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.
Over the weekend, US health officials in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began implementing enhanced health screenings to detect travelers with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing upon entering the US. These health assessments and requests for travelers currently returning to the US to monitor their health is part of a layered approach to limiting the spread of disease, which now includes potential self or mandatory quarantines for those who may have been exposed to the virus.
Anyone who has traveled to or from China in the last three weeks—or has had sustained contact with travelers from China during that time—should contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3 for a free risk assessment and additional guidance. Further, these individuals should watch for any changes in their health for 14 days after leaving China or after having close contact with someone who visited from China in the past three weeks. If you develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others and seek medical care right away, but call the doctor’s office or emergency room before going and tell them of your recent travel and symptoms. Campus community members who have additional health questions or concerns, or would like to receive a risk assessment at no charge, can contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3.
The University is continuing to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and will update its advice based on the most current information available. To learn more, community members can visit the University’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Pepperdine officials are continuing to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and its impact here in the United States and abroad. Earlier today, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally declared a public health emergency of international concern due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus. As of this afternoon, more than 8,200 cases worldwide have been confirmed with 171 deaths. The WHO, however, has also indicated that human to human transmission outside of China is extremely limited, with just eight cases in four countries outside of China.
Pepperdine is advising all individuals in the University community, including students, faculty, and staff, who have traveled to or from China—or have had sustained contact with individuals who have done so—since January 10, to contact the Student Health Center for a risk assessment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Los Angeles County Public Health (LACPHD) guidelines stipulate that travelers from China should be monitoring themselves for symptoms of infection. Screening by the Student Health Center will ensure that any at-risk or ill individuals obtain proper care and will help ensure the safety of the campus community.
Los Angeles County Public Health continues to affirm there is no immediate threat to the general public and the risk of spread of the virus in L.A. County is low at this time. Pepperdine community members should continue to engage in their regular activities and, while no special precautions are required, individuals are encouraged to practice good public health hygiene, especially since this is the height of flu season in Southern California.
As a reminder, if you feel sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others within the campus community, you should stay home from school or work, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. In addition, wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
The situation around the coronavirus remains fluid, and the University will continue to update its advice based on the most current information available. To learn more, community members can visit the Student Health Center’s Frequently Asked Questions page on the coronavirus or call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3 with any questions.
The University has been working closely with international and domestic officials to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak beginning in early December 2019. Since the last communication to the University community yesterday evening, the number of confirmed cases has grown to 4,690 with 107 deaths in 16 countries and five confirmed cases in the U.S. and two in Southern California.
As always, the safety and well-being of our students is the University’s highest priority. Based on information available at this time, including the spread of the coronavirus and related travel warnings and restrictions, as well as the University’s deepest care for the experience of our students and their academic needs, Pepperdine and Seaver College officials have made the decision to suspend the Shanghai International Program for the Spring 2020 term. In the coming weeks, the University will evaluate whether to resume operations for the program in summer and/or fall 2020.
At this time, the University is aiding Shanghai program participants in returning to their homes. Students enrolled in the Shanghai program will complete their academic term at the University’s Malibu campus beginning February 17, 2020.
Due to the elevated State Department travel advisory, all other upcoming University-related travel to China continues to be under review on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the University’s International Travel Policy. Please contact the Office of Emergency Services at 310.506.4996 for questions or assistance with the review process.
For more information about these actions, a series of frequently asked questions will be regularly updated on the International Programs Community webpage. The University will continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and will update the University community if conditions change significantly.