Monthly Archives: February 2020Share
A Message from Paul Rooney, Assistant Vice President, Operations
Valencia College administration and emergency preparedness teams are continuing to monitor the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Currently there is a low risk in Florida, and to date there have been no confirmed cases in Florida. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”
Valencia College Preparations and Plans
Valencia College officials are working in conjunction with and abiding by the guidelines provided by the federal, state and local health authorities. This includes the recommendation from the CDC that travelers avoid all travel to China, and that any students, faculty and staff members, or visitors who returned from mainland China after February 2 and onward do not attend school or work for 14 days after the return date.
In addition, Valencia’s Emergency/Crisis Management Committee for International Travel is meeting regularly to monitor outbound travel for study abroad. At this time, there are no study abroad trips planned to China, and other trips are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For Valencia-related, international travel, please register your trip with the SAGE office. Visit the Non-Study Abroad International Travel and Faculty Exchange Registration webpage for specific instructions.
As a part of our standard emergency and crisis planning, I am meeting regularly with Valencia’s emergency operations team to discuss any new updates, advisories or notices to determine the impact (if any) to Valencia and outline any additional actions or preventative measures.
As we look forward to spring break, we know that many of you may have travel plans. If you plan to travel, we ask that you continue to take everyday precautions recommended by the CDC including, but not limited to:
- Washing your hands frequently to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the Coronavirus.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home if you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throwing the tissue away.
- Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.
Please see a healthcare professional if you are experiencing a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing and if you think you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus. For a full list of preventative actions, click here.
In addition, as shared in the update last week, the U.S. Department of State issued a Do Not Travel Advisory (travel ban) to suspend entry of non-United States citizens — who recently traveled from the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau — to the United States. Earlier this week, the CDC also issued a recommendation to avoid all nonessential travel to affected geographical areas to include Japan, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
As you prepare for travel, reference the following sites for up-to-date information, resources and advisories:
- CDC: Travel: Frequently Asked Questions
- CDC Spring Break Travel
- NAFSA: Association for International Educators – Resources
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory
Please know that we will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 and share important advisories and plans. Remember that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the best source for up-to-date information.
If you have concerns or questions about Valencia’s emergency plans, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-299-5000, extension 1100 (office) or 321-689-7077 (cell).