Spring Break and Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The current outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading quickly worldwide. This new virus causes mild to moderate respiratory illness and, in some cases, serious medical complications. The University of South Carolina is working with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control (DHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to actively monitor the developing situation with respect to the disease and potential impacts to our campus community.

While the vast majority of cases have occurred in mainland China, other countries like South Korea, Italy and Japan are emerging hot spots for the virus. As the virus continues to spread, other countries may see a surge in the number of cases. Please check the CDC website for updates prior to finalizing your travel plans.

Before going on a spring break trip, Student Health Services recommends students take the following steps:

  • Monitor travel alerts daily. Countries you visit may decide to implement travel restrictions.
  • Visit the CDC website for any travel alerts about the country you are visiting. The CDC has a Travel Health Page dedicated to travel warnings for anyone traveling.
  • Read any alerts for travelers from the U.S. State Department website.
  • Help reduce the spread of illness. Do not travel if you are sick. Get a flu shot.

While abroad:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not share food or drinks.
  • Clean and disinfect shared surfaces. Wipe the airplane seat, tray and hand rests with disinfectant wipes.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold- or flu-like symptoms.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze.
  • Do not leave hotel or resort if sick. Call your health care provider for instructions.

After returning from spring break, students should monitor their health and watch for any signs of respiratory illness. If they traveled somewhere that has an outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus and develop a fever, cough or breathing issues, they should contact their health care provider immediately for instructions. Students may also call 803-777-3175 or go online to sc.edu/myhealthspace to schedule an appointment. They should indicate that they have traveled to an area with an outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.

Student Health Services wants all students to have a fun, educational and safe spring break. Some experiences on alternate breaks, missions and class trips can have profound positive effects for students. We encourage students to go and explore the world, but at the same time we ask students to watch out for theirs and everyone’s health and well-being. 

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