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CORONAVIRUS NEWS AND UPDATES

(Updated: 07/06/2020, 3:00 PM 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.

7/2/2020 DEPARTMENT OF STATE PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR J-1 PROGRAM EXTENSION BEYOND MAXIMUM DURATION

On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) notifed program sponsors of the opportunity to extend the J-1 programs of Exchange Visitors in academic categories for 60 days beyond the maximum duration for those Exchange Visitors whose programs ended or are set to end between 5/31/2020 and 7/31/2020 and who are unable to repatriate to their home country due to conditions such as border closures.  The USDOS has not yet posted this communication on its website. If you meet these conditions and are interested in such an extension, please reach out to IFSO at ischolars@ucsd.edu.

See email notification: click here.

7/1/2020 Required Quarantine for International Travelers

Required Quarantine for International Travelers.  On July 1, 2020, the San Diego County Public Health Services issued an Order that now requires a 14-day quarantine period for individuals arriving or returning from travel from ALL international locations. In addition, the S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines recommend that individuals arriving in the U.S. from ALL international locations should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel (quarantine), monitor their health, and practice social distancing. Please reference the CDC guidance on Returning from International Travel.

5/24/2020 CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL BAN EXTENDED TO BRAZIL

On May 24, 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 Brazil. The expanded ban goes into effect after 11:59 pm, May 28th. 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.

3/14/2020 CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL BAN EXTENDED TO THE UK AND IRELAND

On March 14, 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 the UK and Ireland. The expanded ban goes into effect after 11:59 pm, March 16th. 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.

3/11/2020 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 wanting to enter the United States

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

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; additional countries were added in subsequent proclamations. Governments around the world are imposing their own travel restrictions and airline flights have been severely impacted.  Additionally, the U.S. Department of State has suspended routine visa services in consulates around the world.  Information sources include:

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 plans. 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 should not need to see your new form, but you or your department may choose to have us send you the updated Form DS-2019 (see our shipping instructions), 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. Review the information on inbound travel in the FAQ list above.

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

Couriers may be discontinuing services in areas of high incidence of COVID-19. 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 their home country at this time

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

On Friday, April 3rd the U.S. Department of State automatically extended the programs by two months of all UCSD Exchange Visitors and their dependents whose programs ended between April 1 and May 31.  IFSO reached out to all J-1s impacted by this action to either 1) end your program, if you had already departed the U.S. and ended your program or had an approved Change of Status to H-1B, or 2) provide you with electronic copies of the new DS-2019 forms (with an option to ship the physical forms to you). Additionally, the U.S. Department of State provided an option to reinstate for tow months the programs of J-1 Exchange Visitors whose programs ended in the month of March but who were not able to depart the U.S. IFSO reached out individually to every J-1 scholar in this situation to ask if they wanted to avail themselves of this opportunity.  When reinstated by U.S. DOS, IFSO will send electronic copies of the newly issued DS-2019 forms to scholars, with an option to ship the physical form.

For Exchange Visitors with programs ending after May 31: 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. 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.

The U.S. Dept. of State has not ruled out the possibility of subsequent automatic extensions of J-1 programs, should worldwide travel disruptions continue to occur.

For scholars who want to travel internationally

Q: I need to travel home but want to remain on my program; what should I do?

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for all international travel and travel has been disrupted worldwide. Any scholar departing the U.S. at this time risks the possibility of not being able to reenter (see FAQ above on "inbound travel"). If you need to get home and are having trouble locating flights, reach out to your local consulate or embassy, as they may be able to help you; see:https://j1visa.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.31.20-Communication-to-Sponsors-Travel-Difficulty-Embassy-Outreach.pdf. If you want to keep your J-1 program actiive, please complete a leave of absence form and submit to IFSO; we will then update your SEVIS record with this information.

On-campus concerns

Q: I am concerned about my family in my home country. 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 an Asian country.

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.