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March 5, 2020 Coronavirus Update

Subject: Coronavirus Update and Spring Break Travel

While no cases of coronavirus have been identified on Belmont’s campus, with Spring Break upon us, we wanted to provide an update to students, faculty and staff who are traveling over the next week as well as offer information related to the University’s preparation and prevention measures.

If You Are Traveling for Spring Break – Updated Guidelines

Belmont has cancelled all University-sponsored travel international over Spring Break, and we are strongly discouraging personal travel to countries recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as Level 2 or 3. Currently, Japan is listed as a Level 2 country, while Level 3 countries include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, but this is a rapidly changing situation.

The list of affected areas is dynamic. We anticipate more countries reaching the CDC Level 2 and 3 thresholds as well as growth of cases within the United States. Over Spring Break, you will need to stay aware of all CDC travel advisories and monitor your Belmont email for any updated information. Please keep in mind that Belmont is complying with the Tennessee Department of Health and CDC standards regarding transmission prevention, which include:

  • Travelers returning from Level 3 countries should follow the CDC recommended guidelines for  self-isolation for 14 days
  • Travelers returning from Level 2 countries should follow the CDC recommended guidelines and limit contact with others

In addition, travelers returning from Level 2 and 3 locations:

  • Immediately inform the University at healthinfo@Belmont.edu.
  • Monitor your health—Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and watch for cough or trouble breathing
  • If you feel sick and have symptoms, call ahead before going to a clinic or ER
  • Tell the doctor about recent travel and symptoms
  • Avoid contact with others

For everyone, as a reminder of good health practices to aid in preventing the transmission of any illness:If you’re feeling sick, stay in your home or residence hall.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who 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.

What Is Belmont Doing Now to Prevent and Prepare for Coronavirus

Belmont is also actively taking preventative measures to keep the campus safe:

  • The University’s Health Services department is staying abreast of current CDC information and remaining in constant communication with Metro and state health officials.
  • Patients visiting the University’s Health Services clinic showing symptoms of respiratory illness will be asked about travel history and will be treated following CDC protocol.
  • If patients are identified as meeting CDC guidelines for possible infection, they will be isolated and the Health Department contacted to determine if testing is indicated.
  • The University has also purchased large quantities of hand sanitizer that is being placed at areas across campus.
  • A multi-disciplinary team consisting of representatives across campus is meeting consistently to monitor the situation, take precautionary measures, procure necessary materials and prepare plans in the event of a case being identified on campus.

For additional guidelines and information on what Belmont is doing related to coronavirus, visit belmont.edu/coronavirus.