Some of you are making plans for Spring Break, just weeks away. If your plans include travel, I must caution you against travel to China during the upcoming break or at any time in the near future.
As most of you know, China is experiencing an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. You may also know that this virus is easier to transmit and more deadly than influenza and that there have been over 70,000 cases in China, with over 2,000 deaths so far. What you may not know is that returning to the U.S. after travel to China will impact your ability to return to class here at IVC after the break. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it is expected that you will be quarantined at a center or in your home for 14 days after leaving China, depending on what region you visit. For Chinese nationals and others, you will likely not be let back into the United States. It is for these reasons that I urge all students to avoid any travel to China until these measures instituted by the Department of Homeland Security have been reversed or lessened. For trusted information, please check out the CDC web page for information about traveling from China.
Also, please know that if you are quarantined for 14 days after traveling to China against the advice of the U.S. State Department, the CDC, and the Department of Homeland Security, you will not be allowed on campus during that period. Even if your quarantine is voluntary and at home, you run the risk of failing courses because of this avoidable prolonged absence. Thus traveling to China risks not only your health but your academic success at IVC.
I realize that many of you have plans that you made months ago, and maybe those plans included travel to China. Many of you have family and friends in China and miss them. I understand and am sympathetic; but please know that my job in dealing with this outbreak still largely concentrated in China is to keep you and your fellow students safe and healthy. I am, at this time, the guardian of health for you and 15,000 similarly precious souls who trust us with your education, and your health, when you take classes on our campus. I take that job very seriously, so please heed my advice: Please do not consider travel to China (or other impacted countries) until this public health crisis improves.
Stay well, study hard, and know how much you are valued. We are IVC!
Cindy Vyskocil, Ed.D.
Irvine Valley College