Guidance for Individuals Returning to Duke from China

 January 29, 2020

TO:Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:Cameron Wolfe, Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration, Emergency Coordinator
RE:Guidance for Individuals Returning to Duke from China

With the outbreak of novel coronavirus, we have received numerous questions from departments seeing guidance for how to handle those returning to Duke from China.

Departments are asked to use the following guidelines:

  • There are currently no restrictions for individuals who remain healthy without fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat or shortness of breath) during the 14-day period following departure from China.
  • Individuals returning from China who have a fever or respiratory symptoms should stay home, limit contact with others, and contact their healthcare provider.

Anyone returning from China with fever and cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of departure from China should call ahead to their doctor’s office and advise them of recent travel and symptoms.

  • Students with these symptoms should contact Student Health at 919-681-9355, option 2 and ask to speak to a triage nurse.
  • Faculty or staff with these symptoms should contact Employee Occupational Health & Wellness at 919-684-3136, option 2 and ask for a nurse; after business hours call the Blood and Body Fluid exposure emergency hotline at 919-684-8115.
  • Visitors to campus from China should contact Durham County Health Department on 919-560-7896 for further clinical guidance.

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against the novel coronavirus infection, so the best ways to reduce the risk of infection include the following:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

In the meanwhile, this situation continues to evolve quickly, so we encourage you to monitor the Duke Coronavirus Response website for updates. We will notify you if the guidance above changes.