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CORONAVIRUS NEWS AND UPDATES

(Updated: 3/12/2020, 8:00 AM PDT)

 

The International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) is deeply concerned about the coronavirus outbreak and sincerely hopes that you and your family and friends have not been negatively impacted. We continue to monitor the situation and are here to provide support to our international scholar community. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about travel, employment and campus resources. Please either visit the current UC San Diego Information about the Coronavirus site for more information or request to meet with an IFSO advisor if you have any questions or need support.

The campus is recommending that all incoming scholars from CDC-designated level three travel advisory countries ("Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission") self-isolate for fourteen days before coming on to campus.  Departments may choose to develop procedures to have their scholars begin their appointments remotely during this self-isolation period.

3/11/2020 CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL BAN EXTENDED TO SCHENGEN COUNTRIES

On March 11, 2020, President Trump expanded his Proclamation on "Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants...Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus" to include Schengen area European countries excluding the U.K., to include specifically: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.  The expanded ban goes into effect after 11:59 pm, March 13th. For departments who have incoming researchers affected by this ban, IFSO will be able to defer J-1 program start dates while the ban is pending. Please report necessary date amendments directly to IFSO through our web-based form.  Failure to defer program start dates could result in cancellation of the scholar's SEVIS record. IFSO encourages scholars on UC San Diego's campus to refrain from all nonessential travel given the very fluid situation with COVID-19.

3/2/2020 CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL BAN EXTENDED TO IRAN

On February 29, 2020, the presidential proclamation suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants present in China for the fourteen days immediately prior to attempted entry to the U.S. was expanded to include nonimmigrants and immigrants present in Iran during the fourteen days immediately preceding attempted entry to the U.S. For departments who have incoming researchers affected by this ban, IFSO will be able to defer J-1 program start dates while the ban is pending. Please report necessary date amendments directly to IFSO through our web-based form.  Failure to defer program start dates could result in cancellation of the scholar's SEVIS record.

2/2/2020 SUSPENSION OF ENTRY ... OF PERSONS WHO POSE A RISK OF TRANSMITTING ... CORONAVIRUS

On February 2, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus went into effect, banning entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present within the People's Republic of China (excluding Macau and Hong Kong) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. Exceptions will be made for lawful permanent residents and family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The ban is in effect until cancelled.

For departments who have incoming researchers affected by this ban: IFSO will be able to defer J-1 program start dates while the ban is pending. Please report necessary date amendments directly to IFSO through our web-based form. Failure to defer program start dates could result in cancellation of the scholar's SEVIS record.

See "Information about the Coronavirus" for campus updates, resources, and additional information. Guidance on travel restrictions to and from China are rapidly evolving. If you have any travel emergencies or questions about future travel plans, please contact IFSO for guidance.

1/23/2020 CAMPUS ANNOUNCEMENT: CORONAVIRUS

OFFICE OF THE CEO, UC SAN DIEGO HEALTH
OFFICE OF STUDENT HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

January 23, 2020

ALL ACADEMICS, STAFF AND STUDENTS AT UC SAN DIEGO - Including Health
SUBJECT: Coronavirus: IMPORTANT Information for the UC San Diego Community

We are committed to keeping our campus community healthy, especially
during this time of the year with increased flu activity and reports of
an outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. We ask
you to join us in our efforts by protecting yourself against the flu,
knowing what to do if you have flu symptoms and educating you about
coronavirus.

What is the Coronavirus?

The 2019 coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan City a few weeks ago
and has been linked to a large seafood and animal market. The first
confirmed case in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020 in
the state of Washington. The virus occurred in a patient with
respiratory symptoms who had recently returned home from Wuhan City.

There are currently no known exposures to the coronavirus in San Diego
or on the UC San Diego campus. To reduce further spread of the infection
beyond Wuhan City, all public transportation within Wuhan City and
outbound air and rail travel was suspended as of January 22, 2020.
Recently, travel in other cities near Wuhan has been restricted. This
is an evolving situation, and UC San Diego Health’s Infection Prevention
leadership is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and
county public authorities and continues to provide ongoing clinical
guidance.

To learn more about the coronavirus, the CDC website is a reliable
source of updated information.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

If you have a fever and symptoms of pneumonia, such as cough or
shortness of breath:

· Stay home from school and work.

· Cover your cough.

· Call your healthcare provider to make an appointment. Students
should call Student Health Services.

· If you have traveled to Wuhan, China, within the past 14 days,
notify your health care provider at the time of your call. It is
important to call before heading into a clinic so that your provider can
be prepared for your visit.

· UC San Diego Health and Student Health Services have developed
triage screening (by phone and at front desks) and implemented
additional protocols to help identify possible cases of coronavirus to
provide optimal care for those with symptoms and to protect other
patients and staff.

Flu Protection

With flu activity continuing to increase in San Diego, now is the time
to make sure that you are protected against the flu. It’s not too late
to get a flu shot, which is the best way to prevent the flu and its
potentially serious complications. There is no vaccination for the
coronavirus.

We ask you to join us in keeping your vaccinations up to date, washing
your hands often, staying hydrated, and helping us prevent the spread of
infections. We will provide updates as needed; if you have questions or
concerns, please reach out to your primary care provider or Student
Health Services.

In good health,
Patty Maysent
Chief Executive Officer
UC Health System

Alysson M. Satterlund
VC Student Affairs
UC San Diego

Stacie San Miguel, M.D.
Director of Medical Services
Student Health Services
UC San Diego Healthhttp://adminrecords.ucsd.edu/Notices/2020/2020-1-23-1.html

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

For scholars in China wanting to enter the United States

Q: Where can I find the most current information regarding inbound travel to the U.S. from China?

There is a lot of uncertainty at this time due to the rapidly changing situation and response regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On February 2, 2020, the U.S. President issued a presidential proclamation on the suspension of entry into the U.S. of immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19. The proclamation went into effect on the same day. This proclamation suspends and limits entry into the U.S of all immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present within China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. Travelers will be required to comply with all U.S. re-entry and potential quarantine requirements in place before returning to the university community. Review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention information for travelers from China.

For more information, visit the UC San Diego information about the coronavirus on Blink

Q: Due to travel restrictions, I will not be able to arrive in the U.S. by the start date on my Form DS-2019. Can anything be done to change the dates on this form?

The start and end dates on your Form DS-2019 can be amended as many times as necessary to accommodate changing travel restrictions. Please work closely with your sponsoring department in apprising them of your visa application process and travel plans and they will communicate to us all necessary date changes for your Form DS-2019. These changes will be recorded in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) and a new form issued. U.S. consulate and port of entry officials will have access to the updated data in SEVIS and therefore will not need to see your new form, but your department may also choose to send you the updated Form DS-2019, or we will retain it in our office and provide it to you upon your arrival.

Q: I am currently on a leave of absence and am now unable to return to my program at UC San Diego due to travel restrictions. What should I do?

Be sure to stay in close communication with your sponsoring department. Depending upon whether you have a paid or unpaid appointment, you and your department will need to take appropriate actions for your pay status.  For those scholars in J-1 status, please update IFSO (email to ischolars@ucsd.edu) with your changing travel plans so that we may update SEVIS accordingly.

Q: How can I receive my Form DS-2019 when mail is not being delivered?

Contact IFSO at ischolars@ucsd.edu to discuss options. Check the websites of international mail couriers for mailing service updates such as FedEx.

For Scholars in the United States who do not want to return to China

Q: My appointment at UC San Diego is ending soon, but I am concerned about returning to China. What are my options to remain?

J-1 scholar categories have a variety of time maximums. It may be possible for you to extend your J-1 program at UC San Diego if your department is supportive and you have the funding to support an extension. You may also be eligible to transfer your J-1 program to another institution. If you have already maximized your available time in your J-1 program, then you will need to change your status in order to remain inside the U.S. or may need to leave to a third country. If you are subject to the two-year home physical presence requirement, however, a change of status will not be an option for you. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued the following guidance.  Those persons in F-1 status on OPT should check with their Designated School Officials on the possibility of applying for STEM extensions of OPT, or with their departments regarding continuity of employment and sponsorship in the J or H categories.

For scholars who want to go to China

Q: I need to go to China. How can I get there?

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory related to travel to and from China. Under this advisory, all non-essential travel to China should be avoided. While there are no direct flights from the U.S. to China at this time, there may be available options to reach China from local regional flights.

On-campus concerns

Q: I am concerned about my family in China. Is there someone I can talk to?

Yes. If you are experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety and would like to access counseling services, there are resources available.  If you are a campus employee, call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 858-534-5523. If you are a UC San Diego Helath employee, contact your Employee Assistance Program provider aligned with your medical coverage or call 619-543-3200.  If you have a campus unpaid appointment, such as a Visiting Graduate Student or Visiting Scholar appointment, call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (see above).

Q: I feel discriminated against because I am from China.

UC San Diego values the cultural diversity of faculty, staff and students and is dedicated to forstering the best possible working and learning environment for our global community. If you feel discriminated against based upon your race, color, ethnicity, or national origin, you can report it to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination.