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Procedures for Implementing Interim President Harroz's January 27 Letter

Published February 03, 2020

All HSC Faculty, Staff, Residents, and Students ‐ 

On Thursday, January 30, the WHO declared the 2019‐nCoV a global health emergency, and the CDC confirmed person‐ to‐person transmission in the United States. On Friday, January 31, the White House issued a Proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. by international students, residents, faculty, and staff on F‐1 visas and scholars on J‐1 and H‐1B visas who have been in China during the 14‐day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States (https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential‐actions/proclamation‐suspension‐entry‐immigrants‐nonimmigrants‐persons‐ pose‐risk‐transmitting‐2019‐novel‐coronavirus/). Other precautions are being taken as well.

Based on the above and on information from experts in public health and infectious disease, the OUHSC requires that faculty, staff, students, and visitors who have returned from any part of China (which includes Hong Kong for purposes of these procedures) must remain away from the OUHSC campus (including OUHSC off‐campus sites) through the incubation period, which runs from the date of their arrival in the U.S. or their last contact with an individual arriving in the U.S. from any part of China, whichever is longer.  The current incubation period is 14 days but may be lengthened, as additional information becomes available. Our experts agree that until more is known about the virus, for the safety of the campus community, our patients, and our hospital partner, the HSC campuses will follow these procedures to implement President Harroz’s memo:

Travel from China that Occurred Prior to President Harroz’s email and through January 30:

Individuals who have returned from China in the past 14 days (since January 20) may not return to campus until they 1) complete the telephone medical screening through Student/Employee Health, and 2) complete the 14‐day incubation period, and 3) complete follow‐up telephone medical screening call through Student/Employee Health. Any such individuals who are on campus today must immediately contact Student/Employee Health at 405‐271‐9675 (OKC) or 918‐660‐3100 (Tulsa).

  • Employees – Human Resources representatives will work with departments to ensure these employed individuals who stay home during the incubation period are placed on administrative leave with pay.
  • Students – HSC Student Affairs (405‐271‐2416) and OU‐Tulsa Student Affairs (918‐660‐3102) will work with the appropriate deans and Dr. Valerie Williams to ensure these students who must observe the incubation period are not penalized academically and receive assistance, if necessary, with related matters.
  • Residents – The GME office will ask Program Directors to remind any residents and fellows who have returned from China within the past 14 days to contact Employee Health immediately.
  • Visitors – Visitors (e.g., scholars, applicants, family, guests) may not come to campus (including off‐campus facilities) during the incubation period.  Visiting scholars from China who have not yet departed China will have the start time for their visas deferred by two months (period to be reevaluated weekly).

Travel to/from China occurring on and after January 31

These travelers are subject to the same screening and 14‐day incubation period described above.  In addition:

  • Employees – Administrative paid leave will generally not be an option for employees who elect to travel to China after (or who schedule their return after) January 30.  Per President Harroz’s email, those taking personal trips to China (including layovers in China or Hong Kong) must be prepared to comply with self‐isolation requirements upon 2 their return.  During this incubation period, employees must use PTO if available or, if no PTO is available, leave without pay.
  • Students – Academic assistance/exceptions for students taking personal trips to China (including layovers in either China or Hong Kong) will be at the discretion of the faculty member and subject to syllabus and applicable policy requirements.
  • Residents – will be expected to include the 14‐day incubation period in their request for time away from rotations.
  • Visitors – Visitors (e.g., scholars, applicants, family, guests) may not come to campus (including OUHSC off‐campus facilities) during the incubation period. We will continue to monitor this situation and will provide updates as needed.