Letter from Nacel Open Door Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


January 24, 2020

Dear Host Families,

Given the amount of media coverage concerning the Coronavirus, we understand that you and your international student may have questions and concerns. We’ve compiled a summary of helpful information from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases below as well as links where you can access more official information.

During this time, it is important to be mindful that your international student may have concerns about their family and friends back home. If your student seems emotional or stressed about the health of their friends and family members abroad, it is best to give them time and attention by listening fully to their concerns and be empathetic. Encourage the student to check in with their friends and family fairly regularly, but not so much that this too becomes a concern.  

Be sure to check in often with your student to see how they are doing. Encourage them to practice “self-care” by making sure that they are getting the proper rest, eating a healthy-balanced diet, and that they are not isolating themselves in their room. Encourage them to stay active by engaging them in both conversation and activities so that they feel supported and do not become overly homesick or distraught.

It is possible you may be concerned and may have questions yourself, so we have provided some helpful information below as well as links to more information should you wish to learn more.

If your student has recently returned from China and is exhibiting any of the aforementioned symptoms, out of an abundance of caution we recommend taking them to the doctor. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us: 1-800-622-3553.


Sandra K. Morgan M.A., LP
Director of Student Advising

Janel L. Cook
Dean of Student Life 





First, what are the symptoms of the virus?
Patients with confirmed Coronavirus infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of Coronavirus may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

How is it transmitted?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS. Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by 2019-nCov in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.

How can we keep healthy?
The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • 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.

How is it treated?
People infected with Coronavirus should receive supportive care from medical professionals to help relieve symptoms. People who think they may have been exposed to Coronavirus should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

For further information: