Coronavirus

Updates

1:26 p.m., February 3, 2020

Campus Health Update | Monday, February 3

Dear Campus Community:

As we announced last evening, the two samples that were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be tested for the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) were negative. We also learned that the CDC and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) significantly updated their guidance on travel and guidelines for monitoring the health of those who have recently entered the U.S. from China.

While there are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of the virus in Ohio, for the safety of our University community, we are implementing additional guidelines consistent with yesterday’s federal public health recommendations.  

Self-quarantine for travelers returning to the U.S. after Feb. 2

In accordance with new federal guidance, any Miami University student, faculty, or staff member who returns to the U.S. from China after Sunday, February 2, at 5 p.m. EST will not be permitted to come to campus to work, attend class, or participate in any campus or community activity for 14 days after leaving mainland China. 

  • The reason for more strict restrictions is because the increase in coronavirus cases in China in recent days has increased the infection risk for more recent travelers. 

  •  Students, faculty, or staff who need assistance with these restrictions can contact irt@miamioh.edu.

  • The University will work with anyone impacted by the restrictions to identify the appropriate accommodations for completing academic work or attendance for employment.

 Self-monitoring for other travelers

  • For individuals who returned from China before Sunday, February 2, at 5 p.m. EST, public health officials ask that you self-monitor your health for 14 days after traveling from China for fever and respiratory symptoms but recommend no other changes in activities at this time. 

  • If you are self-monitoring, we ask that you please fill out this travel reporting form.

  • If you are experiencing symptoms and have traveled to the impacted area, please first call Student Health Services at 513-529-3000 to receive guidance on next steps. 

 Travel restrictions

  • As announced last week, University-sponsored travel to China remains prohibited for all students, faculty, and staff members. 

  • The CDC and the DOS have listed China at their highest level of travel alerts, and all U.S. airlines have announced temporary cancellation of service to and from China.

  • The U.S. federal government has also placed new restrictions on some non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents coming to the U.S. who have recently been in China. Non-U.S. nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, with prior travel to China in the past 14 days will be denied entry to the U.S. 

While we want to take all precautions to advance the safety of our community, please remember that unless you have recently returned from China, there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors related to the coronavirus. The best way to prevent the spread of any type of infection — including the flu, which is much more prevalent in the U.S. — is to practice routine hygiene etiquette: 

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • It is especially important to wash your hands:

    • Before, during, and after you prepare food.

    • Before you eat and after you use the bathroom.

    • After handling cash.

    • More frequently when someone in your house is sick.

    • Before/after smoking/vaping.

    • Before/after using public computers.

  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm.

  • Frequent cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes.

  • Avoiding contact with people who are ill.

  • Stay home from work or school if you are ill.

 While we will continue to stay in close contact with the Ohio Department of Health and the Butler County Health District, this is the last daily update IRT plans to send out. We will, however, send updates if University, local, and federal guidelines change or other circumstances warrant. The call center closed at noon today; if you have any further questions, please email irt@miamioh.edu. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, as always, are our top priority.

For additional information about coronavirus, including symptoms, treatment, or a list of University precautions and requirements, please visit the university’s coronavirus webpage. 

Thank you,

Institutional Response Team
Miami University


7:14 p.m., February 2, 2020

Campus Health Update | Sunday, February 2

Dear Campus Community,

Today we received notification from the Ohio Department of Health that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) test samples sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were negative. We are so glad to hear that these students are on the road to recovery. I am also particularly grateful to the Ohio Department of Health and the Butler County Health District, as well as Governor DeWine’s office, for their leadership and guidance this past week. Their support was remarkable. I am thankful that Miami leadership and our Student Health Services/TriHealth personnel were prepared to take the right, proactive actions.

Even with this news, our student health providers ask that we all continue to be proactive in monitoring our health as we are still in peak flu season. As a reminder, the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health tell us the most effective means of prevention of illnesses such as the flu include:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • It is especially important to wash your hands:
    • Before, during, and after you prepare food.
    • Before you eat and after you use the bathroom.
    • After handling cash.
    • More frequently when someone in your house is sick.
    • Before/after smoking/vaping.
    • Before/after using public computers.
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm.
  • Frequent cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes.
  • Avoiding contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are ill.

Miami’s call center (513-529-9000) will reopen for the day tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. Please continue to visit the Miami coronavirus information website for any further updates. Again, thank you to all for your diligence this past week and in the days to come. We have experienced a tremendous outpouring of support from our community for the affected students. It has been inspiring to witness Love & Honor in action.

Gregory P. Crawford
President


7:00 p.m., February 2, 2020

Live Press Conference | Sunday, February 2

The Ohio Department of Health, Miami University, Butler County General Health, Middletown Health Department and the Hamilton City Health Department will announce the latest information on the possible 2019-novel coronavirus cases.

Watch live on YouTube


4:30 p.m., February 2, 2020

Press Conference Tonight | Sunday, February 2

The Ohio Department of Health, Miami University, Butler County General Health, Middletown Health Department and the Hamilton City Health Department will announce the latest information on the possible 2019-novel coronavirus cases.

Event begins 7p.m. at Miami University
Gross Center, room 106
510 E. Sycamore, Oxford, OH
Media credentials must be presented at this event.

Watch live on YouTube


5:05 p.m., February 1, 2020

Campus Health Update | Saturday, February 1

Miami’s Institutional Response Team (IRT) and public health officials, including the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health, continue to await the results of two samples sent earlier this week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). No additional suspected cases of the coronavirus have emerged from Miami University, Butler County, or the State of Ohio.

On Friday, United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the United States. With this announcement, the CDC is releasing additional guidelines for individuals traveling from China to the U.S., beginning tomorrow, February 2.

We continue to work closely with the Butler County Health District to identify members of our campus community who may be affected by these new guidelines and to contact individuals who have traveled to China over the past two weeks to assess their travel history and health status.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise that, for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from the coronavirus is considered low. “The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to prevent sustained spread of 2o19-nCoV in this country,” the CDC has said.

As soon as we receive the test results, we will quickly relay that information to the community and the public via a joint press conference with the Ohio Department of Health and Butler County Health District. Please continue to visit Miami’s coronavirus information website for the latest information, as we continually update the frequently asked questions section of the site.

Institutional Response Team
Miami University


4:47 p.m., January 31, 2020

Campus Health Update | Friday, January 31

Miami’s Institutional Response Team (IRT) and public health officials, including the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health, continue to await the results of two samples sent earlier this week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). No additional suspected cases have emerged from Miami University, Butler County, or the State of Ohio.

We know many people are anxiously awaiting the results of the tests. The Ohio Department of Health sent the test samples to the CDC on Tuesday, January 28. The samples were received by the CDC the next morning and placed in the queue for testing. We know it takes 48 hours for the lab to grow the cultures necessary for testing, and that we are among a number of pending requests, as testing can presently only be performed by the CDC’s public health lab. While we had hoped to receive the results by today, the Butler County Health Commissioner indicated to us that given the late hour this is now unlikely.

When the tests are complete, the CDC will deliver the results first to the Ohio Department of Health and the Butler County Health District, who will contact the students who have been isolated since Monday. Following the students’ notification, Miami University, the Butler County Health District, and the Ohio Department of Health will promptly hold a joint news conference to share the results.

In the meantime, Miami continues to take proactive measures to prevent the spread of illness, and asks our community to take the same precautions to prevent getting the cold or flu. Please continue to visit Miami’s coronavirus information website for the latest information.

Institutional Response Team
Miami University


4:43 p.m., January 30, 2020

Campus Health Update | Thursday, January 30

Members of Miami’s Institutional Response Team (IRT) continue conversations and meetings with public health officials, including members of the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health. As stated in yesterday’s campus health update, no new suspected cases have emerged from Miami University, Butler County, or the State of Ohio that require testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, we are still awaiting the test results of the two samples sent to the CDC earlier this week.

As you've likely heard, the first human-to-human transmission in the United States was confirmed today in Illinois. Human-to-human transmission is not a new development and was confirmed shortly after the identification of the Novel Coronavirus. Similar to those previous transmissions, the case in Illinois involved intimate human contact, according to ODH.

Additionally, the World Health Organization announced today that it is classifying the Novel Coronavirus a global health emergency. This new classification will help to free up global resources to further help contain the spread of the virus and treat those impacted. This change doesn't alter any of the current guidance regarding prevention measures. ODH noted that the CDC guidelines remain in place -- They do not recommend preventatively isolating individuals who have traveled to China. Additionally, the guidelines involving preventative hygiene measures remain unchanged. Miami continues to follow these protocols.

IRT echoes President Crawford’s message from earlier in the week: “At Miami, we treat each other with compassion, care, and understanding. As always, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and campus community.”

Please continue visiting Miami’s website for the latest information on this situation. Miami is continually updating the frequently asked questions section of the site.

Institutional Response Team
Miami University
Campus Call Center: 513-529-9000


3:57 p.m., January 29, 2020

IRT Campus Health Update | Wednesday, January 29

Miami University’s Institutional Response Team (IRT) and student health officials have been working alongside medical experts and Butler County Health officials using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for screening individuals who have flu-like symptoms. No new cases have emerged from Miami University or Butler County that require testing by the CDC.

As we continue to await the test results of the two samples sent earlier this week, we have taken many proactive measures to prevent the spread of illness across campus, including the following steps:

  • Deployed additional hand-sanitizing stations at all food and beverage locations, Armstrong Student Center, dining commons, Starbucks, The Marcum hotel, all markets, Brick & Ivy, 1809, and Campus Services Center
  • Contacted all students (graduate and undergraduate) who have traveled to affected areas
  • Canceled University-funded travel to China (faculty exceptions may be granted by the Provost’s Office)
  • Reviewed cleaning protocols with Department of Health standards and increased cleaning of common areas, door knobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas
  • Butler County Health District confirmed CDC guidelines for screenings with Miami’s Student Health Professionals
  • On-going education is being provided regarding preventative health practices

Miami’s IRT, composed of senior staff members from across the University, was activated earlier this week and has been working continuously with officials from the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health. As part of the team’s work, they are processing plans for possible next steps after the test results come in. IRT will be providing daily updates to the Miami community via email, social media, and the University website.

Miami has updated its information website with additional frequently asked questions. The website also houses all communications that are being sent out from the University, as well as the livestream from yesterday’s press conference with health officials. The community is encouraged to visit this site regularly for updates. In addition, the call center (513-529-9000) will remain open this week during regular business hours.

Institutional Response Team
Miami University
Call Center for General Questions: 513-529-9000


9:21 a.m., January 29, 2020

Message to the Community from Provost Osborne

Colleagues,

As President Crawford addressed in his message yesterday evening, we are working closely with the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health to ensure we are taking all reasonable actions to support students feeling unwell and to prevent spread of disease. We are also reaching out to every person at Miami who has traveled to China in the past two weeks. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are labeling the Novel Coronavirus as “low risk” and we are responding accordingly.

Our Code of Love and Honor states that we demonstrate Love and Honor “by supporting and caring for [our] fellow Miamians." This means that we treat our fellow Miamians with care and compassion, even when (or especially when) we are anxious or afraid. It is bad enough to be unwell under any circumstance. Imagine how frightening it must be to feel unwell while at college in a foreign country. Many of our students from China must also be very worried about their loved ones back home. I urge each of you to treat all members of our community with compassion rather than suspicion.

During this time, which happens to also be peak cold and influenza season, we urge faculty to provide as much accommodation as soon as possible for students who are unwell or who are wanting to avoid physically attending class. We encourage academic divisions and departments to help their faculty implement temporary accommodations such as:

  • Implementing less restrictive attendance policies;
  • Providing alternative assignments, readings, etc. to allow mastery of content delivered in class;
  • Using modern IT tools such as Canvas or WebEx to live stream classes, to provide students collaborative/groupwork opportunities remotely, or to provide asynchronous access to recorded material.

In addition to the information found on Miami’s website and the CDC’s website, Miami has set up a call center to address any general questions or concerns at 513-529-9000. If you are concerned that a student in your class is ill and should see a physician, encourage them to call Student Health Services (513-529-3000) prior to walking over, so the staff at the health center can be prepared to receive the student. Please share these points with colleagues, students, or parents who reach out to you directly.

As always, we thank you for your continued support of all of our students in their academic success.

Love and Honor,
Jason


4:43 p.m., January 28, 2020

Message to the Community from President Crawford

Dear Miami Community,

I am following up on our announcement this morning about two off-campus, Oxford students being tested for the coronavirus. Currently, these students are being monitored by public health and Miami University officials and are being isolated as a precaution. The Ohio Department of Health has indicated there are no confirmed cases in the State of Ohio at this time. Please be assured that Miami University is closely collaborating with the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health to treat these students and to take all appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of the entire Miami Community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates the risk in the United States is low.

Miami is following the advice of public health officials in Butler County and the State of Ohio. At this point in time, we plan to maintain our regular academic class schedule. This mirrors the protocol that is being followed at other universities, including Baylor University, Wesleyan University, Tennessee Tech University, and Texas A&M University, who also isolated students while coronavirus tests were being conducted.

The Butler County Health District offers this advice:

“Unless you have recently traveled from China or have been around someone ill with this new virus, your risk of getting sick is low. If you have traveled from China and are experiencing signs and symptoms, contact your doctor BEFORE going to work or attending class. Miami students, who meet this criteria and are experiencing signs or symptoms, should contact Student Health Services at 513-529-3000 for further instructions.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health tell us the most effective means of protection are the same as those precautions that prevent other illnesses such as the flu:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • It is especially important to wash your hands:
    • Before, during, and after you prepare food.
    • Before you eat and after you use the bathroom.
    • After handling cash.
    • More frequently when someone in your house is sick.
    • Before/after smoking/vaping.
    • Before/after using public computers.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Frequently clean your doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.

For any general questions or concerns, we have set up a call center at 513-529-9000 that is staffed from 8 am to 5 pm (EST) this week. We also have developed [this] webpage to keep you updated with the latest information. I’d like to thank Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Butler County Health District for their advice, guidance, and support. Soon, we will be posting the video of the press conference held this afternoon with Miami and representatives from these organizations. The conference provided important information that addresses many questions.

At Miami, we treat each other with compassion, care, and understanding. As always, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and campus community.

With Love and Honor,

Gregory P. Crawford
President


2:45 p.m., January 28, 2020

Press Conference


10:17 a.m., January 28, 2020

Message to the Community from Vice President Brownell of Student Life

On Monday morning, one student at Miami University presented at Student Health Services with very mild symptoms, and with their recent travel, met the criteria and are being tested for possible infection with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Health providers quickly recognized that the presenting patient met the criteria for 2019-Coronavirus testing; results should be back from the CDC in the coming days. This student and his traveling companion are isolated in their off-campus residence while awaiting the test results. Miami and healthcare professionals continue to communicate and collaborate daily with the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health and are following their recommendations and protocols. We will share information with the community as it becomes available.

We are assisting and supporting these Miami students who are awaiting test results. We continue to work closely with local and state healthcare professionals and the Butler County Health District and Ohio Department of Health. If you are experiencing symptoms and have traveled to the impacted area, please first call Student Health Services at 513-529-3000 to receive guidance on next steps. Miami has set up a call center to address any general questions or concerns at 513-529-9000.

  • Meanwhile, we are still in flu season, and these precautions are recommended for both the flu and Coronavirus:
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • It is especially important to wash your hands:
    • Before, during, and after you prepare food.
    • Before you eat and after you use the bathroom.
    • After handling cash.
    • More frequently when someone in your house is sick.
    • Before/after smoking/vaping.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean your doorknobs/light switches and areas commonly touched with disinfectant wipes frequently.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.

Miami Health Services and Student Life professionals acted quickly with appropriate protocol, and we will continue to follow the best practices currently known. We have proactive partners in local and state healthcare. We will post updated information on myMiami as it becomes available. Please check announcements there regularly.

Jayne Brownell
Vice President, Student Life

Terri Buzzell
Director, Student Health Service


What You Need to Know

  • There are NO confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Butler County currently.
  • Unless you have recently traveled from China or have been around someone ill with this new virus, your risk of getting sick is low. If you have traveled from China and are, experiencing signs and symptoms contact Student Health Services at 513-529-3000 BEFORE going to work or attending class.
  • This is an evolving situation, the CDC coronavirus website is the best source of up to the minute information.
  • If needed, updates specific to Butler County will be posted on the Butler County Health District website.
  • While CDC considers this a serious public health concern, based on current location, the immediate health risk to the general American public is considered low at this time.

What is the novel (new) coronavirus?

Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different known coronaviruses can infect people and make them sick. Some were identified many years ago and some more recently.

What are the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus?

Symptoms are similar to other respiratory viruses. If you have these symptoms it does not necessarily mean you have this new virus! Unless you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China or have been around someone ill with this new virus, your risk of getting sick is near zero.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever (may not always be present)
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Other early symptoms to look for include:

  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Runny nose

If there is an infection of the 2019 novel coronavirus on campus, will the university isolate the individual?

In the event of a Miami student testing positive for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the patient would receive appropriate medical attention and would be under monitoring of public health officials. We would work with any roommates or suitemates concerned about close contact to determine their needs.

What can I do?

Again, if you have not traveled to China or have not been in contact with a person known or suspected to have the illness, there is no reason to be concerned at this time. Review the CDC travel alerts for coronavirus for more information. 

If you have traveled recently to Wuhan, China, had close contact with someone who has been confirmed with, or is being evaluated for the coronavirus, you should:

  • Monitor your health for 14 days, from the day you first traveled or had close contact with someone ill with this new coronavirus. Watch for signs and symptoms listed above.
  • Call Miami Health Services, your doctor, urgent care, or hospital BEFORE going. They will give you instructions.
    • Miami Health Services: 513-529-3000
    • McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital: 513-523-2111
  • If you have symptoms, stay away from other people until you receive instructions.

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus and other viruses?

  • Review the CDC's guidance for preventing spread of coronavirus.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.

Is Miami University Cancelling Classes?

In following the advice of the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health, we have isolated the two students who have met the criteria for being tested for the coronavirus. At this time, we plan to maintain our regular academic class schedule. This mirrors the protocol that is being followed at other universities, including Baylor University, Wesleyan University, Tennessee Tech University, and Texas A&M University, who also isolated students while coronavirus tests were being conducted.

Will sorority and fraternity recruitment be cancelled or postponed?

At this time, all sorority and fraternity recruitment activities will continue as planned. We are continuing to evaluate and monitor the situation, working in accordance with the Butler County Health District recommendations.

In addition to hand sanitizers at entrances, the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has ordered an extra 3,000 personal bottles of hand sanitizer for all people going through recruitment. All Greek students and potential new members were also emailed last night (Tuesday) by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life with guidance.

Where are the students being isolated?

The students are being isolated in their residence off-campus.

Have we contacted all students who have traveled throughout China over break?

Miami has been in contact with students who traveled to China over the break and provided instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asking them to seek treatment if they are exhibiting symptoms and have traveled to the affected areas. We are monitoring and in communication with students on both the Oxford and Regional campuses who have not returned due to a variety of travel restrictions.

What preparations are being made should the student test positive?

Miami University has activated the Institutional Response Team (IRT), comprised of senior staff from across the University. IRT has been working continuously with officials from the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health. As part of this work, plans are in place for next steps after the test results have been returned. IRT will be providing daily updates to the Miami community via email, social media and the University website.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? Are these students quarantined or isolated?

While these two terms are often used interchangeably, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

The two students who met the criteria for coronavirus testing are being isolated in their off-campus residence.

Is anyone checking on the isolated students? How are these students receiving food?

Miami University’s Office of the Dean of Students is in regular contact with the two students. Miami’s dining services staff have organized delivery of food to the students. They are remaining in their off-campus location and are not exiting their residence.

Why weren’t students who traveled to China screened before being allowed back on campus?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have recently increased the number of airports screening travelers to 20.

County and state health officials have said screening of individuals who are well is not recommended at this time. Miami has contacted students who traveled to China recently and encouraged any student who is experiencing flu-like symptoms and recently travelled to affected areas to contact the University’s Student Health Center, 513-529-3000.

How can I know if I might have been in contact with an affected patient?

The Butler County Health District will determine who should be notified based on the ill party’s contacts.

What disinfection measures are effective?

Coronaviruses, including the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, are transmitted through respiratory droplets from an infected person (e.g. cough, sneezing, close contact). Standard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved cleaning products and disinfectants are effective in cleaning surfaces.

The university already had been using these EPA-approved products and has increased touch-point cleaning in addition to common areas to include door knobs, light switches, etc.

What should I do to prevent the spread of infection?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health tell us the most effective means of protection are the same as those precautions that prevent other illnesses such as the flu:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • It is especially important to wash your hands:
    • Before, during, and after you prepare food.
    • Before you eat and after you use the bathroom.
    • After handling cash.
    • More frequently when someone in your house is sick.
    • Before/after smoking/vaping.
    • Before/after using public computers.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Frequently clean your doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.

If someone who has recently traveled to Wuhan is on campus, should they be isolated or held in quarantine?

Any recent traveler from Wuhan or other affected area who has symptoms (fever and respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, cough, or difficulty breathing) should contact Student Health (513-529-3000) and make arrangements to be seen by a medical provider right away.

Quarantine is not currently recommended for those who do not meet the public health criteria for the coronavirus. Students who are ill with flu and/or cold-like symptoms should continue medically recommended practices, including monitoring their temperature and practicing good hygiene. Individuals who may have had an exposure or are arriving from affected areas are not required to be quarantined.

If there is an infection of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus on campus, will the university isolate the individual?

In the event of a Miami student testing positive for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the patient would remain isolated, receive appropriate medical attention, and continue being monitored by public health officials.

I am worried about friends and family in impacted areas. What can I do to help?

It's hard knowing people you care about are in the middle of a potentially scary situation far away. We know that this has been a difficult time for many members of our community. Please know we are here for you and encourage you to reach out for support. Students who want to meet with a counselor can call 513-529-4634.

Students can also help their families back home by letting them know they are taking good care of themselves. The best advice for not getting sick is to practice frequent handwashing and staying out of close contact with people who might be sick.

At Miami, our Code of Love and Honor states that we demonstrate Love and Honor “by supporting and caring for [our] fellow Miamians." This means that we treat our fellow Miamians with care and compassion, even when (or especially when) we are anxious or afraid. We urge all members of our community to treat one another with compassion rather than suspicion.

Does the flu shot prevent the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?

No, the flu shot is formulated to match influenza viruses expected to be circulating in the United States during the 2019-2020 flu season. The influenza virus is a different genetic makeup from the coronavirus. The coronavirus has many genetic variants, including the “common cold” that generally does not present serious adverse health risks.

Does wearing a face mask help me if I am NOT sick?

Wearing face masks routinely is not recommended for people who are well. Handwashing and avoiding touching your face are the most effective method of illness prevention.

What should I do if I have a fever or have the symptoms of the flu? Do I need to be isolated?

Individuals who have had recent travel within the last 14 days from affected regions and are experiencing symptoms or who have been in close contact with those who are ill and recently traveled to affected regions are advised to make an appointment to see a medical provider. Students can call Student Health Service, 513-529-3000. Faculty and staff should contact their regular health care provider. For other illnesses, stay at home to avoid spreading illness to others until you have been without a fever for 24 hours.

What proactive measures has Miami taken?

Miami University has taken numerous steps to prevent the spread of illness across the campus, including steps such as these:

  • Deployed additional hand-sanitizing stations at all food and beverage locations, Armstrong Student Center, dining commons, Starbucks, The Marcum hotel, all markets, Brick & Ivy, 1809, and Campus Services Center
  • Contacted all students (graduate and undergraduate) who have traveled to affected areas
  • Canceled University-funded travel to China (faculty exceptions may be granted by the Provost’s Office)
  • Reviewed cleaning protocols with Department of Health standards and increased cleaning of common areas, door knobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas
  • Butler County Health District confirmed CDC guidelines for screenings with Miami’s Student Health Professionals
  • On-going education being provided regarding preventative health practices
  • Increased touch point cleaning in addition to common areas to include door knobs, light switches, etc.

What does a global health emergency mean?

The World Health Organization declared on Thursday that the new coronavirus outbreak is a global health emergency, acknowledging that the disease now represents a risk beyond China, where it emerged last month.

The declaration — officially called a Public Health Emergency of International Concern — serves notice to all United Nations member states that the world’s top health advisory body rates the situation as serious.

Countries can then decide whether to close their borders, cancel flights, screen people arriving at airports or take other measures.

The decision came as cases have begun to appear in people who had not traveled to China during the outbreak.

Why did you not quarantine Wuhan students in light of the decision to ground the plane in California?

Miami continues following protocol established by the CDC and has confirmed with the Ohio Department of Health that guidelines remain in place--they do not recommend preventatively isolating individuals who have traveled to China.

Will Miami revise its withdrawal policy?

Miami University officials are extending the full refund withdrawal date to February 10, 2020. Questions regarding withdrawal from the university should be directed to the One Stop office.

What is IRT?

Miami’s Institutional Response Team (IRT), composed of senior staff members from across the University, was activated earlier this week and has been working continuously with officials from the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health. As part of the team’s work, they are processing plans for possible next steps after the test results come in. IRT will be providing daily updates to the Miami community via email, social media, and the University website.


Miami Hotline and Other Numbers

The Miami University Health Services Information hotline number is 513-529-3003. This line is updated with the most current information as it is made available.

If you need to make an appointment with Miami University Health Services, please call 513-529-3000.

The Butler County General Health District phone number is 513-863-1770; the after-hours, emergency-only number is 877-774-4636.

Additional Resources

Butler County General Health District

301 S. Third Street
Hamilton, OH

513-863-1770 
513-863-4372 (fax)

www.butlercountyohio.org/health