Georgia Southern moves to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester. 
Visit our COVID-19 response page for full information.
  

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Georgia Southern’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we manage this ever-changing situation with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Georgia Southern’s primary goal is to protect students, faculty, and staff. Following direction from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC, Georgia Southern is moving to online-only instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, effective March 30. Like all other University System of Georgia institutions, Georgia Southern is adapting its operations to remain open with minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

We encourage Eagle Nation to continue to adhere to public health and CDC guidelines regarding hygiene and social interactions, and be especially mindful during the transition this week and next. Please be patient as we work diligently to establish a plan for what will be our new normal for the remainder of this semester.

University Messages

Georgia Southern Students:

We understand that these uncertain times have left you with many questions. Please rest assured that we are working diligently to provide answers as fast as possible.

To that end, we are now able to announce that Georgia Southern intends to implement a prorated refund of Housing and Dining plans, as well as the entire graduation fee for spring graduates, a $25 parking refund for spring only permits, and a portion of the Activity, Recreation/Wellness, Transit, and Residence Life programming fees. This refund plan was completed in coordination with the University System of Georgia.
A breakdown is outlined below:

Housing and dining:  Refunds are based on March 16 as the last day of service, which means approximately 44% of remaining plans will be refunded. The exact amount depends on the plan that was originally purchased. Students who were granted an exception to remain in the residence halls will not be refunded their housing rent, but they will be refunded for dining. Dining services are continuing to offer limited service on a cash/credit card/Eagle Express card basis. The dining service will be pick-up only.

Graduation: A full refund of the graduation fee paid by spring graduates only ($35 per student) will be issued.

Parking: A $25 refund will be issued to all students who purchased a spring parking permit.

Activity: A refund will be issued — $10.10 per Statesboro campus student and $4.90 per Armstrong campus student.

Recreation:  A refund will be issued — $4.50 per Armstrong campus student and $4.20 per Statesboro campus student.

Transit: This fee is paid only by Statesboro students. A refund of $24.37 per student will be issued. 

Housing Residence Life: A refund of $8.83 per student will be issued.

Refunds of these fees will mirror students’ normal refund check process, so it is imperative that students’ home address and direct deposit information is up-to-date. If any corrections are needed to your personal information, please reference this direct deposit link for instructions for updating your banking information.  If you want to continue to receive manual checks, then please confirm or update your permanent home address in your WINGS account by selecting “Personal Information,” then “View Address & Phone.”  Our goal is to disperse refunds April 6-10. We will communicate with you directly if there are any delays in this process.

All other fees have been carefully studied and vetted with the University System of Georgia and deemed to be essential to the continuity of instruction and business operations.

Please note that Georgia Southern has passed the deadline for a student to withdraw from the full spring term. Students who have registered for a spring minimester Term B can withdraw through April 16. Refunds for Term B withdrawals would be processed under normal refunding guidelines.

All students at University System of Georgia institutions are now eligible to consult with doctors, nurses and mental health specialists as they work through issues related to COVID-19. These consultations are no cost for students enrolled in the USG Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and $40 for non-enrolled students. There is a 24/7 helpline available for all students at no charge.

Students who have questions or concerns about whether they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should immediately call their healthcare provider or member services number through their insurance plan. For students who need guidance or may not have a provider or insurance, the Georgia Department of Public Health has established a hotline. That number is: 844-442-2681.

Services available for ALL students

Telehealth Services
  • Telehealth services (on-line or by phone doctor’s visits) are available for all students through UnitedHealthcare StudentResources HealthiestYou program by Teladoc. Download the HealthiestYou mobile app, call 1-855-870-5858 or go online at www.telehelp4students.com.  
  • Telehealth services are available at no charge to students enrolled in the USG Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
  • Students not enrolled in the SHIP program pay $40 per visit.
  • Behavioral Health Visits
    • Students enrolled in the SHIP program have access to licensed therapists and psychologists at no charge at www.telehelp4students.com.
    • Students not enrolled in the SHIP program have access to licensed therapists and psychologists through www.betterhelp.com for a monthly charge of $180.
Optum Support Line
  • To support students who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19, UHCSR is offering an Emotional-Support Help Line, through Optum, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists.
  • Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge to all students.

Additional information for Students enrolled in the USG SHIP program

Access to Medical Care, Coverage
  • If a student thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of the disease, students should immediately call a provider. To find a network provider, visit www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount or utilize their UHCSR mobile app.
  • All testing for COVID-19 will be covered by UHCSR at no charge.
  • Additional updates will be made on United Healthcare StudentResources website at www.uhcsr.com/news-main
Student Assistance Program

The USG SHIP program offers a student assistance program through Optum which provides a wide range of resources to students telephonically. The phone number is available on your UHCSR Mobile App or your www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount.

  • Counseling – 24/7 access to crisis intervention services and confidential counseling from licensed clinicians.
  • LiveAndWorkWell.com – health risk assessments, health/fitness calculators and other helpful resources.
  • Legal and Financial Services – provides help with issues such as credit card debt, divorce, child custody and shelter from abusive relationships.
  • Mediation – access to a national network of mediators to help resolve family-related disputes such as divorce, separation, child custody, visitation and support.

If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Southern’s Dean of Students office at: 

Georgia Southern’s Student Health Services office is also a resource: https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/healthservices/.

Georgia Southern students,

Like you, we are working every day to establish a plan for what our ‘new normal’ looks like for the remainder of the spring semester. Rest assured that the faculty and staff here are working diligently to ensure your success. Together, we will navigate these unprecedented times. Together, we will soar.

Here are some questions we know we can answer right now. We are working on more answers and will put them on a new FAQ we are developing that you will be able to find off our new operational status webpage, under “useful links,” at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.

How do I get my belongings out of the residence halls?

Communication started going out yesterday to all students in the residence halls. We will stagger your move-out to ensure your safety and the health of staff who will be on hand to assist. Please look for that communication directly from housing and follow their direction on when you are scheduled to come to campus. For questions, or if you need to make arrangements to come at a time other than those provided, please email housing@georgiasouthern.edu.

What about my stuff in the academic buildings (lockers, labs, offices)?

Please follow the attached schedule to determine when you may come to campus. If you received information from University Housing, please follow that schedule. In addition, you will find the specific location of the building where you should meet and the person who will be available to let you into the locked space. If they are not in the location when you arrive, please call them and let them know you are waiting. If you need to make arrangements to come at a time other than those provided, please email provost@georgiasouthern.edu.

Is Georgia Southern working to issue partial refunds?

All 26 University System of Georgia institutions are working as quickly as possible to issue partial refunds to students, especially those required to move out of on-campus housing and those who no longer have access to dining services. More information will be forthcoming soon to our campus communities.

What about dining services?

Dining services will switch to a pick-up only service on Friday, March 20. We expect this pick-up only service to continue through Friday March, 27, After March 27, we will have limited services available at the Galley, Dining Commons, and Gus Mart I and IV. Our preference is you use your EagleExpress, credit/debit or other cashless options (We will still take cash if that is all someone has). We will charge $8.75 per meal and normal prices at Gus Marts.

Hours of operation will be as follows beginning Friday, March 20:

Dining Commons (Statesboro campus) and the Galley (Armstrong campus in Savannah):
Monday – Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm and then from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Gus Mart I (Statesboro campus) and Gus Mart IV (Armstrong campus in Savannah):
Monday – Friday from 8 am to 2 pm.

How do I learn more about switching to online learning?

The University has set up a page for online learning resources that has lots of information and tips to help ease any nervousness about this transition to online-only learning, which starts March 30. It is easily accessible from the home page or you can go there directly at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/online-learning-resources/.

We will pass along more information as it becomes available.

Dear Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students,

In our continuing effort to keep you informed of developments as soon as possible, we wanted to pass along the latest direction from the University System of Georgia.

The University System of Georgia (USG) has directed all 26 USG institutions to cancel Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies. Students will still graduate consistent with academic standards, but the actual ceremonies will not be held as originally scheduled.

The USG continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

“We don’t make this decision lightly, nor do we want to diminish all our students have achieved,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “Our institutions are working on creative, alternative ways to celebrate their students’ accomplishments, and I am grateful for the commitment and dedication our students have shown in the face of extraordinary times. They have worked hard and rightfully expect to celebrate and mark their graduation.”

This announcement follows a statement from President Kyle Marrero earlier today.

“As a follow-up to our initial announcement of spring commencement ceremony cancellation, we know that this decision is profoundly disappointing for many of our graduates and their families,” Marrero said. “This decision was made in adherence to CDC and DPH guidance that all University System of Georgia institutions are following. During these unprecedented and challenging times, the safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. As an update, our commencement committee met this morning, and we are working on a plan for alternative options to celebrate our students’ achievements. All options are on the table, including rescheduling, and we will communicate the plan out as soon as possible.”

Georgia Southern Faculty, students and staff:

As we manage this ever-changing situation with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), our primary goal is to protect students, faculty, and staff. One of the most important preventative measures is to avoid having people in large groups as advised by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC. Accordingly, we unfortunately need to cancel all public events to include our planned commencement exercises on May 8 & 9. Students will still be able to graduate, consistent with academic standards, but the actual spring ceremony will be cancelled. We are beginning discussions now on what options we might still have to celebrate our graduates’ accomplishments.

See below for updated guidance just released from the University System of Georgia. Please note that we will provide further information as soon as possible.

Following last week’s decision to suspend instruction for two weeks, the University System of Georgia (USG) has decided:

  • All 26 institutions will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester, with extremely limited exceptions.
  • Residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students unable to return home or who cannot find housing elsewhere. Students are not allowed to return to campus until given permission by their institution.
  • Institutions will make every effort to accommodate students who are unable to depart campus.

The USG will provide guidance to campuses on refunds to students. Additional details are forthcoming.

All USG institutions will remain open with minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

Please continue to adhere to public health and CDC guidelines regarding hygiene and social interactions, and be especially mindful during the transition this week and next.

Further guidance will be forthcoming.

Georgia Southern Community:

While Georgia Southern University has suspended instruction for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, this announcement does not mean the university is closing. 

This announcement from the University System of Georgia (USG) followed new guidance from the state’s coronavirus task force and the Georgia Department of Public Health. This move is designed solely for the health and welfare of our faculty, staff and students. 

Here’s what this means for Eagle Nation.

For students: since Georgia Southern is on Spring Break next week, this announcement means all Georgia Southern classes — including those online — will NOT be held until March 29, 2020. Students currently on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business today (Friday, March 13, 2020), and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020.  At this time, students are NOT being asked to move out of their residence halls for the remainder of the semester. For students who are unable to leave campus for the next two weeks, our residence halls will remain open, and some of our dining facilities will be operational on a limited schedule. Look for details at https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/eagledining/.

For students who may need to remain in housing, please help us assist you better by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/WhsMi7QzXBoANEZn9

The university is committed to the continued employment of students who need to have hours. If you need employment, please reach out to your immediate supervisor or contact the Student Employment office in Human Resources at 912-478-6947 or put in a ticket with hrservice@georgiasouthern.

For faculty: since Georgia Southern is on Spring Break next week, this announcement means that faculty are not teaching from March 16-20. However the week of March 23-27 is a work week, and faculty need to spend their time ensuring Folio sections are properly built out and ready to be used in the event that a decision is made to convert classes to fully online. Faculty also may engage in research and/or service activities, but are encouraged to do so as much as possible from home. You should also know that the USG has suspended all non-essential travel.

More detailed information will be provided by Academic Affairs leadership.

For staff: this class suspension does not mean the university is closed. However, a goal of this decision is to reduce the number of people on our campuses. Accordingly, division leaders need to provide direction to their employees as to who may be allowed to work from home, and who is an essential employee that needs to come onto campus. You should also know that the USG has suspended all non-essential travel.

We understand there may be more specific questions, so HR is developing an FAQ about this situation at  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v8VyPZWcHGTuE_WYBGCRzcn0qqu1vwFy1NgVQxUXS-4/edit?usp=sharing

For visitors: most events — including sporting events — on our campuses will be postponed or canceled. Please check online if there is an event you planned to attend. Organizers should work with anyone who has rented space on campus to allow them to easily cancel or reschedule their event.

We expect further direction soon from state officials as they continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

In the interim, all students, faculty and staff who may be traveling in any capacity (either domestically or internationally) are being encouraged to register their travel information through the MyGS portal so we may provide relevant updates. 

The CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including most of Europe, South Korea, China and Iran. We also encourage community members to check with the U.S. Department of State website, and talk with family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans, particularly related to travel in Europe. Remember the USG will not authorize official travel to any countries subject to a Level  3 or higher CDC Travel Health Notice.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

Prevention of COVID-19 is paramount, and we urge everyone to take appropriate measures such as: 

  • Wash hands regularly.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.

  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.

  • Be mindful of those in high risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.

  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms. Those who experience flu-like symptoms are urged to contact the Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
University System of Georgia
March 12, 2020

The University System of Georgia (USG) is consulting constantly with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today announced state agencies, school systems and local communities have been given the flexibility to implement closures.

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all 26 USG institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020. At this time, students are not being asked to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. All institutions are being asked to work with students who are unable to leave campus.

We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent and well-informed choices for the well-being of our campus communities and the public. We continue to prepare for all scenarios in this rapidly evolving situation. All USG institutions have plans to ensure academic continuity as operations are impacted.

The USG is providing regular updates to all institutions and the public at its website, https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus.

In the interim, all students, faculty and staff who may be traveling in any capacity (either domestically or internationally) are being encouraged to register their travel information so we may provide relevant updates. (Georgia Southern’s travel registry can be found on the MyGS portal.)

The CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including most of Europe, South Korea, China and Iran. We also encourage community members to check with the U.S. Department of State website, and talk with family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans, particularly related to travel in Europe.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

Prevention of COVID-19 is paramount, and we urge everyone to take appropriate measures such as:

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.
  • Be mindful of those in high-risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.
  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms. Those who experience flu-like symptoms are urged to contact the Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH.

The health of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. We will continue to work with USG leaders in collaboration with state officials and DPH to act on the most up-to-date guidance available.

From the University System of Georgia:
The University System of Georgia is consulting constantly with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force.  DPH has advised that the risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia remains low.

Therefore, all 26 USG institutions will remain open for face-to-face education at this time. 

For those of you, or anyone on your campus who may be traveling, please make sure they remain in regular contact with your campus for operational updates. 

Many of you have asked, what can we do?   The most important responsibility we each have is to practice prevention.  Prevention is paramount.

Please urge your faculty, staff and students to take appropriate measures such as:

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.
  • Be mindful of those in high risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.
  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent choices for the well-being of the USG community.

The latest information is that (as of Thursday morning) there are 12 confirmed and 19 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. These numbers are likely to change.

For the latest updates, please monitor DPH’s website.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath.  Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

As you are aware, the CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including Italy, South Korea, China and Iran. USG will not approve travel to those countries.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

We will continue to work with DPH and communicate with you regularly and fully as conditions change. Thank you for all you do for USG.

In coordination with, and under the direction of, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the University System of Georgia, Georgia Southern is continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, which is dynamic and changing frequently.

As of today, Georgia Southern University has no suspected cases of coronavirus, and Georgia Southern has not been notified that any member of the campus community is suspected of having the virus or being in contact with anyone who has the virus. While the current risk level associated with COVID-19 in the United States remains low, we are continuing our efforts to be prepared to respond if necessary.

To that end, we are asking a few things:

● All students, faculty, and staff, we encourage you to voluntarily register any upcoming travel plans for Spring Break or any other reason. Please log your travel through the Travel Registry link within the MyGS portal. This will allow us to communicate directly with travelers and to provide guidance to ensure that your safety is top priority if you have visited an area that is named an area of concern by the CDC. Currently, CDC recommends travelers should avoid nonessential travel to any country designated as a Warning Level 3. A list is available at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. As a reminder, anyone traveling to a country that is designated as a CDC Warning Level 3 must not return to any USG campus or facility for 14 days following their return.

● Though we are not directing classes to move online, we do ask that faculty keep coursework up to date on our online education platform — Folio, and keep our campuses’ wellbeing in mind when students request not to attend class due to illness. Folio is designed to let students continue their instruction.  We do not want to force students to come to class if they are ill, and students should not be required to provide proof of a medical visit when absent. It is better to allow students the opportunity to use Folio than come to class.

● Employees, if you do not feel well, please stay home. Supervisors, please be understanding that if anyone has a fever or a cough, they should not return to work or school until their temperature has been normal for 24 hours without the use of medication.

There remains NO current guidance from the state that we need to cancel classes, close the University, or cancel large gatherings of any kind. If anything changes with regards to the operational status of our campuses, we will update the university community as soon as possible.

As usual, we want to remind everyone to take the following important steps every day to reduce the spread of the flu, coronaviruses, and other respiratory viruses:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue, or if a tissue is not available then coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay home when you are sick
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

We have been closely watching reports of a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and there have been no identified cases at Georgia Southern or in the state of Georgia. As of today, there have been five confirmed cases in the United States.

As you may be aware, the Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed Georgia’s first cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) involving two residents of Fulton County who live in the same household. According to officials, one recently returned from Italy. Both have mild symptoms; they are isolated at home with other relatives to keep the illness from spreading.  

State, local and university officials continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, and to date, there are no reports of community transmission occurring within Georgia. Additionally, there have been no suspected nor confirmed cases on any Georgia Southern campus.

Georgia Southern is actively following anticipatory guidance provided by the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the University System of Georgia to minimize the risk of transmission on our campuses.

We have a robust emergency response plan, and we are in frequent discussion with officials on-campus and throughout the state to ensure Georgia Southern is prepared to respond as necessary.   

We have a robust emergency response plan, and we are in frequent discussion with officials on-campus and throughout the state to ensure Georgia Southern is prepared to respond as necessary.

The latest CDC recommendations ask that universities consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs.

These guidelines appear to have a limited impact on Georgia Southern at this moment. We are currently undergoing discussions about future programs, and have identified 7 students who are currently abroad and confirmed that only one of our students is in an area currently designated as Level 3. We are reaching out to those students to provide guidance and assistance as needed.

Georgia Southern officials will continue to monitor the situation and are in constant contact with state officials to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff.

As we approach Spring Break, anyone planning to travel is encouraged to stay up-to-date with current travel alerts from the U.S. State Department and the CDC.  Currently, both organizations are recommending that people should avoid nonessential travel to any country designated by CDC as a Warning Level 3.

Anyone who has traveled from China, or any other area with apparent community spread of COVID-19, in the past 14 days and who has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately and are advised to call ahead to inform medical staff about their recent travel and symptoms. Students with any concerns can call the Statesboro campus health center at 912-478-5641 or the Armstrong campus health center at 912-961-5726, and faculty and staff should call their primary care provider. 

While the COVID-19 virus is attracting attention, the flu remains a much more serious public threat. Georgia Southern Health Services continues to see flu cases on a regular basis. It is not too late to receive your flu vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine each year.

The flu vaccine is available Monday through Friday at the Statesboro campus Health Services pharmacy and the Armstrong campus Health Services clinic for students, faculty and staff. The flu vaccine is also available in most other pharmacies throughout the region.  

All students, faculty, and staff are urged to take the following important steps every day to reduce the spread of the flu, coronaviruses, and other respiratory viruses:

  • washing your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue, or if a tissue is not available then coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • staying home when you are sick
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick 
  • cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces

We have been closely watching reports of a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and there have been no identified cases at Georgia Southern or in the state of Georgia. As of today, there have been five confirmed cases in the United States.

Our health professionals will continue monitoring the situation and are following the direction given by public health experts.  It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a recommendation to avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China.

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the seasonal flu, which remains the higher risk for our population. This is also the time of year when we typically see a rise in cases of seasonal flu.

Persons on any Georgia Southern campus who have traveled from China in the past 14 days AND have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately and are advised to call ahead to inform medical staff about their recent travel and symptoms.  Students can call the Statesboro campus health center at 912-478-5641 or the Armstrong campus health center at 912-961-5726, and faculty and staff should call their primary care provider.

We encourage everyone on campus to follow the same preventative strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: getting a flu shot, washing hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when experiencing symptoms of illness.  Flu shots are still available in the student health centers on both the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses for Georgia Southern students, faculty, and staff.

It is recommended that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot, and especially people with chronic medical conditions who are at high-risk for flu-related complications.

Things to Know

  • Following the decision to suspend instruction for two weeks, the University System of Georgia (USG) has decided:
    • All 26 institutions will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester, with extremely limited exceptions.
    • Residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students unable to return home or who cannot find housing elsewhere. Students are not allowed to return to campus until given permission by their institution.
    • Institutions will make every effort to accommodate students who are unable to depart campus.
  • Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all 26 USG institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia. Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020.
  • Georgia Southern University has no suspected cases of coronavirus, and Georgia Southern has not been notified of any member of the campus community with the virus.
  • The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
  • The University System of Georgia has been closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Asia and Europe and has offered direction to our institutions in line with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State Department, and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) guidance.
  • University System of Georgia and its institutions will NOT approve any travel to any affected countries based on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control related to the new strain of coronavirus.
  • The risk of the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia remains low at this time, and Georgia Southern administration and healthcare personnel are closely monitoring the situation as it develops following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, as well as the University System of Georgia.

FAQ

The World Health Organization describes coronaviruses as a “large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CeoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV or now COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

There are common coronaviruses that circulate throughout the year, which usually cause upper respiratory tract illnesses much like the common cold. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is spread like any other respiratory illness, such as the common cold or influenza. Coughing or sneezing by those who already have symptoms spread coronavirus to others.

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness (such as a cough or shortness of breath), the CDC suggests that you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms and recent travel. Students showing symptoms should schedule an appointment online with your Primary Care Provider.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for a least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as much as possible if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid people who may be sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, especially if you have a fever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Because of the ever-expanding global outbreak, the federal government recently announced that all individuals (which may include students, faculty, or staff) who have traveled to China in the past 14 days and returned on or after February 3, 2020, will be requested to remain at home and be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Students, faculty or staff who’s family members have traveled from China in the last 14 days (and who are already being monitored for symptoms) do not need to be excluded from school. A full map of affected counties can be found here.

Travel notices are updated at this CDC website.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Travel (from CDC)
Georgia Department of Public Health Information for Travel

Latest Guidance from GDPH for Recent Travelers

  • Guidance for Students Participating in International Travel
  • Given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) institutes of higher education (IHE) should consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange programs. IHE should consider asking current program participants to return to their home country. Those overseeing student foreign exchange programs should be aware that students may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad.
  • IHEs should consider asking students participating in study abroad programs to return to the United States. IHEs should work with state and local public health officials to determine the best approach for when and how (e.g., chartered transportation for countries or areas assessed as high-risk for exposure) their study abroad students might return. All plans for returning study abroad students should be designed to protect participants from stigma and discrimination.
  • The COVID-19 situation is dynamic. Given the speed of spread and the number of countries experiencing human-to-human transmission, IHEs should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to maintain programs abroad and take the appropriate proactive measures. IHEs that continue to maintain programs abroad should monitor cdc.gov/COVID-19 for additional information.