Rowan implements new measures in light of coronavirus

Students walking at Rowan University in Glassboro. Like students, professors and academic advisers are adjusting to the "new normal." - Photo / Miguel Martinez

A recent Rowan Announcer submission from Feb. 4 urged students and faculty planning to visit or those returning from trips to China to be cautious in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak.

The submission stated, “The CDC escalated its health warning to a level 3 as the coronavirus continues to spread, recommending that people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.”

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) began in Wuhan, China. 2019-nCoV is an upper respiratory illness that is spread through respiratory droplets like those created through coughing and sneezing.

“At this time, maybe you shouldn’t go to China,” Vice President for Rowan University Relations Joe Cardona said. “The [Center for Disease Control] is saying don’t go … The email that went out to the university community is to make people aware that they should check in with the appropriate people and make their travel plans known.”

Cardona acknowledged that Rowan’s protocol is not unique, citing other institutions taking similar precautions.

While the disease has spread to other countries, the greatest risk of infection is for those who are in China or have recently traveled there. The disease is responsible for more than 1,100 deaths worldwide, according to CNN.

The Wellness Center is urging those who have recently been to China to inform them of their trip.

“Rowan University endorses the CDC’s recommendation to avoid non essential travel to China,” Director of the Wellness Center Scott Woodside said. “That being said, if someone is returning from China, they should notify us in the Wellness Center for guidance.”

“Anyone who has been to China within the past 14 days … should call the Wellness Center,” said Woodside. “We will be able to screen them over the phone to determine if isolation may be required.”

Woodside went on to say that “Local health providers, EMS, hospitals and Wellness Center staff have all been briefed on identifying potential cases on this novel coronavirus and prevention measures once identified.”

If travel to China is necessary, make sure to inform the university and also to brief yourself on protective measures for coronavirus. Those looking for more information are encouraged to contact the Wellness Center at (856) 256-4333.

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