Skip to content

Update on the coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Northeastern University is closely monitoring the current 2019 Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and university leaders are in constant communication with government and public health agencies on a global scale to learn from and closely follow their recommendations.

Below are communications sent to the Northeastern community (ordered chronologically beginning with the most recent) with information and resources regarding the outbreak.


*Published Feb. 12, 2020*

Northeastern University continues to monitor the developments on the current coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization has named COVID-19, and university leaders remain in constant communication with government and public health agencies around the world.

Here are a few important updates, including updated travel restrictions in the U.S., U.K., and Canada; upcoming drop-in info sessions for the Northeastern community held on our Boston campus; and a university travel registry we encourage all travelers to use.

  • China has introduced port-of-exit screening and people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country. Many airports around the world no longer allow flights arriving from China, and many airlines have discontinued flights to and from China for the time being.
  • In accordance with the U.S. State Department, Northeastern University has prohibited all university-sponsored travel from the U.S. to China. For personal travel, we strongly discourage traveling to China at this time. Returning from China may result in a 14-day quarantine, which may impact your ability to return to campus.
  • We encourage every member of the Northeastern community to register planned travel, including personal travel, through the NU Travel Registry. Once registered, you will have access to information and notifications specific to your travel destination.

Do you have questions about coronavirus, travel, or Spring Break you want to ask in person? 

DROP BY AND TALK TO OUR EXPERTS:

  • Thursday, February 13th, 2020 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Living Learning Center, Speare Hall (Follow signs to 20 Stetson East Learning Living Center from front entrance of Stetson East Dining Hall)
  • Friday, February 14th, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Curry Student Center Room 344
  • Stay tuned for information about info sessions at the other campuses across Northeastern’s global network.

COUNTRY-SPECIFIC TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

United States

The White House has issued a proclamation that includes suspending entry into the U.S. for foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days. Measures to assess symptoms and diagnose the coronavirus (COVID-19) among those who are allowed entry into the United States (U.S. citizens, residents, and family) and have been in China within the past 14 days also are being implemented and may include quarantine.

At the U.S. embassy in Beijing and the U.S. consulates general in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang have suspended regular visa services.

For U.S.-specific updates, please continue to monitor: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province–china.html

United Kingdom

Public health authorities are asking travelers arriving to the U.K. from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, or Macau in the last 14 days to stay indoors, avoid close contact with people, and call NHS 111 if they are experiencing any symptoms.

The U.K. government has also introduced advanced monitoring at airports that receive direct flights from China. Public health hubs with medical staff have been established at Heathrow airport to support anyone arriving from China who is symptomatic.

For U.K.-specific updates, please continue to monitor https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

Canada

Public health agencies are asking travelers arriving from Hubei Province, China to stay home, self-isolate for 14 days, and monitor themselves closely for symptoms of illness.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a Travel Health Notice to avoid all non-essential travel to China and avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou.

For Canada-specific updates, please continue to monitor http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • Although respiratory illness and fever are among the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19), at this time of year, these same symptoms are far more likely to be associated with the flu or a flu-like illness. Please get your flu shot if you haven’t already. UHCS holds Flu Clinic hours regularly for current Northeastern students. Faculty and staff should check with their healthcare providers for information on receiving a flu shot.
  • If you have plans to travel to China over spring break for a personal, non-university-sponsored trip, please check with the airlines. Many flights to and from China have been suspended (other than flights out of China for U.S. citizens). Please note that non-U.S. citizens who may be able to travel to China over spring break are not guaranteed return to the U.S., given the current travel restrictions.
  • Wearing masks are for those who are sick or have upper-respiratory symptoms, such as a cough. At this time, the CDC and public health experts are not recommending that healthy people wear masks or cancel activities. The best way to protect your health is by practicing preventive measures, such as consistent hand-washing and getting a flu shot.
  • If you are concerned or anxious about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and want to talk to someone, Northeastern has counseling services for students, faculty, and staff.

Students, please contact:
Find@Northeastern – 877-233-9477
International: +1 781-457-7777

Faculty and staff, please contact:
Employee Assistance Program – 877-739-3989
International: +1 877-739-3989

 

*Published Feb. 5, 2020*

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Northeastern University is closely monitoring the current 2019 Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and university leaders are in constant communication with government and public health agencies on a global scale to learn from and closely follow their recommendations.

This communication includes: important facts, the latest public health guidance related to the virus, and useful prevention techniques, appropriate responses for likely scenarios, and important internal and external resources.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER

  • Northeastern is a global and diverse community of individuals who come from more than 100 countries. The university fosters an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and supportive to all members of our community—students, faculty, and staff.
  • At this time, the likelihood of someone contracting the virus in the U.S. is very low.
  • If you have not been in China recently, or in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), your risk to become infected is extremely low.
  • Although respiratory illness and fever are among the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19), at this time of year, these same symptoms are far more likely to be associated with the flu or a flu-like illness. Please get your flu shot if you haven’t already.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

It is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through contact with an infected person who, for example, coughs or sneezes. It is important that everyone practice good respiratory hygiene. For example, sneeze or cough into a flexed elbow, or use a tissue and discard it immediately into a closed bin. It is also very important for people to wash their hands regularly with either alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.

It is still not known how long the 2019 Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) survives on surfaces, although preliminary information suggests the virus may survive a few hours. Simple disinfectants can kill the virus making it no longer possible to infect people.

 

What can I do to decrease my chances of getting infected?

Practice good respiratory hygiene. Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers frequently. Avoid people who are sick, and cover your cough with a tissue. Disinfect commonly used surfaces frequently.

Do not share drinking glasses, bottles, utensils, makeup, toothbrushes, vaping or other smoking devices, boxes of food, finger-foods, or anything else that could carry the virus from one person to another.

 

Should I stay home from classes if I’m feeling fine but have traveled from China or if my friends are from Wuhan?

If you have travelled from China in the last 14 days, monitor your health and watch for any changes. If you get a fever or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others and call your healthcare provider or University Health and Counseling Services to tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel. They will provide further instruction about steps to take before your medical visit to help to reduce the risk that you will spread your illness to other people in the doctor’s office or waiting room. Do not travel or come to campus while you are sick.

If you have arrived to the U.S. from China more than 14 days ago and you are symptom-free, you should have no reason to be concerned.

 

What if I am experiencing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and fever?

People with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, the flu, or a cold typically develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and runny nose. Even though many symptoms are alike, they are caused by different viruses. Because of their similarities, it can be difficult to correctly identify the disease based on symptoms alone. That’s why laboratory tests are required to confirm if someone has coronavirus (COVID-19).

The World Health Organization recommends that people who have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing should seek medical care early. Patients should inform health care providers if they have travelled in the 14 days before they developed symptoms, or if they have been in close contact with someone with who has been sick with respiratory symptoms.

 

What should I do if I observe a friend or colleague showing respiratory symptoms?

Remember that the likelihood of symptoms such as sneezing and coughing being associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is extremely low. It is more likely that the person showing those symptoms has the common cold or perhaps the flu. You may encourage the individual to seek medical care.

 

Under special circumstances, can the university accommodate remote access to classes and class materials or allow offsite completion of coursework?

If you have recently traveled from China, and you are ill with respiratory symptoms, you should seek medical attention. As a result, you may be advised by your physician to refrain from attending classes in person. In this case, please consult with your faculty member to work out the appropriate arrangements for completing your coursework remotely. You may also contact WeCare* to help you navigate the situation and get the assistance and resources you need.

 

Can I travel to China?

In accordance with the U.S. State Department’s decision to issue its highest alert on the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Northeastern University is prohibiting all non-essential university-sponsored travel to mainland China.

Students, faculty and staff who have plans to travel to China as part of university-sponsored programs must consult with Northeastern’s Global Safety and Security Assessment Committee** and receive permission from the university to travel.

 

What about students who are on study abroad and co-op in China?

Our partner universities in China have put all spring study abroad programs on hold until further notice, and we are in direct contact with students already in China, who intend to participate in those programs or are currently on co-op. Northeastern will provide assistance and resources as needed.

 

Can I travel to China for spring break?

If you have plans to travel to China over spring break for a personal, non-university-sponsored trip, please check with the airlines. Many flights to and from China have been suspended (other than flights out of China for U.S. citizens).

Please note that non-U.S. citizens who may be able to travel to China over spring break are not guaranteed return to the U.S., given the current travel restrictions.

What if I am expecting a scheduled visitor to arrive from China?

All U.S. airports that receive flights from China have instituted screening protocols for travelers arriving from China. According to public health experts, it is still advisable for visitors to monitor their health for a consecutive 14 days after arriving, and seek medical help should they show any respiratory symptoms.

Those at Northeastern who are anticipating visitors are advised to contact them and discuss the above.

________________

We will continue to update the Northeastern University community as new information becomes available. All relevant updates can also be found on a dedicated website: news.northeastern.edu/coronavirus.

IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS

Students and staff, please contact:

*WeCare

617-373-7591 (between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm EST)

International: +1 617-373-7591

wecare@northeastern.edu (this email address is monitored 24/7)

 

Members of the faculty, please contact:

Deb Franko

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

617-373-5454 (between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm EST)

International: +1 617-373-5454

d.franko@northeastern.edu

 

Members of the Northeastern community may also contact:

**Global Safety and Security Assessment Committee

617-373-3212

International: +1 617-373-3121

mytravelplans@northeastern.edu

Please be prepared to discuss reasons for travel, proposed travel dates, and planned destination.

 

If you have questions or concerns about this travel restriction, please contact Khushal Safi, Senior Security Analyst for International Safety at k.safi@northeastern.edu.

If you have an urgent concern and it is after office hours, please call the Communications Center at 617-373-2121. An NUPD staff member is available to help and direct you to appropriate resources.

International: +1 617-373-2121

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

HEAR FROM THE EXPERTS

 

Cookies on Northeastern sites

This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand your use of our website and give you a better experience. By continuing to use the site or closing this banner without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies and other technologies. To find out more about our use of cookies and how to change your settings, please go to our Privacy Statement.