UNC Puts Travel Restrictions on West African Countries

The University and the UNC Health Care System are monitoring the recommendations of state and federal agencies and public health authorities regarding the Ebola virus outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning — its highest level — urging all U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Additionally, the CDC has advised universities that all education-related travel to these countries be postponed until further notice.

Effective immediately, travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia by undergraduate, graduate and professional students — including travel by health professional students — is prohibited.

University faculty or staff can petition for approval to travel to these countries for humanitarian or scientific/clinical purposes related to the Ebola response after seeking explicit, advance approval from the dean of their school and from the provost’s office.

Voluntary travel to the Ebola affected countries above is strongly discouraged and should be reported to the individual’s superiors.

Any employee traveling to these nations must submit to a screening before returning to campus or to a UNC Health Care System facility.

UNC Health Care has been preparing for the possible (“but unlikely,” the notice says) arrival of a patient with Ebola in a UNC Health Care facility.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt and UNC Health Care System CEO Dr. William Roper issued a joint statement to the campus community that read in part:

“We have been following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and its potential threat globally with our deepest concern for those whose lives have been devastated or disrupted by this virus. We also have been humbled by the courage and professionalism of so many health care workers who are willing to help when the world is in such serious need.

“Consistent with our public service mission, UNC seeks to address major issues facing the global community, including this outbreak. While we are deeply aware of the need for service and research related to Ebola, the University and the Health Care System must also balance those needs against a full commitment to protecting our community.”

More information is available online at several websites:

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