Though the coronavirus risk remains low in the state, officials at UNC Pembroke remain vigilant and are making preparations in case of an outbreak.
University officials met with county health officials and other community partners to discuss possible scenarios involving students or members of the campus community.
First detected in Wuhan, China in December, the respiratory virus has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia.
A campus email was sent to students, faculty and staff informing them of the virus and what measures the university is taking to keep the campus safe. Cora Bullard, Student Health Services director, said if a student showing symptoms visits the health center, they will be given a facemask before they are seen by a health care provider. Any students living in a residence hall who presents symptoms will be confined to their room until the county’s EMS arrive. The county health department, emergency management and state health officials will be notified immediately.
If a student calls campus police after hours, campus police will assess the student and determine if EMS is needed or if the student can be referred to Healthlink, an after-hours service that offers medical advice.
UNCP has placed a ban on all university-sponsored travel to China through the spring semester. This includes faculty traveling for research and teaching as well as students planning study abroad trips. Chinese students currently enrolled have been asked to contact the Office for Global Engagement for additional information regarding travel plans.
Travis Bryant, associate vice chancellor for Campus Safety and Emergency Operations, said ensuring the safety of the campus community is the number one priority.
“We’ve had a pandemic plan in place for a while, dating back to the H1N1 and Ebola scare, he said. “Our community partners work close together. We’ve been through two hurricanes, so we’ve become united as a community to work together on these emergency situations.
“We want to make sure we are ready for all scenarios.”
Also in the meeting were Shelton Hill, assistant county manager, along with representatives with Robeson County EMS, Robeson County Emergency Management, Robeson County Health Department, UNCP Police and Public Safety and Student Health Services.