Coronavirus Update

Mar 03, 2020

As Cal U prepares for spring break, President Jones shares some important information on the spread of a novel (new) coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.


To our Cal U community,

As we prepare for spring break, I want to share some important information about a very timely topic – the spread of a novel (new) coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Health officials across the country are monitoring the spread of this new disease around the world and within the United States. Here at Cal U, administrators and our Wellness Center staff are keeping abreast of the latest information from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health and other agencies.

To date there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, but disease outbreaks have occurred in other parts of the country, and the situation is evolving rapidly worldwide.

If you are planning to travel during spring break, you may want to monitor the CDC’s “situation updates” at The U.S. State Department also posts country-by-country advisories for international travelers at

If you experience flu-like symptoms during or after spring break, please do NOT return to Cal U until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Staying at home when you are ill helps to limit the spread of illness.

  • If you are a student, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-938-4439 if you will be missing classes due to illness. Student Affairs will contact your professors regarding your verified absence. Students are responsible for contacting their professors to make up any missed coursework when they return.
  • Faculty members should contact their dean if they are not well enough to teach their assigned classes. Staff members should contact their immediate supervisor if they will be absent. The Human Resources Office requires a medical excuse if you miss work due to an illness lasting more than three days.

There currently is no vaccine for COVID-19. The CDC advises that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Please consider this important information from the CDC before, during, and after spring break to help stop the spread of influenza and other diseases:

  • If you develop flu-like symptoms with fever, self-isolate to your room for at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided without the use of a fever-reducing medication, except to get medical care or other necessities. (Cal U students may call the Wellness Center to arrange for meal delivery or seek advice.)
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, faucets, keyboards, etc.

Finally, please prepare yourself with reliable, up-to-date information. To learn about the new coronavirus, influenza and your health, visit the CDC website, call the University Wellness Center at 724-938-4232, or email our nurse practitioner Tina Pierce, CRNP, at

As a campus community, it is our responsibility to look after our health and the well-being of those around us. Following these commonsense guidelines can help.

I wish you all an enjoyable, healthful spring break.

Geraldine M. Jones

University President

P.S. The University Wellness Center is located on the ground floor of Carter Hall, Room G-53. It is open around the clock Monday through Friday, and from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Students are not charged for the visit; if services are required outside the health center, your insurance will be billed.