Published on March 3, 2020  

Students,

With Spring Break approaching, you may have questions about how the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) could affect your upcoming plans. There continue to be no reports of cases of COVID-19 on the Samford campus or in Alabama; however, the number of cases is growing in neighboring states, across the country and around the world.

The university continues to follow expert national and international recommendations regarding the outbreak. Please review the information below for additional guidance regarding travel:

  • If you choose to travel outside of the U.S., you should stay alert to all travel warnings, health notices, and advisories that are located on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites. Be sure to check entry and exit requirements for the U.S. and your intended destination before your departure and your return. Many countries have instituted restrictions and quarantines for travel that may directly affect you. It is critically important to be aware that travel restrictions may change without advance notice and airlines may change or cancel flights in response.
  • There are currently no travel restrictions within the U.S., but this could change.
  • If you choose to travel, remember the essentials of illness prevention are critically important in areas where large numbers of people are passing through, such as airline, train, and bus terminals. Avoid others who appear ill, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth. · University-sponsored travel to countries the CDC has listed as level 2 or level 3 risks for COVID-19 remains suspended. Countries currently at these levels are China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. Travel to Hong Kong is also suspended. While we rely primarily on the CDC for guidance, as circumstances change the university may suspend travel to additional countries at any time. The latest travel restrictions are always available on our coronavirus webpage.
  • Personal travel by members of the Samford community to the areas cited above is strongly discouraged. Should you choose to visit one of these areas, you must be evaluated by a health care provider prior to returning to campus and you will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at your own expense. If you travel to an area that is added to the restricted travel list within 14 days of your return, you may also be required to self-quarantine.

IMPORTANT - If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled to an area with ongoing transmission, contact your health care provider immediately. Before you go to a clinic, doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about any recent travel and your symptoms. If you are sick, you should not return to campus until you are cleared by a health care provider.

While the risk of you contracting COVID-19 remains low; still, it is important that you not return to campus if you are ill. The CDC provides a helpful guide to preventing the spread of the virus.

The Emergency Readiness Team and the International Travel Advisory Committee continue to meet to discuss measures to ensure that the university is prepared should the virus become widespread in the U.S. The health and safety of our students and employees is our top priority and we remain committed to our responsibility for your academic progress. Should the virus become widespread locally, we have proactively developed plans to continue business operations and deliver courses online through Canvas or other virtual modalities.

As always, please keep in mind that this is a rapidly evolving situation and the recommendations in place today could change as the virus spreads and as new information is gained. We continue to carefully monitor this issue and additional updates will be forthcoming. Please be sure to check your Samford e-mail regularly during Spring Break and prior to returning to campus following the break.

Thank you for your continued vigilance and cooperation in helping to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Best…Buck

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