SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak

Last Updated: 2/12/2020

UCR is actively monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019-nCoV) outbreak originating from Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Please check this page for updated information and guidelines. Members of the UCR community that are traveling to or from China should review the Information for Travelers section.

There are currently no know or suspected cases of SARS-CoV-2 on the UCR campus or community.

For general questions regarding the virus, please check the FAQ below and the Resources section.

Travel Restrictions For UCR Personnel

In response to the U.S. Department of State’s level 4 travel advisory on Jan 31, 2020, University of California President Janet Napolitano has directed the UC community to temporarily avoid all non-essential travel to China. Please take a few moments to review the details of UCR’s response to the directive and how we are defining essential travel for faculty, staff, and students.   

Please take a moment to review World Aware's country and airline listings for Coronavirus Travel Restrictions:

Travel Restrictions By Country
Travel Restrictions By Airline

Registering Official Travel

We strongly recommend that all students and employees register their university business travel. If business travel is booked through Connexxus, your travel itinerary is automatically registered. If you have not booked through Connexxus, you should register your travel with UC Away as soon as possible in order to fully leverage the benefits and protections in case an incident arises that requires medical care, evacuation, or other essential services.

Here is a video tutorial on using UC Away.

CDC Information for Travelers

The CDC Novel Coronavirus Information for Travelers website includes helpful information on travelers going to and returning from China.

CDC Health Alert

How to Protect Yourself

The most effective ways to currently protect yourself are:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Cover your coughs/sneezes: Use your elbow, not your hands. Use a tissue and dispose.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been contaminated.

Avoid close contact with people that are sick.|Stay home if you are sick.


Now is also an excellent time to get the annual flu shot!

If you were in China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical advice - call ahead before you go to the doctor's office, student health center, or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and symptoms
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

Information from What to Do if You are Sick CDC 2019-nCoV website.

Keep Yourself Healthy This Season


Download the Keep Yourself Healthy This Season Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is SARS-CoV-2?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses of which some members may cause mild upper respiratory infections. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus responsible for the outbreak of acute respiratory illnesses in Wuhan, China beginning December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to the coronaviruses that cause Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

    Much is unknown about SARS-CoV-2 and current knowledge is based largely on what is known about similar coronaviruses. CDC guidelines state that symptom onset will most likely occur between 2 and 14 days of infection. Person-to-person transmission has been observed; most often spread from person-to-person happens among close contact (6 feet or closer).

    Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic, however the possibility of asymptomatic transmission has not been ruled out for SARS-CoV-2.

  • Is there a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2?

    There is no vaccine currently available. Several organizations including the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently working on projects to develop a vaccine.

  • Can I be tested for COVID-19 if I feel unwell? What should I do if I think I have been exposed?

    The CDC has developed a quantitative RT-PCR test to diagnose SARS-CoV-2. On February 4th, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization to allow certified diagnostic laboratories to begin testing patients for SARS-CoV-2.

    This coronavirus outbreak comes at the same time when influenza infections are high. Both viruses can cause respiratory symptoms. Currently testing is only performed on patients who display fever and/or symptoms and within the past 2 weeks has traveled to Wuhan or been in close contact ( within 6’) with a person under investigation for SARS-CoV-2.

    Students should contact Student Health Services at (951) 827-3031 for additional information. All other members of the UCR community should contact their primary care physician for additional information. If you experience symptoms and have been to China within the last 2 weeks, contact your medical provider before going in for treatment.

  • How do I prevent becoming infected?

    •    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    •    Always practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
    •    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    •    Cover your coughs and sneezes into a tissue and dispose of tissue in trash immediately.
    •    Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
    •    Get your annual flu vaccine.

  • Have there been any positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 on the UC Riverside Campus?

    There have been no confirmed or suspected cases on UC Riverside campus.

  • How will I know if there is any changes or exposures at UCR?

    UCR leadership along with clinical and public health partners will continue to monitor, screen, and identify possible cases of SARS-CoV-2. As we obtain new information, we will send timely updates to the campus community.

  • Do face masks protect against coronavirus? Do I need one?

    Currently, public health officials do not require use of a face (surgical) mask in the US. There is no harm to wearing a surgical mask. Wearing a surgical mask when one is sick may help reduce transmission of the disease.

    Healthcare workers interacting with suspected SARS-CoV-2 cases should follow CDC recommendations of standard precaution, contact precaution, airborne precautions, and use of eye protection.