Dear students abroad (or heading abroad),

The spread of Coronavirus is now impacting students in a range of locations around the world. We have received copies of the multiple emails sent to you from your program provider/host university. However, we call your attention to the following:

Current Travel Recommendations by the CDC
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that:

Possible Program Cancellations
Coronavirus is causing some external study abroad programs to be canceled pre-emptively in some locations, including in Italy, due to concerns that students may have their movements dramatically restricted by government officials with little-to-no notice. If you are not currently in locations that are listed by the CDC as areas of concern, regardless of whether you have a chronic medical condi-tion, UVM strongly recommends that you give careful consideration before deciding to travel to such a location. We encourage you to continue to monitor the CDC website for updates. 
 
If You Want to Go Home 
Regardless of your location, if you want to depart your study abroad program, or if you have any other questions or concerns while abroad, please remember that your UVM study abroad advisor is available to assist you in determining the financial and academic implications that could help you (and your family) make this decision. For refund policies: 
  • Students on external programs need to consult their program provider.
  • Students directly enrolled at a university abroad need to consult that institution. 
  • Students on exchange programs should contact their UVM study abroad advisor.

Prevention Practices
The CDC currently recommends that everyone follow “everyday prevention practices”:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household clean-ing.

Prevention Practices
The CDC currently recommends that everyone follow “everyday prevention practices”:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household clean-ing.
World Health Organization additional guidelines:
  • Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneez-ing. 
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. 
  • Avoid direct contact with wild or farm animals and surfaces in contact with them. 
  • Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods, and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

Your Resources
We remind you that International SOS is a helpful resource for medical concerns or safety advice in general, and they are available 24/7. Office of International Education staff may be reached outside of office hours in an emergency by calling UVM Police Services at 1-802-656-3473. Sincerely, Kim Howard (Director) and your study abroad advising team: Alex, Carolyn, Erika, Lauren and Linda

Should I worry about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A response from the World Health Organization: “If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or if you have not travelled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting it are currently low. However, it’s understandable that you may feel stressed and anxious about the situation. It’s a good idea to get the facts to help you accurately determine your risks so that you can take reasonable precautions. Your healthcare provider, your national public health authority and your [university or program provider] are all potential sources of accurate infor-mation on COVID-19 and whether it is in your area. It is important to be informed of the situation where you live and take appropriate measures to protect yourself.

If you are in an area where there is an outbreak of COVID-19 you need to take the risk of infection seriously. Follow the advice issued by national and local health authorities. Although for most peo-ple COVID-19 causes only mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pres-sure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable.”

PUBLISHED

02-26-2020