

For further information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus please refer to the following:

World Health Organization

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

CDC – Traveler’s Health

U.S. Department of State – Travel Advisories

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Fairfield University will continue to update its Counseling and Health Services website with the latest information as it becomes available.

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