Duke students who recently visited China were told to ‘self-isolate’ amid coronavirus outbreak

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Around the world, people are paying attention to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

“It makes me and my family nervous,” Duke graduate student Lei Huang said.

Following guidance from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO), an email recently went to all Duke students, faculty and staff.

Starting this week, anyone returning from China is expected to immediately self-isolate and fill out an online survey.

“If you are coming back from China, or you have been in China and another country, and then come back to the U.S., but you’ve been in China for the last 14 days, you must self-isolate for 14 days before you can come back to Duke,” Michael Schoenfeld, Duke University Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations said. “You give us the information about where you’ve been and when you’ve come back. our medical specialists will get in touch with you and give you guidance on that self-isolation.”

The move came with an abundance of caution.

“Right now, the number of people who are traveling to China, or coming back from China, is fairly small,” Schoenfeld said. “There’s been a lot of interest, obviously, and concern about doing the right thing for themselves, and for their families and for the Duke community.”

Their goal is to make sure all precautions are in place.

“It is very easy for this to be hyped and to become panicked, and what Duke is doing is following prudent guidance from the CDC and the WHO,” Schoenfeld said. “Everybody worldwide should be vigilant, but we shouldn’t be panicked.”

Schoenfeld told CBS 17 that Duke officials believe less than a dozen people will be impacted immediately.

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