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Ohio State returning students studying in countries plagued with coronavirus

Posted at 3:29 PM, Mar 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-01 17:07:08-05

COLUMBUS  — Ohio State is reaching out to students studying in countries that are experiencing a coronavirus outbreak and bringing them home.

The university is preparing to bring students home from Italy.

They have temporarily restricted students, faculty and staff from traveling to China and South Korea until at least April 20.

Summer abroad programs in China have been suspended, according to the university.

The Ohio Department of Health is working with local public health departments across the state to educate people returning from affected areas such as China, Italy, South Korea and Iran on rules for self-quarantine, symptoms of the infection and next steps if they develop symptoms.

This news comes after Kent State announced on Saturday that they are requiring all students studying in Florence, Italy due return to the United State due to coronavirus.

The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center announced it's preparations for the coronavirus:

The Wexner Medical Center team routinely works closely with local and state public health officials to coordinate our response to these types of outbreaks based on recommendations from the CDC.

· If a recent traveler to an affected area develops symptoms of COVID-19, the local health department who is working with the patient will alert the Wexner Medical Center team that the patient is ill.
· The Wexner Medical Center is prepared to care for these patients in private treatment rooms with special ventilation to prevent the spread of any infection.
· Our clinicians and staff wear special protective equipment when gathering samples for viral testing and treating the patient.
· These patients will also be tested for influenza and other viral illnesses that can have similar symptoms and that are much more common in the U.S.
· Testing for COVID-19 can only be performed with the approval of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC.
· In the event of a local COVID-19 outbreak, the medical center will implement our emergency preparedness plan in accordance with the standardized Hospital Incident Command System.

The CDC lists the following instructions for those who have spent time in Italy during the past 14 days and feel sick with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing:

  • Take your temperature.
  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

For more information on the CDC's Level 3 Travel Warning to Italy, click here.

RELATED: Kent State University requires all students studying in Italy to return to US amid coronavirus crisis