This communication serves as a follow up to the notification provided to the campus community on January 29th regarding the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).  While global cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, there remain zero confirmed cases in the state of Ohio.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is continuing to provide guidance on this emerging situation and has indicated the COVID-19 health risk to the American public continues to remain low at this time. Due to international travel advisories, we have however taken some precautionary measures as outlined below, related to our Global Learning programs that we wanted to make sure our Walsh community was aware of. 


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 61 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of February 26, 2020. 
  • No confirmed cases have been reported in the state of Ohio to date.
  • According to the CDC, the coronavirus remains a low risk to the American public and is NOT spreading at this time. 
  • The Ohio Department of Health continues to closely monitor developments related to COVID-19 in tandem with the Centers for Disease Control.
  • The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to international destinations highly impacted by COVID-19 


COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. 

Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness. 

Why the concern?

COVID-19 has only been identified in humans since December 2019. Health experts are still learning the characteristics of this virus. They are concerned because the disease has the potential to cause severe respiratory illness in some people and, because it is new and not predictable like the flu. There currently is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and no specific antiviral treatment. 

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.  

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:  fever, cough and difficulty breathing.  Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.  

For more information about coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Ohio Department of Health Website: Ohio Department of Health - COVID-19  


We encourage our campus community to continue actively engage in prevention efforts to reduce the spread of any illnesses on campus.  As we are currently in the midst of flu and respiratory disease season, the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine and taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs.  At this time in the United States, your risk of getting the flu is much greater than your risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Here are everyday actions you can do to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. (cell phones, remote controls, door knobs, etc.)

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, you should always contact a health care provider or Walsh University Health Services at (330) 490-7030 | healthservices@walsh.edu. The University strongly cautions all community members not to speculate or assume symptoms are related to the coronavirus. 


Walsh University is taking the necessary precautions to keep our community informed about the coronavirus and implement policies to ensure the continued health of our campus community. University officials will continue to work with federal, state, and local health authorities as well as campus experts to monitor this situation and provide appropriate guidance to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. 

University Action-Planning
The University will be assembling a multidisciplinary team responsible for monitoring COVID-19 developments, preparing for the short-term and long-term impact and ensuring the campus community remains informed.    

International Travel
The CDC has issued travel guidance in response to the global health concerns.  Information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html 

Walsh Global Learning
Based upon the recommendation of the CDC, Walsh University students and faculty studying abroad in Rome, Italy will be returning to the United States on Monday, March 2.  At this time, there were no reported cases of the COVID-19 in the region where our students were studying.  However, as a precautionary measure, the students and faculty members have been advised to remain off campus to self-monitor for a minimum of 14 days. The students and faculty will be screened by health officials before they return to campus. The Global Learning experience to Guadalajara, Mexico has also been cancelled.  Walsh has two students currently studying in Mexico with our partner institution who will remain until further notice.  Global Learning is continuing to monitor developments and have not made any final decisions yet regarding summer global learning experiences at this time.                 

We ask all members of our campus community to continue to: 

  • Encourage one and another to practice the appropriate preventative measures such as hand washing, covering your mouth when coughing, cover your nose when sneezing, remain home if you are ill, etc. 
  • Consult your primary care physician or our Health Services on campus if you are feeling unwell. 
  • Refer community members to Walsh University Health Services (330) 490-7030 who have questions about the virus. 

Updates will be ongoing as we continue to work with health authorities to provide the latest on the situation.  

Questions may be directed to Bryan Badar, Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students: 330.490.7301 or bbadar@walsh.edu.