Novel Coronavirus Advisory Notice


Starting this February 2nd, U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members who have been in the Hubei province in China are now subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Additionally, “foreign nationals” who have traveled to China in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the United States.

Furthermore, any U.S. citizens who have visited any other part of China will be screened at U.S. airports/ports-of-entry and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the screening test for the Coronavirus is merely a “point-in-time” snapshot that cannot conclusively rule out the risk of a person developing the disease during the 14-day incubation period.

Therefore, the 14-day self-quarantine is essential, and required for public safety.

As an employee, or student of Meharry Medical College—if you experience a situation which involves possible, or actual contact with any individual(s) who are subject, or could be subject to self-quarantine due to the Coronavirus, then please contact the Office of General Counsel via the following channels:

Contact Information:

Office of General Counsel: 615.327.6102 (Direct Line) (Email)
Ivanetta Davis-Samuels: 615. 715.8879
Ronette Adams-Taylor: 201.344.1947

The College is monitoring the public health situation relating to an outbreak strain of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. On Thursday, January 30, the U.S. Department of State raised the travel advisory level for China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. On Monday, January 27, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Alert Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel for all of China. Previously, the CDC warning was for Wuhan, Hubei province, only.

Be aware that in response to this outbreak, many countries are implementing health screening of international travelers. Also, some major airlines have suspended flights between the U.S. and China. On Thursday, January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared this coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency due to the illness spreading to 22 countries, including six cases in four states in the U.S. at this time.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed cases in the U.S. While we are not aware of any cases in the Nashville community or in the State of Tennessee, we are closely monitoring the situation, coordinating with colleagues in our community, and following the latest guidance from public health officials with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) and the CDC.

Due to the Level 4 advisory from the Department of State, College-sponsored travel to China at this time is suspended until further notice. The College encourages all members of the Meharry community to consider postponing personal travel to China at this time, given the uncertainty about how rapidly the virus is spreading, as well as the possibility of travel disruptions due to new areas in China that are under quarantine. If, however, travel to China is deemed urgent, individuals must contact their respective deans or division heads to make them aware of their planned travel and safety plans. Additionally, the CDC offers the following guidance:

• Consult with a doctor prior to travel if you have any health-related concerns;

• Avoid traveling while sick (Traveling with a fever from an unrelated condition could result in increased screening and other travel issues);

• Expect additional screening at airports and transit hubs—allow for extra travel time;

• Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;

• Practice good hygiene through frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment; and

• Enroll in international travel medical insurance.

Signs and symptoms related to this coronavirus strain include fever, cough, runny nose, headache or sore throat. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or other complications. We encourage any faculty, staff and students who are not feeling well or who have questions or concerns to contact the Student and Employee Health Service at 615.327.6027. Any student, faculty, staff or researcher who has recently traveled to China and have any of the symptoms mentioned above should contact their health care provider. The following actions are useful advice for preventing the spread of viruses:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

For more information and the latest public health guidance, please refer to the CDC and the TDH websites.