Upcoming Travel and COVID-19

Feb. 27, 2020 letter to campus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

With next week’s break approaching, here are some resources to help prepare for a safe experience wherever your travels may take you. Additionally, we would like to share an update regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19), or SARS-CoV-2, and the potential impact this outbreak might have on your travel plans.

Consistent with travel warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Michigan has expanded its travel restrictions beyond China to include South Korea. All U-M related travel to these countries, including for faculty and staff, is discouraged. Personal travel to these countries also is discouraged.

Please register your international travel – personal or U-M related – using the U-M Travel Registry (https://global.umich.edu/travel-resources/register-your-travel/). The travel registry is the university’s official means for sharing urgent health, safety and security related information.

U-M travelers are encouraged to build in as much flexibility as possible into their plans as travel disruptions are possible. Please consider purchasing trip insurance in case last-minute changes or cancellations are needed. The impact of the coronavirus virus on future education abroad programs is still unknown, as the situation is rapidly evolving.

While there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., no cases have been confirmed in Michigan. Beyond these travel restrictions, there is currently no recommendation for the general U.S. public to take additional precautions.

Additionally, it’s flu season in Michigan. If you are ill, stay home and rest. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you haven’t done so, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.

We continue to work closely with public health officials at the local, state and national levels to monitor the spread of the virus. Public health officials are providing quarantine guidance and monitoring of individuals identified as being “at risk.”

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please check the university’s Key Issues page for the latest information, including a message of support to those affected from U-M President Mark Schlissel: /2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/.


Preeti Malani, MD
U-M Chief Health Officer
Professor of Medicine

Robert D. Ernst, MD
Associate Vice President of Student Life for Health and Wellness
Executive Director of University Health Service
Clinical Assistant Professor

Lindsey Mortenson, MD
Medical Director
University Health Service