Community Guidance Related to the Coronavirus
To Members of the Tufts Community,
As many of you are likely aware, the first cases of a serious coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, have now been reported in the United States. These cases occurred far from our campuses, and Tufts’ emergency response team is closely monitoring the spread of the virus.
On January 30, the US Department of State elevated the Travel Advisory rating for China to a Level 4 (“Do not travel”). We continue to advise the Tufts community to avoid any travel to China. Please review the Guidance for Travelers for more information.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are writing to provide you with information about the signs and symptoms of this coronavirus, and to encourage you to take measures to help protect your health and wellness.
Signs and Symptoms
Importantly, a person would only be at risk for contracting the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan if they had been in and/or travelled from Wuhan in the past 14 days, and/or if they had been exposed to someone who was already infected. The CDC has published a list of symptoms specific to the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan. It presents with severe flu-like symptoms:
- Severe cough
- Difficulty breathing
Some of these same symptoms may also surface with the flu or common cold, but only those who have been in and/or travelled from Wuhan in the past 14 days and/or those who have been exposed to someone who is already infected are at risk. If you have travelled from Wuhan in the past 14 days and are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, we recommend speaking with a medical professional.
To help prevent the spread of illness and keep healthy, remember to:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough. Keep germs from spreading by coughing into your sleeve, not your hand.
- Avoid sharing drinks, food, and/or cigarettes or vaping products.
- If you share a room or apartment with someone who is sick, try to stay at least 6 feet away to prevent exposure through coughing.
If you have possibly been exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus as described above and experience any flu-like symptoms, seek medical care:
- Arts & Sciences (including SMFA), Engineering, and Fletcher students may walk into Health Service whenever their office is open. SMFA students may also make an appointment online with Atrius Health in the Fenway.
- Students on the Boston and Grafton health sciences campuses should reach out to their primary care provider.
- Faculty and staff should seek a diagnosis with their primary care provider and may also seek care through the Jumbo Health Center.
If you require emergency medical assistance, please contact the Tufts University Police immediately at x66911 from any campus phone, or from an off-campus or cellular phone:
- Medford/Somerville: 617-627-6911
- Boston: 617-636-6911
- Grafton: 508-839-5303
We will continue to monitor the situation and update the community as needed. We also advise all members of the Tufts community to avoid travel to Wuhan and other parts of the Hubei province in China. Thank you in advance for taking steps to safeguard your own health and the health and wellness of the greater Tufts community.
Assistant Director, Office of Emergency Management
Dr. Margaret Higham
Medical Director, Health Service