In an email to the Brandeis community on Sunday, Provost Lisa Lynch updated community members as to how Brandeis is responding to the Coronavirus outbreak. Lynch stated that the updates have resulted in Brandeis “restricting all Brandeis students, faculty, and staff from traveling to China on official University business, effective immediately.” Lynch also said that the University will continue to monitor statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “with the intention of removing restrictions as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.” 

Travel restrictions only apply to those who are planning on traveling to China for University-related purposes. Despite this, Lynch said that the University “strongly recommend[s] that those who are planning [to] travel to China for personal reasons reconsider such plans.”

In addition to updating the Brandeis community, Lynch shared that the University has established a working group to work with public health officials, as well as to update contingency plans if necessary.  

Lynch stated that “since the last communication from the Brandeis Health Center, the U.S. Department of State has raised its travel advisory for mainland China to ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel.’” Along with the increased travel advisory, the CDC has said that any travelers who come to the US from China are required to be monitored for up to 14 days after arriving. According to the Feb. 2 travel advisory posted by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, Level 4 is the highest travel advisory. The Department of State also stated that should the situation deteriorate further, “the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited.”

According to the Presidential Proclamation on Novel Coronavirus, issued on Jan. 31, 2020, foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14 days are prohibited from entering the United States. For American citizens as well as lawful permanent residents and their families who “have been in China in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States, but will be directed to one of 11 airports to undergo health screening,” the Proclamation said. 

Also in the Feb. 9 email, Lynch said that “this is an especially stressful time for members of our community who are affected by the Coronavirus because of its impact on their families and communities or the stigma they may be experiencing in public settings.” Lynch also asked that “everyone treat one another with dignity and respect, so that we sustain the supportive, inclusive, and compassionate community that is rooted in our founding values.” 

Currently, there have been 12 cases of the Coronavirus in the United States, including one case in Boston, MA.