AAU is a global university with students, faculty, and staff from around the world. Our priority is the wellbeing of our community and we are actively monitoring the situation. This is a follow up to our last update published on February 11, 2020.

There are now nearly 80,000 cases of 2019-nCOV coronavirus around the world.  There are no confirmed cases at AAU or in the Czech Republic at the time of this writing. However, with over 150 cases reported in Italy in recent days, European countries have begun to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus.  

The US Center for Disease Control recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea and is advising older adults and those with chronic medical conditions to consider postponing nonessential travel to Iran, Italy and Japan. 

AAU strongly recommends that faculty, staff and students avoid travel to these areas of Italy until the situation there stabilizes: Casalpusterlengo, Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano, and Vo 'Euganeo. The Italian government has banned people from entering or leaving these towns. Schools, universities, museums and cinemas are closed in the affected areas and public gatherings are prohibited. 

Anyone who has traveled abroad within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and a cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the hospital to inform them of recent travel and symptoms.  Prague’s Na Bulovce Hospital is the designated facility for testing for the 2019-nCOV virus.

In early February the Prague Sanitary Office (HSHMP) issued orders requiring universities to isolate students, staff and faculty who travel to Czech Republic from China for 14 days as a measure against the coronavirus outbreak.  Students, staff and faculty who fall into this category must be reported to the HSHMP and they cannot attend classes or go to libraries until further notice.  If you have traveled to AAU from China anytime in the past 30 days, please notify Ana Hernandez Blackstad, Dean of Students, immediately ([email protected]). 

How does it spread?

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)

  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

What else can you do? 

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the toilet. Use of hand sanitizer is also encouraged.

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue – or cough into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards. 

  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. 

For further information about the coronavirus and current information on the situation, visit the CDC Coronavirus site. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has prepared a coronavirus questions and answers section with more information.

The AAU community is advised to check official AAU email regularly for updates. 

Publication date: February 25, 2020