Update: Georgia Southern Communications and Marketing sent out an email regarding the coronavirus and travel.
"All students, faculty, and staff, we encourage you to voluntarily register any upcoming travel plans for Spring Break or any other reason. Please log your travel through the Travel Registry link within the MyGS portal," the email reads. "This will allow us to communicate directly with travelers and to provide guidance to ensure that your safety is top priority if you have visited an area that is named an area of concern by the CDC."
The University also stated that no classes will be changed to online, but they will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 alongside the Georgia Department of Public Health and the University System of Georgia.
STATESBORO — With Spring Break approaching, many Georgia Southern students have plans to travel out of the state and country. Along with bathing suits and flip flops, travelers may want to bring along hand sanitizer.
Spring Break for GS is March 16 through March 20. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published recommendations for all travelers.
The CDC's Key Points for travel
- CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.
- Sustained community spread of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 has been reported in many countries.
- Cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
- Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.
Depending on where you travel, you may be asked to stay at home for 14 or more days after returning. China, Iran, Italy and South Korea are under a level 3 travel notice, meaning they are high risk countries, according to the CDC.
Many countries have reported travel-related cases. A prime example of this is the first two cases spotted in Georgia. One of the individuals in the household had just returned from Italy.
A week after the first two coronavirus cases were confirmed in Georgia, four more people have tested positive in the state, according to the CDC.
Three positive cases have been found in Fulton County, along with a case found in Cobb, Floyd and Polk County. There are also 11 presumptive cases in the state, three in Cobb, two in DeKalb, two in Fulton, two in Gwinnett, and one in Cherokee and Fayette.
This virus is understood to travel person-to-person, within 6 feet via respiratory droplets, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
As of March 11, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bulloch County. The CDC has advised all schools, specifically K-12, to plan and prepare for the virus.
"As the global outbreak evolves, schools should prepare for the possibility of community-level outbreaks. Schools want to be ready if COVID-19 does appear in their communities," the CDC's website reads.
The CDC says to slow the spread of respiratory diseases, schools should:
- Review, update, and implement emergency operations plans
- Develop information-sharing systems with partners
- Monitor and plan for absenteeism
- Establish procedures for students and staff who are sick at school
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Create communications plans for use with the school community
- Review CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers
The CDC has more specific instructions for colleges and universities here.
Sarah Smith, The George-Anne Managing Editor, email@example.com