A message from RIT on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

UPDATE: 10 a.m. March 3: RIT has created a website as a resource for preparedness and education regarding the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19. The site, which will be updated as necessary, offers guidance on health-related questions as well as academic issues. RIT has formed a task force, composed of university leaders, emergency management, health officials, and others, to handle any changes that affect our Rochester and international campuses. Learn more on the Coronavirus Information webpage.

 

Dear RIT community,

RIT leadership wants to assure you that we are closely monitoring the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China and has since spread to multiple countries.

The virus is being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Locally, we are working with health officials from Monroe County and New York state to ensure we are aware of changing conditions.

As we monitor the virus, it is important to educate students, faculty, and staff about best practices to stay healthy. We have formed a task force, composed of university leaders, emergency management, health officials, and others, to handle any changes that affect our Rochester and international campuses.

We are placing a high priority on the health, safety, and travel of the entire university community. We also recognize that many of our international students are facing challenges, and we will continue to provide support and planning options in the event of protracted and expanded travel restrictions. 

Travel Guidance

The U.S. Department of State and the CDC have advisories regarding travel to mainland China and South Korea. RIT is restricting travel to China and South Korea. This restriction includes travel for university-related activities such as teaching, study abroad, conferences, internships, research, recruiting, business meetings, and special events.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to evaluate their personal travel in light of the CDC and State Department advisories.

With Spring Break approaching, any students considering travel over the break are urged to review the CDC’s guidance.

Health Education and Prevention Information

There currently is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization websites.   

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Student Health Center at 585-475-2255 or email studenthealth@rit.edu.

This health situation is extremely fluid and changes daily, so we encourage you to review the Coronavirus Information webpage for related updates, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), as well as resources and communications aimed at raising preparedness and prevention efforts.

David Munson Jr.
President, RIT

Lindsay Phillips, MD, MSc
Medical Director, Student Health Center