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HRDI Email to Campus Employees: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Thursday February 27, 2020 12:39 pm

On February 26, 2020, the County of Orange declared a local health emergency and cited recent statements by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the community spread of COVID-19 is likely to occur in the United States. The County took this action to enhance its preparations in the event of an outbreak.

To date there has only been one confirmed case in Orange County and that individual has recovered. According to the CDC, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is still considered low for members of the general public who have not been exposed to this virus. However, there is an ongoing risk and likelihood that there will be new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Orange County.

University Preparations:

Campus emergency management professionals continue to monitor developments related to the spread and transmission of COVID-19 and to follow guidance provided by the CDC as well as State of California and Orange County public health officials. The University has formed a working group to address this situation and to begin campus-wide preparations should an outbreak occur.

The University is asking all members of our community who (a) have traveled to any country/region for which the CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice (currently China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran) in the last 30 days or been in close contact with someone who has AND (b) have respiratory symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) to do the following:

Students: Contact your primary health care provider or Student Health Services (657-278-2800) BEFORE visiting either facility so appropriate arrangements can be made.

Faculty and staff: Contact your primary health care provider BEFORE visiting the provider’s office so appropriate arrangements can be made.

As we respond and adapt to new information, we want to remind everyone that no member of our community should be made to feel that they are unwelcome due to their race, national origin or recent travel or because they are wearing a mask. Those who believe they have experienced mistreatment should contact the University’s Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Administrator at 657-278-4933.

Personal Preparations:

The CDC recommends that we all help respond to this public health threat by taking simple, everyday precautions such as:


Avoid close contact with sick people.

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.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.

The CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for general prevention from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Regular handwashing provides better protection.


This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available from the following agencies:

The University will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and issue additional notices if and when necessary. Information is available and will be regularly updated on the University’s website at Please contact if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

David Forgues, Ph.D. SHRM-SCP
Vice President, Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion