Washington University of Virginia
Office of the President
March 2, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
WUV is closely monitoring the latest updates and developments regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, causing flu-like symptoms, and now widely spread throughout the world. This is a rapidly evolving situation. WUV is regularly watching the reports from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Both reports provide important information about the outbreak.
Common coronaviruses can cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, like the common cold. Public health officials are still learning about 2019-CoV and how it affects people. Some people who have become ill with 2019-CoV have had mild symptoms. Others, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions, have had more severe illness, including some deaths. Symptoms include fever, cough, and trouble breathing, and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. Although 2019-nCoV is spreading between people scientists do not yet know how easily it spreads. Closely related viruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) mainly spread from person-to-person through close contact or respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
CDC currently reports that for the general American public, which is unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from coronavirus is low. As such, health officials suggest that all American public take the same precautions they would during flu season, such as strict handwashing for at least 20 seconds, staying home when sick, and taking flu antivirals as prescribed.
VDH daily updates the development of the virus and potential cases in Virginia through its website novel coronavirus webpage.
As always, the University is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Health (VDOH), and Fairfax County Health Department Health Alerts and Advisories. Following their guidance, the information below addresses questions we have received on WUV’s policies and guidelines and supersedes communications from WUV last week on the coronavirus.
What to do if you display symptoms
The risk of contracting coronavirus for those who have not recently returned from travel is low. However, if you do display symptoms of a respiratory infection — such as a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing — it is recommended that you contact your health care provider as you would normally do.
In addition, the student who display or suspect such infection should keep themselves away from other students by staying home until the infection is cleared by a medical doctor. Upon return, the student must submit the doctor’s note to the instructor.
Accommodating affected students and employees
WUV asks its faculty and staff to be prepared to accommodate, to the reasonable extent possible, students and employees who are affected by this outbreak, including, but not limited to, facilitating enrollment after the deadline, fast-tracking academic advising for affected students, permitting make-up exams, extending due dates of final assignments and projects, and allowing work from home with a documented recommendation from a health care professional.
Depending upon the development of the outbreak, WUV will take other measures to protect all its personnel from possible exposure to the viral infection.
WUV does not regulate nor track personal travel. We strongly recommend following CDC and Department of State guidance in not traveling to the countries with CDC Level 3 travel warnings (China and South Korea, as of Feb. 28, 2020) until after the situation improves. Especially, students with F-1 Visa status are advised to consider the possible difficulties in re-entering the States after making international travel while the situation persists.
If a student feels anxious or is worried about friends and family because of the news about coronavirus, WUV encourages them to contact Counseling Department or campus Student Services.
Contact Information: 703-333-5904
Student Life: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ext. 132)
Human Resource Department: email@example.com (Ext. 223)
Counseling Center: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ext. 300)
The University also recommends regularly checking the following resources for updates:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Virginia Department of Health:
Fairfax County Health Department Health Alerts and Advisories:
World Health Organization:
As the situation evolves, we will provide you with the most up-to-date information.
Peter Chang, Ph.D.President