A message from Vice President Rue regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The following message was emailed on Feb. 7 to students, faculty and staff on behalf of Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations:

To the Wake Forest Community,

In recent weeks, worldwide attention has focused on an illness that, until recently, was unknown to us—the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).  Despite all that we have read or heard about it, the virus and how it may affect our daily lives may not be entirely clear. Unfortunately, that can lead to unsettling levels of fear and anxiety. With that in mind, I send this message with thoughts of care for all in our Wake Forest community.

University departments are actively monitoring the situation, including the Student Health Service, the Center for Global Programs and Studies, the Incident Management Team, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of the Dean of the College, University Police, Emergency Service, and more. The ongoing concern of all involved is for the health and safety of Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff.

On occasion, the University may e-mail an update to the campus community.  All are encouraged to visit a new Wake Forest website focused on providing the latest information about 2019-nCoV.   The site provides links to excellent sources of information, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  For instance, students, faculty, and staff who will be traveling outside of the United States should review this website for important information regarding the University’s travel-related policies and procedures.

 Wake Forest is aware that 2019-nCoV has increased in scope and intensity internationally.  As of today, February 7, there are no cases in North Carolina. Nationally, a small number of cases have been reported. The risk to the Wake Forest community is low.

As the University monitors 2019-nCoV, we will continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

  At Wake Forest, we are keenly aware that misinformation can emerge, spread and create considerable unrest in our campus community.  It has been widely reported that fear of the virus has already sparked biased sentiment against Chinese people. On campus, our own students who have travelled here from China to study are aware of this unsettling and unacceptable development in countries around the world, including the United States. We encourage members of the university community to report any incidents of bias through the bias reporting system; we are here to support any member of our community if they experience acts of bias.   

 Wake Forest stands ready to offer support to students, faculty, and staff who may be experiencing stress, fear, or worry.  Resources available include:

 International students may also choose to speak with staff in Global Programs and Studies.   All encouraged to take advantage of these caring resources, if needed.

Meanwhile, the University encourages students, faculty, and staff to stay informed about 2019-nCoV.

 Penny Rue, PhD
Vice President, Campus Life