NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On November 21, Rutgers sent a mass email to all members of its community regarding a new policy on Ebola control that the university is instating.
The message was sent by Brian L. Strom, the Inaugural Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
In the new policy Rutgers students, faculty, and staff are restricted from official or authorized travel to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali, four nations with high reports of Ebola cases.
Members of the Rutgers community will not be permitted to travel to these countries for university business, such as teaching, studying abroad, conferences, presentations, internships, research, recruiting, and athletic competitions.
It is also stated in the new policy that, if a member of the Rutgers community wants to travel to any of the restricted countries for university related reasons, including travel to assist in control of the Ebola outbreak, they may petition the university for permission to do so.
Requests must be submitted in writing for approval by the appropriate dean and the chancellor.
All students, faculty, and staff who are returning from an Ebola-affected area are requested to make the university aware of their recent travel history, so that a risk assessment over the phone may be performed.
Hosting visitors for university related purposes that have been in any of the 4 stated countries within 3 weeks of the desired visit will not be permitted.
Rutgers community members may also submit a petition in writing to the appropriate dean and the chancellor if they would like an exception to this rule.
The policy also states that hosting visitors from the mentioned countries for personal purposes is strongly discouraged.
In the mass email it was written that everyone should keep their concerns about Ebola in perspective, and should focus on the control of the Flu, which kills thousands of people in the United States every year.
Many early symptoms of the flu and Ebola are similar, so the more people who get vaccinated for flu, the less cases, making less confusion between the two diseases.
Near the end of the email it is written, “Rutgers University strongly encourages all of its students, faculty, staff, and other employees to receive influenza vaccination, and to do so as early in the season as possible.”