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Message to faculty and staff COVID-19 Update and thank you- 3/28/20

 

SIU faculty and staff:

We have been notified by the Jackson County Health Department that a second campus case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed. The individual is in the same residence hall as the first individual diagnosed on Thursday, March 26. All 21 residents of the hall have been placed in quarantine by the health department and are fully supported with food and other necessities.

 In fact, we are fortunate that these and other students on campus have access to the full resources of the university—including student health and housing services–as well as the expertise of the Jackson County Health Department and other health agencies during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.

It is important that we all understand that most communities across the country will experience COVID-19, and we are no different. The following is from the Jackson County Health Department: “We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.” 

One of the positive signs of an organization is its ability to weather the storm in challenging times.  I am very proud of how well faculty, staff and students have adjusted to the current situation. Kudos to our front-line workers–in public safety, housing and dining, plant and service operations and other areas–as well as to staff who are maintaining operations from home. Appreciation also goes to our Student Health Center personnel for their commitment to the health and safety of our students and community. Each of you is exhibiting, every day, the power of the words “to serve.”

This is not an easy time on the academic front as our faculty and students adjust mid-stream to an alternative way of delivering and receiving course content.  We are all learning something new each day, but the key point is that learning is occurring.  As a campus we are a resilient lot with a commitment to sustain our primary mission of education.   

Special thanks to our shared governance partners and leaders, including the Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Council, the Civil Service Council, the Administrative Professional Staff Council, as well as the Faculty Association and our other partners. We are at our best in times of crisis, and we are strongest when we pull together.

I am also very impressed with the excellent coordination that is occurring among health care agencies and providers. These include Southern Illinois Healthcare and the Jackson County Health Department and our own Student Health Services. Their ability to work together and be supportive of one another, including our own health care providers is commendable. And, of course, we are very fortunate to have our own School of Medicine for support and consultation.

Winston Churchill once observed: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” That is, in fact, what we are doing.  Each day we are adjusting to a new reality, and thanks to you, we are making it work. As we know, this current health crisis will pass, but the lessons learned will remain forever. Your support and willingness to stay the course is an inspiration. 

We are in this together, and we are working together. Please stay positive and safe, and thank you for doing your part. 

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


Message to students and families COVID-19 update- 3/28/20

SIU Students and Families,

We have been notified by the Jackson County Health Department that a second campus case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed. The individual is in the same residence hall as the first student diagnosed on Thursday, March 26. All 21 residents of the hall have been placed in quarantine by the health department and are fully supported with food and other necessities.

In fact, we are fortunate that these and other students on campus have access to the full resources of the university–including student health and housing services–as well as the expertise of the Jackson County Health Department and other health agencies during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.

It is important that we all understand that most communities across the country will experience COVID-19. We are no different. The following is from the Jackson County Health Department: “We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.”

As always, you can call 1-877-725-0006 with questions or email pandemicinfo@siu.edu. Please also continue to visit our coronavirus website at shc.siu.edu/coronavirus/ for updates.

These are challenging times, but they also demonstrate our resilience as a community. People are donating funds for food, laptops and other emergency needs for students. Our faculty and staff members—those who must be on campus and those who are able to work from home -- are going above and beyond to support students as they adapt to a new teaching and work environment.

We appreciate our students’ willingness to remain engaged and adjust to the transition to online learning. We thank all of the family members and friends who are supporting our students in these challenging times.

I am also very impressed with the excellent coordination that is occurring among health care agencies and providers. These include Southern Illinois Healthcare, the Jackson County Health Department and our own Student Health Services. Their ability to work together and be supportive of one another, including our own student health care providers is commendable.  And, of course, we are very fortunate to have our own School of Medicine for support and consultation.

We urge everyone to follow the governor’s “stay-at-home” order and stay safe. We are in this together, and we are working together. Thank you for doing your part.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


Message about COVID-19 case on campus - 3/27/20

Members of the SIU Carbondale Community,

You are receiving this message as part of Southern Illinois University's commitment to providing campus-area emergency information in compliance with the federal Clery Act, formally known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale received information on 3.26.20 from Jackson County Health Department of a resident on campus who tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The individual, a male in his late teens, is doing fair and is in isolation on west campus.  This individual is thought to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through recent travel to the Chicago area. This individual is not allowed to leave home until they are well and can no longer transmit the disease.

According to the Jackson County Health Department, the number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the Governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.

COVID-19 shares many symptoms with more common respiratory diseases. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for further guidance. Students should contact the SIU Student Health Center at 618-453-3311.  In addition, Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) has established a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-988-7800. Clinicians there will answer questions, assess each caller and advise on next steps for evaluation or potential testing.

For more information on the Clery Act and why you're receiving this message, please visit www.ed.gov.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale


Message to Students and Families - 3/20/20

SIU Students and Families:

Today, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has directed that everyone in the state must "stay at home" through April 7. Staying at home means just as it says: you should stay at home and leave only for essential functions, such as to purchase food or visit a health care professional.

The following information is important. Please read carefully.

  • Consistent with guidance from the governor’s office, online instruction will continue as planned so that students may complete the semester. There will be no face-to-face instruction, including lab sections. The date for withdrawing from classes will be extended by one week to Sunday, April 5, and we ask faculty to honor all requests for incomplete grades. The date for summer and fall registration is extended to Monday, April 6. The very few faculty members who were planning face-to-face instruction in small groups will reach out to their students to update them on how these plans will impact their ability to complete their courses.
  • Students who are living on campus must stay on campus, and students who are not on campus may not return to campus. Questions or requests for special consideration about this directive can be answered by calling the Office of the Dean of Students, 1-877-725-0006.
  • Those students who are on campus will continue to have access to food, Student Health Services, WiFi and other tools and support. We will continue to expect students to follow social distancing practices, and we will continue to follow all of the additional dining and cleaning protocols we have in place to prevent risk of COVID-19.
  • Students who want to come to campus to retrieve possessions must wait until the order is lifted. Call University Housing at 618-453-2301 with questions and concerns.
  • Student employees will be paid whether or not they work. Graduate assistants should review the online FAQ for detailed information.
  • With the exception of the computer lab and first-floor study area in Morris Library and select research labs, university academic and administrative buildings will be closed. Most services and operations will be available by phone, email or other alternative formats.
  • Only employees whose work requires them to be will be on campus. These include but are not limited to people who support students in residence halls, employees in health care and public safety, employees required to maintain the research labs and farms and others. All of these required employees will follow social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All other staff who are able to work from home will be doing so. Again, our goal is to preserve as many services as possible.

There are many, many details still to be addressed, and we know you have any questions about long-term implications, finals, refunds and much more. At this time, our primary focus is on ensuring that we are ready to implement the stay-at-home order while protecting the health and safety of our community. Please know that addressing those details and related questions will be our top priority. We will answer important but less urgent questions as soon as possible in the days ahead.

Students and family members with questions can call the Office of the Dean of Students 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. this weekend and Monday-Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time.

Please let me emphasize that those students who must stay at home in campus residence halls will be treated and supported as though they are part of our own family.

We have said this before, but it bears repeating: we are in an unprecedented, rapidly changing situation. We appreciate your patience and welcome your partnership as we move forward.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


Message to Faculty and Staff - 3/20/20

SIU faculty and staff,

Today, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has directed that everyone in the state must “stay at home” through April 7. This means that unless you are in a necessary position that requires your presence on campus, you should stay at home and leave only for essential functions, such as to purchase food or visit a health care professional.

  • During the stay at home order, we will maintain as many university services and operations as possible, although most buildings will be closed and we will do as much as possible from our homes.
  • Online courses will continue, but there will be no face-to-face courses or lab sections. The provost’s office will provide additional direction to faculty.
  • Only employees who perform required functions for on-campus operations will be physically working on campus. These include but are not limited to people who support students in dining and residence halls, employees in health care and public safety, employees required to maintain the research labs and farms and others. Your supervisor will notify you if your work is required to be done on campus.
  • All employees who are required to work on campus will follow social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We will encourage supervisors to adjust shifts to minimize as much contact as possible.
  • If your work can be done from home and you have the tools to work from home, you are expected to do so. We expect most offices to remain operational by phone, email and through virtual tools.
  • Some employees have on-campus functions that are not "required" but cannot be completed from home, and some do not have the tools they need to be able to work from home. If you fall into either of these categories, you are expected to be available and on-call should your services be needed.
  • All employees who work and are available to work/on call will be paid at the usual rate. There will be no change in benefits, and you will not be required to take leave.
  • Regardless of function, people who are not available or refuse to work as needed must take leave; the exception is employees affected by school closings, quarantine or COVID-19 illness, some of whom may be asked to work from home if they are able to do so.
  • We will honor current collective bargaining agreements when implementing our staffing plans.
  • You may find it helpful to review the stay-at-home message to students

The following offices can be contacted with questions:

  • Questions related to employment, work requirements and benefits: Contact Human Resources at hrinfo@siu.edu or 618-453-6689.
  • Questions related to technology and working from home: The Office of Information Technology has developed online resources. You can also contact Saluki Tech at salukitech@siu.edu or 618-453-5155.
  • Questions about converting courses from face-to-face to online: The Center for Teaching Excellence at cte.siu.edu has online resources and can be contacted at teach@siu.edu or (618)453-2258
  • Questions from students and families about housing and student life: You may refer students to The Office of the Dean of Students at 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. this weekend and Monday through Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address.

You may also email pandemicinfo@siu.edu on any topic.

I’m sure there will be many questions related to how your unit will function. Because the types of work we do varies widely, we anticipate that unit directors will work with employees to ensure that operations continue as possible during the stay-at-home period.

There are many, many details still to be addressed. At this time, our primary focus is on ensuring that we are ready to implement the stay-at-home order while protecting the health and safety of our community. Please know that addressing those details and related questions will be our top priority. We will answer important but less urgent questions as soon as possible in the days ahead.

We have said this before, but it bears repeating: we are in an unprecedented, rapidly changing situation. We appreciate your patience and welcome your partnership as we move forward.

Please know, too, that the pandemic is a worldwide issue affecting all of humanity. We expect all members of our community to be treated with respect, regardless of ethnic or national origin or COVID-19 status.

I am deeply, deeply grateful for your work, your patience, and your flexibility. With your help, we will continue to fulfill our mission with care and respect for colleagues and students.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


University Community update - 3/19/20

Members of the SIU Carbondale Community:

The situation with COVID-19 continues to change, often multiple times a day. We remain in close touch with state and federal agencies and update the FAQ website as new information is available and we make decisions.

This message focuses on several important topics.

COMMENCEMENT

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, it is has become clear that it is not possible to hold a traditional, in-person commencement ceremony in May. We make this decision with regret because we know that commencement is the highlight of the college experience for students and families. It is a celebration of our students’ accomplishments, and it is a day of pride for the university. But we must be responsible in the face of the uncertain timeline for COVID-19 and important restrictions of large gatherings.

This decision does not affect the conferring of degrees and a student’s ability to graduate. Students who are qualified to graduate will still do so, and degrees will be mailed as usual.

I want to stress that this is not necessarily a cancellation. We are exploring alternatives to celebrate graduation virtually or possibly to be held in the future. We have a lot of ideas and welcome your input. Please stay tuned for more information.

Refund information for students who have already rented caps and gowns will be posted at commencement.siu.edu shortly.

HOUSING

Students who are not planning to be on campus for the semester and elect to continue their studies at home may retrieve their belongings at any time. On weekdays, staff will be on hand to check out students who move out of their rooms. On the weekends, signage is posted with the name and number of the hall director on duty who will assist with this process. Students who want to wait until later in the semester to come for their belongings are welcome to do so.

REIMBURSEMENTS

We are receiving many questions about possible reimbursement for room, board and student fees from students who will not be completing the semester on campus. We are exploring options now. It’s complicated and may take some time, so we appreciate your patience. Our goal is to be as fair and responsible as possible, recognizing that we must coordinate with other agencies. Please know that we are looking at all of our options and will let the community know what we decide as soon as possible.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT AND COMPENSATION

We know our students depend on their campus jobs and we believe that it is important that we continue to support them during this unprecedented time. All students will be paid through the end of the spring semester regardless of whether their jobs are no longer needed due to a closure of a service or they are not returning to campus. We are working through details about how this will work now, and we will be providing detailed information to supervisors with guidance on how to move forward paying students in the next few days. We continue to need and value the efforts of students who are able and available to work.

MORRIS LIBRARY

We have made the decision, along with many other university libraries nationally, to reduce the scope and size of library services and limit them to students, faculty and staff. We will preserve access to some services by email and phone as noted below. The first-floor computer lab, room 139, will remain open and will be reconfigured to accommodate social distancing. The first-floor study around Delyte’s will remain open with access to WiFi for those with laptops who do not have WiFi at home. (Students who do not have laptops should contact Saluki Cares for assistance.)

The library will continue to deliver the following services:

  • We are scanning parts of books for faculty and students on demand. Current Fair Use best practices allow us to scan entire books if necessary.
  • Reference services will be delivered virtually through Ask a Librarian at or by phone at 618-453-1455. Special Collections is closed to the public but available at 618-453-2516 or speccoll@lib.siu.edu.
  • We have a means to check out books to people on request. Our major ebook service is offering unlimited access. Please consult our Morris Library Covid-19  FAQ for more information.

OTHER UPDATES

Our FAQ website includes a number of additional updates related to:

  • Cancellation of admissions-related events in favor of virtual outreach
  • Reducing the number of individuals allowed to gather from 25 to 10
  • Updates to self-quarantine requirements for students, faculty and staff

Students and family members can call the Office of the Dean of Students 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.  Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time.

Thank you for all you are doing to be responsible and caring in these challenging times.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


University Community update - 3/16/20

Members of the university community,

Thank you to everyone who follows our Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19. As you know, guidelines and directives regarding the pandemic are changing regularly due its rapid spread across the country, and we continue to adjust our course accordingly. Our primary goals remain the same: protect the health and safety of our community while continuing to fulfill our mission. We are encouraging all students, faculty and staff to respect and follow the concept of social distancing, which can mean staying at least 6 feet apart from others, eliminating unnecessary travel and avoiding crowds.

We continue to update our frequently asked questions. Following are a few new additions or updates. See the full website for details.

Here are a few of the latest additions or changes:

  • Given the uncertainty around the timeline for COVID-19, we have decided to continue using alternative formats for the remainder of the semester. 
  • Students and family members with questions can call the Office of the Dean of Students at 618-453-4846 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time, including evenings and weekends.
  • Due to the importance of social distancing and concerns related to potential transfer of a virus via equipment, the Student Recreation Center will close starting tomorrow.
  • Due to a gubernatorial directive, food services will no longer be available in the Student Center, and services in the dining halls will be available only to students and dining staff.
  • Many staff will be allowed to work from home or work flexible schedules based on the nature of their responsibilities; see the chancellor’s message to faculty and staff.
  • Self-quarantine expectations continue to change and now include travelers returning from four states — California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington — as well as all international travelers, whether they are students, faculty or staff members.

We are in uncharted waters, and I am very grateful that we are standing together as a community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


Operational changes - 3/16/20

SIU faculty and staff:

As we continue to wade through uncharted waters, I have expressed my gratitude for your patience and resilience on the chancellor’s blog. I am also grateful to all of the health care workers and others on the front lines addressing this very challenging situation. Every day brings new or changing guidance, and we are working carefully to be responsive and to do our part to flattening the curve of the coronavirus.

We are now making key changes in operations to support the social distancing that is so important to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. All of these changes are intended to protect the health and safety of our employees at the same time we continue to fulfill our responsibilities. Please see new information below.

Changing how we operate

Effective tomorrow and until further notice, we will be allowing supervisors to change where and how employees work based upon the nature of their responsibilities. I have asked each of the vice chancellors to assess which functions can be completed off-site. Our goal is to allow as many people as possible to work from home while still fulfilling their responsibilities by email, computer and phone.

In cases where work can be completed from home but employees are not set up to telecommute, supervisors may work to fill equipment needs, although this may not always be possible.

Of course, many functions require a physical presence on campus. We are asking supervisors to identify ways to ensure appropriate social distancing when employees have work that requires them to be on campus. We are also allowing supervisor-approved flexible schedules when possible.

Regardless of where they work, employees who are available to work are expected to do so based upon guidance from their supervisors (see additional information below related specifically to those affected by school closings or self-quarantine). Employees who are not available to work will be expected to take sick or vacation leave. Supervisors are encouraged to work with employees who have concerns related to the coronavirus that relate to their responsibilities and to accommodate those concerns whenever possible.

Requirements of graduate assistants will relate to the nature of their work. For example, research assistants who maintain laboratories should continue to do so, but administrative assistants who can work off-site will be allowed to do so with supervisory approval. Student employees may also work as appropriate based on their responsibilities and the needs of the office.

All students and staff who work on-site should follow social distancing practices.

Approved changes will be effective tomorrow, March 17, and continue until further notice. We are working through details of implementation and will post them on the Frequently Asked Questions page as they are finalized. Questions may be directed to your supervisor, Human Resources or pandemicinfo@siu.edu.

Employees impacted by COVID-19

School closings and self-quarantine due to international travel have affected a number of SIU employees. Starting tomorrow, March 17, employees who need to be away from work for COVID-19-related reasons such as illness, quarantine or child care, will continue to be paid for up to two work weeks without having to use their personal benefit time. These employees may be asked to work from home, if able. 

Staying healthy

We encourage all faculty, staff and students to minimize their risk by following CDC recommendations.

  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Avoid others who are sick if possible.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer multiple times a day.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Finally, if you or a member of your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms or are not feeling well, stay home and seek appropriate medical care. Call your health care provider for instructions before going to a medical facility.

Thank you for doing all you can to support the health of our community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


Coronavirus response update - 3/13/2020

Members of the SIU Carbondale Community,

We have updated our FAQ on the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 thanks to your many thoughtful questions. You will find new information for students, faculty and staff about the following:

  • Restrictions for and cancellation of events.
  • The shift to online and other alternative formats for most courses.
  • Expectations of graduate assistants.
  • Student employment.
  • Housing and dining.
  • Faculty and staff expectations and policies.
  • Updated travel restrictions that include self-quarantine expectations for returning international travelers.

We will continue to update this site as we receive additional common questions and have new information. Please visit regularly. We appreciate your patience and input as we navigate this unprecedented situation. As always, our primary goal is the health and safety of the SIU community.

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


SIU Extending Spring Break and Moving to Alternate Instruction - 3/11/2020

Due to ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Illinois and beyond, SIU Carbondale will be extending spring break for students through March 22. Effective Monday, March 23, classes will be offered in online or other alternative formats until further notice.

While no cases of COVID-19 have been identified on our campus, our primary concern is the health and safety of our community. We are joining other Illinois public institutions in taking precautionary measures.

The situation is evolving quickly, and we have many details to work through. We will be sending updated information and posting it to our coronavirus response website within the next 48 hours.

Following are a few important points:

  • The university’s operations, including teaching and research, will continue. We will remain open, and staff will report to work as usual.
  • Students will have options for returning to campus either to study or retrieve materials. We will share additional information regarding campus services, including housing and dining, in the next 48 hours.
  • We are extending the week of spring break to give faculty time to convert courses for delivery in alternative formats. There will be challenges for some students with accessing online or alternative platforms; we are currently reviewing various options that may work for instructors and students. Our goal is to ensure that students have the tools they need to continue their coursework.
  • We will be evaluating on- and off-campus events on a case-by-case basis based on the risk they present for the spread of the virus. Many if not all may be canceled. We will work with the units that are sponsoring events and post cancellations on the coronavirus website.
  • International business travel is restricted. Domestic business travel will require approval of the appropriate vice chancellor.

Again, we will provide much more detailed information in the next 48 hours. If you have questions you want to be sure we address in our planning, please email them to pandemicinfo@siu.edu. We will do our best to post responses to commonly asked questions so that everyone will benefit from the information.

There are many unknowns related to the virus and its spread. We will continue to monitor recommendations from state and national health agencies and adjust course as needed. We appreciate your patience and collaboration as we work through these challenges together.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


Update on coronavirus precautions and planning - 3/3/2020

SIU Carbondale students, faculty and staff:

As focus on the coronavirus, formally called COVID-19, grows and more cases are diagnosed in the United States, you may have questions about what it means for SIU and what we are doing to prepare. We have developed a list of frequently asked questions to answer many of the questions we have received to date. We will add new information as the situation develops or as we receive additional questions that may be of broad interest.

SIU’s emergency preparedness “all-hazards” team has been activated to evaluate and plan for multiple scenarios should the virus come to or impact southern Illinois. This cross-functional team will address plans for how classes will be handled, how residence halls will be managed, related personnel policies and more. The team includes representatives from student health, counseling, housing, academic affairs, student affairs, university communications, procurement, public safety, plant and service operations, environmental health and safety and other areas. University personnel are working in collaboration with local and state health officials.

Even as we plan, we are closely monitoring the reports and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other global and state agencies. Decisions we make going forward will be informed by agencies and experts who have access to the latest knowledge and best practices.

We urge everyone who leaves campus for spring break to pay attention to the CDC’s recommended precautions to avoid exposure to the virus. If you believe you have been exposed to or may have the coronavirus, please consult with your local health care provider before returning to campus. If you are a student on campus, please follow the steps outlined in the FAQ. Faculty and staff should work with their local health care providers.

Our primary goal is to ensure that we are doing everything possible to protect the health, safety and welfare of our campus community. Thank you for doing your part.

Sincerely,

John M. Dunn
Chancellor


University travel to China restricted - 2/6/2020

SIU Faculty, Staff and Students,

Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been closely monitoring the worldwide 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. In addition to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Level 3 warning to “avoid non-essential travel,” both the U.S. State Department and the World Health Organization (WHO) have now issued Level 4 “do not travel” advisories for China. These warnings have been issued to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Given these travel warnings and our desire to maintain the health of our university community, all university travel to China is being restricted at this time. No institution-related travel to China, such as study abroad or other academic program visits, will be authorized or approved by the university. We will continue to monitor the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health advisories for further updates.

The university also does not recommend non-essential personal travel for its faculty, staff or students to Novel Coronavirus-affected areas that are under travel advisories. Individuals may monitor the CDC travel notices website.

Please also see additional information about the university’s response to the coronavirius.

John M. Dunn
Interim Chancellor


Coronavirus Outbreak - 1/24/2020

SIU students, faculty and staff:

We share the following information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

University officials continue to monitor reports on the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. While many questions remain unanswered about this infection — and we have no reported cases at SIU Carbondale — we want the members of the campus community to know that we are closely following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health, and Jackson County Health Department to protect the health of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Policies are in place at the Student Health Center to rapidly identify, test, isolate and treat suspected patients while minimizing the risk of exposure to health providers and other contacts.

Symptoms of this illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Reports indicate that virus is spreading person-to-person, although it’s unclear how easily it spreads between people. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus. There is no current vaccine for this or other coronaviruses.

For those people returning from Wuhan or central China, or who have been in close contact with a suspected case of 2019-nCoV:

Travelers from Wuhan to U.S. international airports may undergo health screenings and be asked questions about their travel history to identify possible new cases of novel coronavirus infection.

If you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Let your doctor know that you have traveled to Wuhan.

For more information, visit the CDC information page or the World Health Organization guidance page.

Please contact Student Health Services, 618-453-3311, if you have additional questions.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Bennett, Medical Chief of Staff
Student Health Services