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Penn State Orders 14-Day Quarantine, Other Requirements For Returning International Travelers

Penn State and University Health Services released new travel guidelines and requirements Saturday for students returning from countries with elevated travel notices — China, Japan, Italy, and South Korea — following concerns over novel coronavirus.

The university is requiring a 14-day quarantine period for travelers returning from these countries before they return to campus. This policy, which is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, asks travelers and their families to isolate themselves from others in their homes while checking for signs and symptoms of illness.

Penn State encourages students who return home to maintain good hygiene practices, self-monitor for symptoms, and check their temperature twice a day throughout the 14-day period.

Students returning home from a country with a CDC “Alert Level 2” level are encouraged to follow the same precautions but aren’t required.

University Health Services included some tips for a home quarantine, which include:

  • Staying home except to get medical care
  • Separating yourself from other people and animals at home
  • Wearing a facemask around other people and animals
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and washing your hands afterward
  • Washing your hands thoroughly and often
  • Avoiding sharing personal household items
  • Cleaning frequently used surfaces each day
  • Monitoring your symptoms and calling your health care provider before seeking in-person care

Penn State also encourages travelers returning home to be vigilant when traveling domestically upon reaching the United States. Avoiding contact with sick people, limiting touching your face, and washing your hands often are recommended precautions.

The university banned all university-related travel to China, Japan, Italy, and South Korea Friday. It later announced it had instructed students to begin making travel arrangements to come home from study abroad programs.

You can stay up to date on Penn State’s response to the virus by visiting its dedicated website. Additionally, more health tips and precautionary measures for combating the virus can be found here.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. He loves Seinfeld, is really into video games, and would wipe the floor with you in Halo. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]

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