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Coronavirus Update: Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, South Africa

International Travel Health and Safety

Cornell’s International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) has been closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand that the recent news of an increase in the Center for Disease Control (CDC) alert level for Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, South Africa (Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel) may be a cause of heightened concern for you, your classmates or colleagues, and families given your registered destination abroad. While the risk of serious infection remains low, authorities are taking all precautions against the possible spread of the virus, which is impacting business operations and causing disruptions to travel.

We are writing to share best practices and to assure you that Cornell’s International Travel Health and Safety team, working in partnership with university officials and in alignment with the CDC, the U.S. Department of State and International SOS recommendations, is closely monitoring developments as they unfold related to this global health concern. 

We will continue to monitor the situation in these countries and around the globe and update you should the situation change. We ask that you keep your families informed of any communications from the university. Please see the below-recommended actions and resources, and we encourage you to also review the FAQs on Cornell’s Coronavirus Resources and Updates webpage.

Recommended Actions and Resources

  • Put into practice everyday personal and public health preventative actions recommended by the CDC. These include hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, among others, many of which are the expected steps you would take to protect yourself from the common flu or other transmittable viruses.
  • We encourage you to follow the instructions and recommendations put forward by the CDC and your host organization/local authorities regarding any precautions that support the prevention of a community outbreak.
  • Understand that if you return to the U.S. from these countries or any country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left that country. 
  • The symptoms associated with coronavirus are similar to the common flu. Symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, inform your program staff or local partner, and take care of yourself – stay hydrated and rest. If the symptoms worsen or you have concerns, seek medical attention through program staff on-site or your local partner.
  • Reach out to Cornell International Travel Health and Safety at any point with questions or concerns at or you may call our travel assistance provider, International SOS, for advice and information from medical professionals at +1-215-942-8478.
  • All Cornell travelers have free access to mental health professionals who are there to support them by phone or skype for up to 5 sessions/incident/year, in more than 60 languages.  To reach these counselors, travelers may call International SOS, 24/7 at +1-215-942-8478.

Chris Cook
Manager of International Travel Health and Safety