Today is Sunday, Apr. 5, 2020

Department of

University Health Services

Updates

March 31, 2020

Remember to report travel or other potential COVID-19 exposure to UHS

As members of the campus community, please help UHS provide guidance and track effects of COVID-19

University Health Services has launched a new data capture system in partnership with the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) that will help automate and streamline reporting and prevention of potential COVID-19 exposures for our faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

The following individuals from the UC community are required to report to University Health Services:

  • Anyone returning from international travel, regardless of country traveled from.
  • Anyone returning from travel by cruise ship.
  • Anyone returning from the Greater New York metropolitan area or other “hot spot” of the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Anyone with close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 by laboratory testing or with a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19, meaning not tested but diagnosed by a physician as likely to have the infection.
  • Anyone living on campus in University Housing and having symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including flu-like symptoms with chills, muscle aches, and diarrhea, cough, shortness of breath, or fever. In addition, the sudden loss of the sense of smell or taste can be an early sign of COVID-19 and should be immediately reported.

Reporting is simple:

  • Email COVIDWatch@uc.edu with your name and cell phone number if meet any of the above criteria.
  • You will receive an immediate response with a link to an online form. Your responses will be entered into a HIPAA compliant database through REDCapTM (Research Electronic Data Capture) and will be confidential to the highest degree possible during this public health crisis.
  • Your responses will be reviewed by a clinician, and you will receive individualized guidance by email. You will also be contacted by phone as deemed necessary by the reviewing clinician.

In addition, you may hear from us via email regarding an exposure on campus. Please respond immediately with the requested information, and you will receive specific guidance on how to manage your risk.

We have developed this system in close collaboration with the UC Health COVID-19 Core Team as well as partners in our local and state health departments, and in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

If you are having any symptoms you are concerned may be due to COVID-19, please contact us immediately at COVIDWatch@uc.edu

Please contact us at COVIDHelp@uc.edu if you have questions regarding the reporting process.

March 20, 2020

President Neville Pinto's message to prospective spring 2020 graduates:

As we have been closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, we have had to make many hard decisions that have greatly adjusted our standard campus operations and procedures. Throughout the decision-making process, we have had one primary goal in mind – maintaining the strongest and most authentic Bearcat experience possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our community.

Some of our most celebrated and anticipated Bearcat events are our Commencement ceremonies. As the coronavirus outbreak progresses, it has become increasingly clear that we must postpone our Spring 2020 commencement events in accordance with CDC guidelines on eliminating large gatherings to combat the coronavirus. This restriction impacts the undergraduate ceremony, doctoral hooding and master’s recognition ceremony, and professional degree ceremonies.

Graduation is a day you have worked toward since your first day on campus. We join you in your disappointment about this necessary change. Even if you were anticipating this decision, we know that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. Throughout this time, I encourage you to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished as a Bearcat and that there is still so much to be celebrated.

Your Commencement is a celebration that UC faculty, staff, and I look forward to sharing with you and your loved ones. And yet, we know postponing is the right decision to ensure everyone’s safety and health. In the coming months, we hope to join together to mark this momentous milestone as one Bearcat family. We will be in touch with updates when more information is available.

In the meantime, I want to acknowledge the many sacrifices you are making in this time of unprecedented crisis. Please stay safe and know I wish you and your family the very best in the weeks ahead.

With gratitude,
Neville G. Pinto

 

March 18, 2020

Important updates from University Health Services

In order to best protect our patients and staff in this time of COVID, the following changes have been implemented:

  • No walk ins – care is still available by appointment only. In an effort to limit viral exposures for everyone, we are limiting face to face visits as much as possible.
  • Please call 513-556-2564 for Varsity Village and 513-584-4457 for Holmes Clinic. You will receive a call from a nurse or provider, who may be able to address your concerns over the phone. Appointments will be made at the discretion of our providers only.
  • Mental health and psychiatry appointments will also be converted to telephone visits whenever possible. You will receive a call from your provider to arrange this. We will not be able to accept referrals for new patients or ADHD evaluations at this time.
  • The UHS pharmacy remains open for operation during our normal hours.

Please check this website frequently for updates in this fluid and challenging situation. And remember to DO THE FIVE!

 Do The Five

 Help Stop Coronavirus

1. HANDS  Wash them often
2. ELBOW  Cough into it
3. FACE  Don't touch it
4. FEET  Stay more than 6ft apart
5. FEEL  Sick? Stay home

March 16, 2020

 

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Due to rapid developments in the spread of COVID-19, as well as further guidance from the State and the CDC on enhanced mitigation strategies, the University will transition to remote operations for faculty and staff, starting on March 17 and remaining in effect until further notice.  

Our aim is simple: To fulfill the ongoing mission of the University, while protecting the health and well-being of our employees and meeting our civic responsibility for the public good.  

Supervisors will proceed as follows:

  • If parts or all of your unit can work remotely, do so until further notice.
  • If parts or all of your unit cannot work remotely, determine what functions are required for the University to deliver core services. If the function is critical, provide employees with greater flexibility for their on-campus work arrangements—with the goal of maximizing the effectiveness of social distancing. If the function is not critical at this juncture, partner with our central Human Resources team to develop alternative solutions for the employees affected.
  • For additional guidance and support, contact our central Human Resources team at 556-1015 or 556-9966. For updates to our employee FAQ, reference here.
  • In addition to these modifications at work, we realize many employees are experiencing life-altering changes at home. Accordingly, we are asking supervisors to be as supportive as possible.
  • For additional information on the University’s Employee Assistance Program, visit here.

For our researchers, be advised that more restrictive measures for on-campus access to research areas will be implemented. The Office of Research has provided updated guidance here to assist with contingency planning, including efforts to recalibrate on-campus research activities.  

In terms of facilities, the University will limit open access to buildings on campus. (Should you need assistance in accessing a campus building, please contact our Access Control unit at 556-4925).

In addition to the closing of TUC, West Pavilion and both Campus Recreation facilities announced last week, University Libraries (except the Health Science Library) will be added, effective today, to the list of building closures for the foreseeable future. To learn more about their online services or to seek assistance, University Libraries encourages you to click here.

For more information on the University’s response to coronavirus, as well as for future updates, please visit our dedicated website at uc.edu/publichealth.

To confirm: The University remains open. If the State provides further direction for public institutions, the University of Cincinnati will adapt accordingly. Thank you for your flexibility, patience and understanding. I know that we, together, will successfully navigate these unchartered waters.     

With gratitude,

Neville G. Pinto

President

 

March 13, 2020

Dear UC Community,

Based on recently confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our Cincinnati region, the University of Cincinnati will activate the following protective measures for our campus community.

 

  • Remote instruction for classes will extend through the end of the semester.
  • Spring Break will extend through Wednesday, March 25. Classes will resume on Thursday, March 26.
  • University housing and dining facilities will close for the remainder of the semester. Students must check out of University housing by day’s end on March 25. On March 16, students will receive detailed information on the process, timeline and safety precautions for retrieving their personal belongings. For those students who cannot return home to permanent residences or have extenuating circumstances, we will work with you to identify alternative housing solutions.
  • The University intends to reimburse students on a pro-rata basis for room and board agreements. Detailed information will be forthcoming.
  • Tangeman University Center, West Pavilion and both Campus Recreation facilities will close until further notice. 
  • The University will abide by Governor DeWine’s new order restricting gatherings to no more than 100 people.

As of now, the University remains open. Faculty and staff should consult with their supervisors on the applicability of the University’s Alternative Work Schedule policy. Again, supervisors are urged to consider CDC guidance regarding individuals at higher risk for COVID-19. 

These are unprecedented times. None of us should apologize for feeling scared, confused, frustrated or overwhelmed. More than ever, we must rely on each other for compassion, care, support and understanding. I want to thank all Bearcats, near and far, for leading the way in your respective communities.

In closing, be assured that your health, safety and well-being remain our highest priority. For more information on the University’s response to coronavirus, as well as for future updates, please visit our dedicated website at uc.edu/publichealth.

With gratitude,

 

Neville G. Pinto
President

 

 

March 10, 2020

 

Dear UC Community,

To date, the University of Cincinnati does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). However, the outbreak of coronavirus continues to rapidly change. In response, President Pinto has gathered members of the Public Health Response Team to review and discuss updated guidance following the confirmation of three COVID-19 cases within the State of Ohio. The team, along with our university health experts, reviewed the latest information from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), as well as our local and state health departments. After much consideration, and in response to the continued spread of COVID-19, we are enacting new policies and practices based on the concept of social distancing.  

UC Classes and Instructional Meetings

  • Effective Saturday, March 14, 2020, UC will suspend face-to-face instruction, lectures, discussion sessions, seminars and other similar classroom settings, and move to remote instruction.  Face-to-face instruction will resume Monday, April 13, 2020. Instruction that involves labs, studios, music lessons, clinical experience, e.g., may meet at the discretion of the dean provided that social distancing is observed and respected
  • While completing classes remotely, students may choose to return to their permanent place of residence or return to campus where appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures will be actively encouraged. Students should make the choice that is best for their own personal situation.
  • Residence and dining halls will remain open
  • Deans are working with their faculty to develop remote teaching approaches best suited for their college and its curricular programs. UC’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning has developed a toolkit complete with resources and tools needed to conduct remote instruction. This information will be available at publichealth@uc.edu and uc.edu/cetl beginning March 11, 2020.

Remote Work

  • The university’s Alternative Work Schedule policy permits UC employees to telecommute with approval from their supervisor. Although this policy is not new, supervisors are urged to consider CDC guidance regarding people at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Additional guidance may be provided from Central Human Resources.

International travel

  • All university-related international travel is suspended through May 31, 2020. This applies to all faculty, staff, postdocs and students, and includes any travel associated with scholarly activities as a UC employee, including travel funded by a government grant, foundation, company or other university.
  • All personal international travel is strongly discouraged by any UC community member.
  • As of March 15, 2020 Travelers returning from CDC Level 3 countries (currently China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland are required to observe a 14-day period of self-quarantine and monitoring.  During this period, faculty, staff, and students are not permitted to come to work, attend class or participate in any other campus or community activities.
  • All UC employees and students returning from international travel must register with University Health Services (UHS) via UHSTravel@ucmail.uc.edu, and receive specific guidance from UHS before returning to campus.

Domestic Travel

  • University-sponsored domestic air travel will be limited to business essential travel and will be approved on an as-needed basis. A process for requesting an approval of domestic travel will be shared shortly. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and May 31, 2020.  We will reevaluate these guidelines and share updates as more information becomes available.
  • We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel, with particular attention to known outbreak areas.
  • Until May 31, 2020, we strongly encourage everyone in the UC community to register with UC Travel  prior to their trip.

Visitors on Campus from Outside UC

  • All visitors returning from CDC Level 3 countries (widespread sustained ongoing transmission of COVID-19) must complete a 14-day self-quarantine prior to entering any university facility or attending any event or meeting on campus. Additionally, all persons traveling from any foreign country should register with University Health Services via UHSTravel@ucmail.uc.edu  prior to entering  any university facility or attending any event or meeting on campus.

UC Events

  • Effective immediately, any in-person UC events (on-campus or off-campus) with more than 150* attendees scheduled to occur between now and May 31, 2020, must be rescheduled, canceled or “virtualized.”
  • Certain events, such as athletic contests and performances, may be modified to decrease the need for a crowd or audience. Details on these modifications are under development and will be shared once finalized.
  • The Public Health Response Team has not yet made a decision regarding commencement ceremonies.

* A threshold of 150 people was chosen to help reduce risk of transmission without calling a halt to all activity on campus. However, group size is only one factor to consider in planning an event – our success in managing the risk of COVID-19 depends not only on the existence of these policies, but on your cooperation and common sense.  If a member of the UC community thinks an exception is warranted for a large event, the request must be submitted through a dean or vice president at publichealth@uc.edu

As always, please practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. Keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and another person; practice proper hand washing; avoid touching your face; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue; and stay home if feeling sick. Please reference the CDC website for additional prevention guidelines.   

Information updates and resources can be accessed at uc.edu/publichealth.  Please continue to check daily for email updates regarding this very fluid situation.  If you have a question please email publichealth@uc.edu.

Many thoughtful decisions will be forthcoming in the days ahead, and we ask for patience and understanding as we navigate through this difficult and fluid situation. Your health and safety is, and will always be, of the utmost importance to us.

Kind Regards,

Kristi Nelson, PhD

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Andrew Filak, MD
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the College of Medicine

 

March 5, 2020

 

Dear UC Community:

The University of Cincinnati continues to monitor the global outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its potential impact. Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of all faculty, staff and students. Although there have been no documented cases of COVID-19 in our region, we are making needed preparations to be able to quickly respond if COVID-19 is detected. To lead this effort, President Pinto has convened a Public Health Response Team, comprised of senior university leadership, and has created a website (uc.edu/publichealth) to share information with the UC community. For planning purposes we will reference the university’s Public Safety Emergency Operations Plan:  Emergency Operations Plan

The university continues to follow CDC recommendations and prohibits any university related travel to countries that are CDC Warning Level 3. As of today, university travel is restricted to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. Any member of the UC community returning from a restricted country must:  (1) report to University Health Services (UHS) via UHSTravel@ucmail.uc.edu before returning to campus, AND (2) self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days.  UHS will respond with appropriate health guidance. Please check uc.edu/publichealth for updates, as restrictions may change over time.

All Spring Break study abroad experiences are being canceled out of an abundance of caution. Additional details will be shared with faculty and students who have upcoming academic trips. 

Please be assured we continue to assess this fluid situation and will make decisions regarding travel as needed. As a reminder, it is very important that all faculty, staff and students who participate in university travel, particularly international, register with UC Travel.

Please help mitigate the spread of respiratory diseases. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you 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.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. CDC does not recommend healthy people wear a facemask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol may be used.

 

Again, we encourage you to check uc.edu/publichealth for information and travel updates. Situations like this often cause uncertainty. Please know that we are working diligently to maintain your health and safety. If you have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 at UC, please email publichealth@uc.edu. We will have the most appropriate office and/or individual respond to you in a timely manner.

Warm Regards,

Kristi Nelson, PhD
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Andrew Filak, MD
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the College of Medicine

 

 

Feb. 19, 2020

 

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to ask for your thoughtful consideration towards the numerous members of our community from China. Many are concerned about the health and safety of family and friends in their home country who are directly impacted by the Coronavirus and associated health emergency. Additionally, reports within higher education are being shared detailing instances of students who have faced questions about their health or whether they might have been exposed to the virus. We want to ensure members of our community do not have similar experiences and feel supported at UC.

Please note that students are entitled to keep their medical information private. We should not assume that a student is sick if she or he is wearing a mask.

I want to assure you that University Health Services continues to work closely with the Ohio Department of Health and Cincinnati Health Department to properly monitor anyone who has recently traveled to China. No cases of actual or suspected Coronavirus have been identified within the UC community. I cannot express how impressed I have been with the prompt, compassionate, and conscientious way Health Services, Housing and other service units have worked with state and local authorities to handle these situations.

For updates regarding the university’s on-ongoing efforts, as well as travel restrictions, please visit the University Health Services website. This link opens in a new window.

Thank you for your help in supporting our students.

Kristi Nelson

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost 

 

 

Feb. 3, 2020

 

To: Faculty, Students and Staff

From:

  • Kristi A. Nelson, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Andrew Filak, MD, Senior Vice President, Health Affairs, and Dean, College of Medicine
  • Debra Merchant, JD, Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Raj Mehta, PhD, Vice Provost, UC International
  • Kim Miller, MD, Executive Director, University Health Services
  • Re: Travel restrictions due to Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China

 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

We write to provide an update related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, including new university travel restrictions and reporting recommendations.

While the spread of the virus within the United States is still considered to be low risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) have recently issued new travel guidance regarding China. The CDC currently recommends avoiding non-essential travel to China (Level 3), and the DOS recommends avoiding all travel to China (Level 4).

While there are no confirmed cases of 2019-nCov in the campus community, out of an abundance of caution and care for our community, the University of Cincinnati is enacting restrictions on university-sponsored or university-funded travel, as this aligns with current CDC and DOS guidance. The university is also enacting reporting recommendations to proactively protect the health and well-being of our community.

Details are as follows:

 

Temporary travel restrictions

 

 

In accordance with guidance from the CDC and DOS, UC will temporarily restrict university-sponsored or university-funded travel to China by all faculty, staff and students — effective immediately and in place through at least Friday, March 27, which aligns with current travel bans recently put in place by some airlines.

We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and DOS, and will share plans prior to March 27 to either end the restriction on that date or, if needed, extend it. Also, please continue to check the University Health Services web site for updates.

For personal travel, we strongly advise all students, faculty and staff to follow travel alerts from the CDC and DOS. Again, currently, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. The DOS recommends reconsidering travel to China altogether.

 

Reporting recommendations

 

 

For any members of our campus community returning from either university or personal travel to China or for any campus visitors traveling from China, reporting is recommended so that we can offer proper resources, guidance and support to immediately assist any member of our community or visitor who may become ill. This is recommended out of care and concern, public health needs as well as the uncertain nature of potential future events. Geographical areas, regions or cities affected by this reporting recommendation may be modified depending on the future course of the outbreak.

Any and all information gathered through this process will remain confidential. The reporting recommendation will allow University Health Services to provide education, guidance and care monitoring.

We recommend that students, faculty and staff travelers or any visitors traveling from China report to UHSTravel@ucmail.uc.edu under the following circumstances:

  • If you have returned from or traveled from China within the past 14 days, please consider reporting within 24 hours of receiving this email. (If you have returned from China in the past 14 days AND you have a fever above 100.4 orally as well as respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath, please immediately report your symptoms to UHSTravel@ucmail.uc.edu and go directly to the nearest emergency room. UHS will check in with you after the emergency room visit to provide additional guidance and support.)
  • If you or your department know of any upcoming visitors from China, whether on university business or on personal business, we recommend any visitor report via University Health Services within 24 hours of arrival to campus.
  • If any member of the campus community has personal travel to China planned between now and March 27, please consider reporting within 24 hours of your return.
  • If you are being actively monitored or observed by any local, county, state or federal public health agency due to risk of Coronavirus, please report within 24 hours of being notified.

 

All reports should include name and a cell phone contact number.

Questions about the reporting process can be directed to UHSTravel@ucmail.uc.edu

To reiterate, no changes are needed for day-to-day behaviors on our campuses at this time.

At this time, state and federal health officials are not restricting activities for travelers returning from China without symptoms — nor are they recommending testing for those without symptoms.

We continue to closely monitor the guidelines and recommendations from local, state and federal agencies. University Health Services works closely with and maintains coordination with city, county and state departments of health. UHS is able to screen for symptoms and follow all public health protocols should anyone with potential Coronavirus need care.

Students in need of immediate medical care for any reason should contact University Health Services at 513-556-2564.Any faculty and staff who believe they may have or been exposed to Coronavirus should also contact University Health Services.

As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors is our top priority. We will continue to keep our community informed — and we encourage everyone to practice routine hygiene etiquette as this is the best way to prevent the spread of infection.

For more information, visit the University Health Services web page or see this recent campus news release.

 

____________________________________________________

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University Health Services
College of Medicine | Department of Family and Community Medicine

Administration Office
Richard E. Lindner Center
2751 O'Varsity Way, 3rd Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0010
Administration FAX: 513-556-6655

Lindner Athletic Center (Main Campus):
Phone: 513-556-2564
Medical Records Fax: 513-556-1337

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Holmes  (Medical Campus)
Phone: 513-584-4457
Medical Records Fax: 513-584-2222

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(Closed daily 12:15 p.m - 12:45 p.m.)