Message from the Dean March 5, 2020

March 5, 2020

Dear Students,

As news of the Coronoavirus continues to unfold, it is important to remind you of the prevention recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (  

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.

For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.

I would also like to advise you to reconsider your spring break travel plans.  If you have plans to travel outside of the United States, please be aware of the following travel warnings from the CDC:

  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China and Iran. Entry of foreign nationals from these destinations has been suspended.
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea and Italy.
  • CDC recommends that older adults or those who have chronic medical conditions consider postponing travel to Japan.

For more information on travel, please go to:

In addition to these travel alerts, it is important for you to consider any nonessential travel to any destination.  If travel during spring break is essential, please be certain to practice the prevention recommendations listed above.


Stacy Jaffee Gropack, PT., Ph.D., FASAHP
Dean and Professor 
School of Health Technology and Management