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Coronavirus (2019nCoV)

Coronaviruses are a virus group that can infect and spread between humans through close personal contact, coughing/sneezing, and touching surfaces with coronavirus on them and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Coronaviruses circulate regularly and cause cold and flu-like illnesses every year. These illnesses usually last for a short amount of time. Sometimes, new strains such as 2019nCoV) can become more widespread.

Translations available
བོད་ཡིག Tibetan    中文 Chinese    Español    Hmoob    नेपाली Nepali

Frequently asked questions

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Is there a threat to campus?

On February 5,2020, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed a single case of novel coronavirus in Dane County.

Anyone believed to be at risk for coronavirus will be contacted by Public Health Madison & Dane County. Risk to general public remains low.

We can confirm that this person is not a UW–Madison student and has not recently been on the UW campus other than to report to University Hospital.

I just returned from China. What should I do?

Campus health officials, in accordance with CDC guidance, encourage students, faculty, or staff who recently visited China to self-monitor for symptoms, practice good respiratory and hand hygiene, and contact a medical provider if they develop flu-like symptoms.

Students: Students can contact UHS to be evaluated at no-cost. Share any recent
travel history with UHS staff.

Employees: Contact your primary care provider. Share any recent travel history with your provider.

Are travelers from China (visitors, students, employees) prohibited from returning to campus or asked to change travel plans?

Based on CDC guidance, people who traveled to China in the past 14 days, who do not present with symptoms on reentry, will be given CDC instructions to self-quarantine for a period of up to 14 days upon their return home. Returning travelers must comply with all CDC directions and guidance received from authorities at the point of reentry to the U.S.

Faculty, instructors, and staff cannot tell students or employees to stay home based on their recent travel history. Faculty, instructors, and staff should encourage all members of the campus community to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene to limit the spread of communicable diseases.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and cough or sneeze into your elbow

Under UW–Madison’s international travel policy, university-sponsored student travel to China is now prohibited based on the current Department of State and CDC advisories. The UW-Madison international travel policy is specific to outbound international travel by enrolled students on university-sponsored travel abroad. Inbound travelers are required to comply with immigration and travel policies, both in their home country on departure and in the U.S. on entry and comply with the health guidance and screening directions issued to them by the CDC and other officials on entry. All UW-Madison employees and students are discouraged from traveling to China while the current Department of State and CDC advisories remain in effect. On January 30, the Department of State placed China under a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisory.

Should I wear a mask to reduce the transmission of coronavirus?

Public health officials, including the CDC and WHO, do not recommend that people without symptoms wear a mask. You may be asked to wear a mask when visiting a healthcare facility.

Guidance from the World Health Organization

Wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory disease. However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections and should be combined with other prevention measures including hand and respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact – at least three feet distance between yourself and other people.

WHO advises on rational use of medical masks thus avoiding unnecessary wastage of precious resources and potential mis-use of masks. This means using masks only if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing), have suspected 2019-nCoV infection with mild symptoms or are caring for someone with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. A suspected 2019-nCoV infection is linked to travel in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or close contact with someone who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.

If a campus community member becomes infected with coronavirus, what will happen?

If a local case is reported, UW-Madison will take immediate steps in accordance with CDC guidelines to respond to any health and safety risk to the campus community.

What if there is a suspected case of coronavirus in a residence hall?

If necessary, University Housing has accommodations in place to mitigate the spread of infection to other residents.

What information can or will the university share regarding any student or employee who recently traveled to or from China?

In compliance with state and federal health privacy laws, the university will not release names or identifying information of any student or employee.

I have travel to China planned during the spring semester. Can I still go?

Under UW–Madison’s international travel policy, university-sponsored student travel to China is now prohibited based on the current Department of State and CDC advisories. All UW-Madison employees and students are discouraged from traveling to China while the current Department of State and CDC advisories remain in effect. For information on international student travel, safety, and security, visit the UW–Madison International Division.  On January 30, the Department of State placed China under a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisory.

What is the university doing to keep the community safe?

UW–Madison is carefully monitoring the circumstances and will continue to comply with CDC best practices and guidance as they are released. Updated campus information on coronavirus is available.

The University Health Services Primary Care clinic is screening patients to determine if they traveled in the past three weeks and if so, whether they traveled to the affected area in the past two weeks. If a student has a positive coronavirus screening, they will be isolated for assessment and UHS staff will continue to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infection to others. UW Health is following the same protocol with its patients.

What financial resources are available for students?

We expect that some students will experience financial hardship associated with the impact of coronavirus on families, travel, and academics. The following resources are available:

  • Dean of Students Crisis Loan: The Dean of Students Office offers short-term loans between $500 to $1,000. Students must complete the online application and make an appointment with the Dean of Students Office (typically in-person).
  • International Student Services Loan: ISS offers up to $5,000 long-term loans. Students must make an appointment with ISS (in-person or by phone) to discuss this option.
  • Deferred Tuition Payment: Students may be eligible for a deferred tuition payment date and late-fee waiver. They must make an appointment with ISS (in-person or by phone) for consideration. ISS will determine eligibility and inform the Bursar’s Office. Please note that deferred payments are due April 3, 2020. ISS can also advise on whether a deferred tuition payment or a loan would be most appropriate in individual cases.
  • Other Emergency Funds: Your schools, colleges, departments, and programs may have other emergency funds that could support students. Please note that International students on F-1/J-1 visas are not eligible for federal financial aid or any funding that requires FAFSA.

If I feel I’m being treated unfairly, discriminated against, or harassed due to concerns around this issue, what should I do?

Coronavirus is not specific to an ethnicity or race. Racist behaviors or stereotyping are not tolerated at UW–Madison.

Faculty, instructors, and staff cannot tell students or employees to stay home based on their recent travel history or perceived nation of origin.

A person is only at increased risk for coronavirus if they recently traveled to mainland China or have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

If studentes experience harassment or discrimination, they are encouraged to file a bias incident report. Employees may file a complaint with the Office of Compliance.

UW-Madison expresses our support for members of our Badger family who are from or have personal ties to east and southeast Asia. You are important and valued members of our community. We encourage you to reach out to these resources for support:

What should I do if the media calls?

Media inquiries may be directed to University Communications at 608-263-7523.

Where do I find additional information?

 

Help prevent the spread of illness.
Download handwashing sign

Update: February 6

We are getting a lot of questions about the confirmed case of coronavirus in Dane County. Anyone believed to be at risk for coronavirus will be contacted by Public Health Madison & Dane County. Risk to general public remains low. We can confirm that this person is not a UW–Madison student and has not recently been on the UW campus other than to report to University Hospital.

Update: February 5

2019 Novel Coronavirus Case Confirmed in Wisconsin – no additional risk to campus
中文 Chinese
Español 
Hmoob
नेपाली Nepali 
བོད་སྐད Tibetan

Update: February 3

International Student Coronavirus Town Hall
Tuesday, February 4 | 4 – 5:30 p.m.
MSC Lounge, 716 Langdon Street

Update: Saturday, February 1

Travel and re-entry to the United States
中文 Chinese
Español 
Hmoob
नेपाली Nepali 
བོད་སྐད Tibetan

Update: Friday, January 31

Late Friday the United States federal government announced additional actions regarding coronavirus. The university is reviewing these actions and will share more as it becomes available.

Update: January, 29

Campus-sponsored travel to China

Guidance on large student gatherings

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no need for students who have been in China and who do not have symptoms to stay home. UW-Madison encourages students to continue with regularly scheduled activities.

United States public health officials do not recommend masks be worn by individuals with no symptoms. Individuals may choose to wear a mask and this should not be a cause for concern. To help prevent the spread of viral infection, we recommend all students practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and cough or sneeze into your elbow

UW-Madison expresses our support for members of our Badger family who are from or have personal ties to east and southeast Asia. You are important and valued members of our community. We encourage you to reach out to these resources for support: