COVID-19 International Student FAQs
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International Center
701 Oakland Avenue
218 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-2133
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COVID-19 International Student FAQs

Q: What is COVID-19? 

A: COVID-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus first detected in China in December 2019 that causes mild to moderate upper and lower respiratory tract illness. In some cases, it can cause severe complications like pneumonia. Early symptoms can be similar to a common cold or the flu and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

 

Q: Are there any known cases at Winthrop University?

A: No, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Winthrop. For the latest information on the presence of coronavirus in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

 

Q: How does a person get the Novel Coronavirus?

A: It is generally spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. It may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface which has the virus on it, and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes.

 

Q: What should I do about my plans to travel to international destinations outside the United States?

A: Follow the most updated information from Winthrop University at https://www.winthrop.edu/emergency/coronavirus.aspx

Additionally, review the information shared on March 7, 2020:

  • The health and safety of the Winthrop community remains the university’s top priority. As such, any travel abroad to areas designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher due to COVID-19 is prohibited. In addition, with Winthrop’s spring break March 16-20, please consider avoiding non-essential domestic travel to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified.
  • Please be advised that any student, faculty or staff member who chooses to travel to a country designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher due to COVID-19 or an area experiencing widespread or sustained transmission of COVID-19 domestically will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return at their permanent residence and be symptom free before they can return to campus.
  • It is important to note that travelers also could be subject to assessment by federal health officials at airports upon re-entry into the U.S. or restricted travel within your community by South Carolina health officials.

 

Q: How should I prepare if I do travel?

A: Take basic precautions to prepare for potential travel disruptions as follows:

  • Travel with all key documents, including their passport and insurance documents.
  • Keep cell phones fully charged and operational, and check their email at least once a day.
  • Travel with a full supply of any regular medications, regardless of how long they plan to be away. Prescription medications should be packaged in their original containers.
  • Be aware of Winthrop University’s policy that that any student, faculty or staff member who chooses to travel to a country designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher due to COVID-19 or an area experiencing widespread or sustained transmission of COVID-19 domestically will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return at their permanent residence and be symptom free before they can return to campus.

 

Q: How does one prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus?

A: Take the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.

 

Q: What should I do if I believe I have been exposed to the Novel Coronavirus?

A: Contact Winthrop University Health Services at 803-323-2206. It is recommended you call ahead before going over to the clinic.

 

Q: What should I do about my plans to travel to domestic destinations inside the United States? A: Do not travel to an area experiencing widespread or sustained transmission of COVID-19 domestically, and to best protect vulnerable individuals, who have underlying conditions such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes or other conditions that cause suppression of immune systems, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people do the following:

  • Avoid crowded places
  • Avoid non-essential travel such as long plane trips
  • Avoid embarking on cruise ships

 

Q: If I am an international student, then what should I do about Spring Break or Summer Break plans?

A: Current international students who will not graduate in May and are from areas with travel warnings should consider staying in the U.S. for spring break and summer break. If you choose to travel this summer, keep in mind that you might not be able to reenter the U.S. in Fall 2020 if your country is subject to a travel ban. In addition, any international student who chooses to travel internationally during spring break or summer break should be prepared to deal with increased travel delays.

 

Per the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) on 3/9/2020:

Students traveling from countries impacted by COVID-19 should regularly refer to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for specific port-of-entry screening processes, as well as any travel restrictions.

 

 

Resources for additional information:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/covid-19-cruise-ship

https://sc.edu/safety/coronavirus/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#spreads

https://today.cofc.edu/2020/03/03/coronavirus-information/

For the latest information on the presence of coronavirus in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

 

Last Updated: 3/18/20