January 31, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). WHO convened for the second time on Jan. 30 regarding the coronavirus and distributed recommendations to address the outbreak. The full statement can be read on the WHO website.

As a result, the U.S. Department of State has upgraded its China travel advisory to a Level 4: Do Not Travel. UT Austin has included China as “Extreme Risk” on the Restricted Regions List. UT undergraduate travel to China has been suspended. Any graduate student or faculty/staff travel to China must be approved by the International Oversight Committee (IOC), and only essential travel will be approved. For more information, please read the Senior Vice Provost for Global Engagement’s message to the UT community. Please contact grs@austin.utexas.edu with any questions.

As of Jan. 31, the coronavirus has been detected in the following areas (ordered highest to lowest by number of cases): China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Macau, South Korea, U.S., France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Italy, U.K., Vietnam, Cambodia, Finland, India, Nepal, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

Precautionary Measures

  • Avoid non-essential travel to China
  • Maintain flexible itineraries when traveling and allow for extra time to go through screening procedures at airports, railway and bus stations, and other transportation hubs
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when sneezing and coughing (do not cough or sneeze into your hands)
  • When using a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately after use
  • Do not travel if you are sick
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • Avoid wet markets and farms
  • Keep a distance from people who are obviously sick or exhibiting flu-like symptoms
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Try to get sufficient sleep, exercise regularly, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods
  • Stay home when sick
  • Don’t eat, drink, or smoke after others
  • Avoid direct contact with animals (dead or alive)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms, especially a fever or shortness of breath
  • Monitor up-to-date information about the virus from the CDC, International SOS, and local media