2019 Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Community Update – February 17

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Pepperdine officials continue to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak as the University community works through impacts on the Shanghai international program and its students. The Seaver College Office of International Programs is pleased to report that all Shanghai program participants in the spring 2020 cohort safely returned to the United States earlier this month and resume classes on the Malibu campus today. Each of these students has been out of China for over two weeks before moving into University housing yesterday and has completed a risk assessment conducted by the Student Health Center. As these students settle back into their regular academic schedules this week, this message serves as the final update regarding the spring 2020 Shanghai program.

In consideration of the ongoing challenges the coronavirus epidemic poses in China, Seaver College has also determined that the Shanghai international program will be suspended through summer 2020. Students scheduled to participate in this program have been offered the opportunity to participate in a different Seaver international program. Additionally, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology and the Graziadio Business School have suspended their upcoming international student trips to China in April and May and are planning alternative destinations. While difficult decisions, the University continues to place its highest priority on the safety and well-being of students. For students who signed up to participate in these programs, the office coordinating the trips at each school will be in contact to provide details on alternative programs.

Pepperdine community members considering travel to China during spring break or over the summer are encouraged to monitor US State Department travel advisories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel warning, ongoing visa and border issues, and flight availability. Due to the highly restrictive conditions currently in place, Pepperdine is limited in the assistance it can provide to community members who choose to travel to China. 

At this time, Los Angeles County Public Health continues to affirm that the risk of spread of the virus in L.A. County is low and there is no immediate threat to the general public. Anyone with concerns about their health or symptoms they are experiencing can call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3. The Student Health Center continues to offer risk assessments for those with recent international travel or who have had close contact with someone who recently traveled internationally at no charge to all members of the Pepperdine community. Call the health center to make an appointment.

As a reminder, the best ways to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus including seasonal influenza include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get your flu shot if you have not already done so this flu season.

More information and regular updates can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and L.A. County Public Health website. Additional information is also available on the Student Health Center’s coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions Page.