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Novel coronavirus information [Updated 03/11/2020]

Officials and experts at SCU are actively monitoring the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

As of 4:15 PM, March 11, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SCU. In the State of California, there are 157 confirmed cases (27 in Los Angeles County and 5 in Orange County).

This page contains resources and communications designed to raise awareness of prevention and preparedness efforts at SCU.

University Planning

The university administration has assembled a multidisciplinary team from across the institution to identify and plan for a range of scenarios and potential near- and longer-term impacts. These include considerations for:

  • Contingency planning for necessary supplies
  • Planning for classes during periods of quarantines, university closures, or transportation challenges
  • Human resources considerations, including remote work options
  • Patient surge within University Health System
  • Support for students with travel plans during breaks

As preparations continue, the university will communicate with you regularly.

Please remember the things you can do to maximize personal preparedness and prevention:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow
  • Stay home if you are sick, and don’t return until you are fever-free for 24 hours without medication
  • Get your flu shot

If you are sick and are concerned that any of your symptoms may be related to COVID-19 due to recent travel history or other risk factors, please refer to relevant screening guidance below.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently has travel alerts in place for China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, and Hong Kong. Additional locations where there is identified community spread of the virus include Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. As spring break approaches, you are advised to stay apprised of travel guidance from the CDC and the State Department. Keep in mind that government-issued travel and screening mandates and airline operations could change while you are away, impacting your return plans.

As of Feb. 2 at 5 p.m., by federal rule, faculty, staff, and students who have been in China before traveling to the U.S. are expected to stay at home, monitor themselves for 14 days following arrival, and promptly report a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you remain free of symptoms, including fever, through the course of this 14-day period without medication, there are no additional activity restrictions and you may return to work and/or school on day 15.

If you arrived in the U.S. prior to Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. and have already returned to work and/or school, you may continue those activities as long as you continue to remain free of symptoms.

During this 14-day self-quarantine, watch for any changes in your health. If you develop symptoms, avoid contact with others until the best course of safe treatment can be determined. Do not go in person to the University Health Center for assessment. Instead, call your primary care physician or the University Health System for an initial phone screening (562) 943-7125.

The university is not providing masks and has not issued guidance encouraging people to wear them. A mask is not required or recommended, as there is no evidence available to suggest that they protect healthy people. This aligns with current CDC and WHO guidance. Students, staff, and faculty may obtain and wear masks if they choose.

University classes and activities continue to take place as scheduled.

Administrators are looking ahead at potential impacts and evaluating the appropriate operational response should the situation worsen.  

Because this is already the season for flu and other viruses, all students, faculty, and staff who have illness accompanied by fever—regardless of their travels—are asked to refrain from going to classes, labs, dining halls, offices, and other places where they could spread illness among others. To limit spread, we ask that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) before resuming a regular schedule.

The university asks faculty to be flexible in allowing students to make these decisions without necessarily visiting a medical practitioner for documentation of their illness. Staff should follow the normal procedures for sick time away from work; please notify your supervisor, and follow the university's sick leave policy.

Other advice to avoid the spread of viruses includes:

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccination, even if you are not required to do so
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water (washing for a full minute) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand washing is crucial, particularly before eating or any activity that involves touching your face
  • Cough into your sleeve (the crook of your elbow) or a tissue, not into your hands
  • Stay home if you have a fever until you are fever-free for 24 hours without any medication