As you plan travel over spring break, we encourage you to follow these best practices that have been compiled by the Worth Health and Wellness Center and the Off-Campus Study office. The goal of this message is to provide information and resources for trip planning as well as how to stay well during and after you travel.
Before Leaving for Travel
- When planning travel to another country, review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and US State Department Travel Advisories for health alerts and policies that pertain to COVID-19 and any other health, safety or security issues. https://tinyurl.com/ydegqnup (includes an Emergency Alert: Novel Coronavirus)
- US citizens should register their international travel with the State Department STEP program, and citizens of other countries should check to see if their country offers a similar service. https://step.state.gov/. You can also register to receive travel advisories and local information directly from a US Embassy in another country.
- Obtain health and travel insurance for your trip, and determine if you need property insurance. Details on insurance and other trip planning information is available in the OCS Practical Matters handbook. https://tinyurl.com/uclmhrd
- When planning travel, be alert to country immigration policies as they relate to both your travel country of origin (i.e., US), but also as they relate to countries you transit through.
- Read local media from countries to which you will travel to understand local perspectives on COVID-19 and any other health, safety, or security concerns.
- Always make sure that your own immunizations or other recommendations for travel to other countries are up to date. Plan ahead if you are traveling with medications. In addition to making sure that they are legal in the country you are going to, make sure you have an extra two-week supply (in the original packaging) in case you cannot return on the planned date. You can consult with the Worth Health Center. Call 610-328-8058 to schedule an appointment. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
- Make sure you have sufficient access to funds should you not be able to return home as soon as planned.
- Make sure that you have a plan for communicating back home while traveling and always share your travel plans with a relative or friend.
- Review the State Department’s information for students abroad. This includes important information about downloading the State Department app to receive safety and security messaging. https://tinyurl.com/rtvzwt8
- If you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough, nasal discharge, or sore throat, be sure to use cough etiquette (covering nose and mouth with a mask, or coughing or sneezing into your elbow).
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid unnecessary crowds and gatherings.
- Sleep well and eat well.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Do not share drink bottles or food with others.
Upon Return from Travel
Closely monitor your health upon return from travel. Ensure that you are maintaining thorough hand washing techniques, a nutritious diet and good sleep hygiene. Contact the Health Center if you return from travel with any cold symptoms including, but not limited to, cough, fever higher than 99.5F, headache, or shortness of breath.
We hope you have a restorative and safe spring break. Please reach out to the Worth Health Center staff at 610-328-8058 with any medical questions or concerns and reach out to the Off-Campus Study Office at 610-328-7827 with any travel related questions.
Casey Anderson, Interim Director of Worth Health and Wellness Center and Patricia Martin, Director for Off-Campus Study