LSU Health New Orleans has been closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China and has been spreading throughout the world. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and the U. S. government declared a Public Health Emergency for 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
LSU Health New Orleans has developed policies and procedures for its campuses and clinics. As part of its educational and outreach missions, LSU Health New Orleans has established a repository of educational resources with the latest information and guidance from authoritative, credible sources.
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as more is learned.
The LSU and Tulane Schools of Medicine want to help healthcare workers in whatever ways they can during the Covid-19 crisis. The goal of this initiative is to alleviate some of the daily burdens of healthcare workers in our community that we, as medical students not in the hospital, could easily take care of. At this time, medical students are volunteering their time to assist healthcare workers with the following free of charge services listed in the survey! How it works: Request childcare via this form: https://forms.gle/esRNxHpep8VzqK3Z7 Request all other services continue this survey. You will be paired up with a medical student in a timely manner who is “on call” during the hours of your request. Once paired, a medical student will send you a text/email. You are then responsible for coordinating with the medical student. All arrangements, including logistics regarding social distancing and protective measures, should be discussed between you and the student.
We wanted to share updated information regarding our response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Travel to areas with sustained local or widespread transmission
While the university has suspended all non-essential, work-related travel, since we cannot prohibit personal travel, we must take measures to reduce the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to our campus and community. Everyone who is traveling (including faculty, staff and students) must register on the Travel Registration website.
Anyone who travels to an area designated by CDC as experiencing sustained local or widespread transmission of the virus will undergo a mandatory minimum 14-day period of self-isolation and monitoring before being allowed to return to campus or participate in any university-sponsored activity anywhere else. Sick or annual leave must be taken for the absence. The areas currently in that category are China, Iran, most of Europe and South Korea, as well as three states in the US -- Washington, California and New York.
As the virus continues to spread, areas of transmission risk will change, and it is possible that your destination’s designation may change while you are there. We are monitoring daily. Those whose travel is to one of the transmission hotspots will be sent information and guidance prior to their return to campus.
While we strongly encourage you to reconsider non-essential personal travel at this time, CDC’s information for those traveling within the US, available here, may help you decide.
Those who are exhibiting symptoms and seeking medical treatment, and/or have been in direct contact with any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 should report by telephone to their supervisor. As recommended by the CDC, the employee may be asked to self-isolate.
Students, staff and faculty should not come to campus when sick. Notify your supervisor or administrative leader by phone. In certain cases, an employee’s supervisor may determine that the employee is able to work from home.
This policy applies only to the university and campus. Those with clinical responsibilities should follow the directions of their health care facility.
Employees who care for minor children whose child care or school is temporarily closed:
It is not appropriate to bring children to the workplace in the event child care or schools are temporarily closed. Employees should make alternative arrangements for child care.
If the employee’s supervisor determines that the employee is able to work from home, a remote work agreement provided by HRM must be completed and maintained on file within the employee’s department. Department Heads will have flexibility to review and approve the request. HRM will be available to provide guidance if necessary.
When possible, employees may work with their department to arrange for an alternative work schedule. Classified and professional hourly employees must continue to maintain their weekly total hours to ensure correct pay. Alternative work schedules should be maintained in the department.
If the employee’s job duties cannot be performed remotely and the employee is unable to make other arrangements for child care, annual leave should be submitted. If the employee does not have annual leave, unpaid time off should be submitted. Employees on leave without pay (unpaid time off) will not be subject to disciplinary action due to these circumstances.
These policies apply only to the university and campus. Those with clinical responsibilities should follow the directions of their health care facility.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to protect the health of our campus and those we serve.
Larry Hollier, MD
Update 3-12-2020 - Travel Clarification
To clarify, we are currently applying our travel policy to air travel, domestic and international. While all work-related, non-essential travel is now suspended, we strongly encourage our faculty, staff and students to reconsider personal travel at this time. This virus is spreading rapidly across the world including the United States. According to reported case counts, as of today, more than 1,500 people in 45 states and Washington, DC have tested positive, and the numbers are increasing every day.
To protect our LSU Health family, patients and our community, we need to do all we can to prevent further transmission of SARS-CoV-2. In accordance with current guidance, those who travel to places with sustained local transmission will be required to self-isolate for a minimum 14-day period before returning to campus. These areas not only include foreign countries such as Italy and South Korea, but also now include cities in Washington State, California, Oregon, New York and others. If you have travelled to any high risk area, you will not be allowed to return to classes without a satisfactory period of quarantine! Those are some of the current hotspots, but over the coming days and weeks, almost anywhere else may become one.
The situation is rapidly evolving, and we will keep you updated as we get new information and determine our response
Dear LSU Health New Orleans community,
We have been monitoring SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 since information about this novel virus and disease become known outside of China. To keep the LSU Health New Orleans community safe while carrying out our missions and contributing our expertise to the community, we have developed and updated our response since we implemented our first policy in January. I wanted to make you aware of some important changes in our response.
As the virus has spread overseas and in the U.S., all non-essential travel on university business is hereby suspended until further notice. We request that you seriously reconsider personal travel as well, but take steps to ascertain the level of virus activity occurring at your destination.In the event that you elect to do personal travel, the State is requiring that you notify your supervisor before you travel. We also require you to provide information on our Travel Registration website, accessible here. You must complete Prior Travel Registration before you travel and Return Travel Registration upon your return. Travel will be evaluated, and where warranted, any special instructions to be followed prior to your return to campus will be communicated. Because the spread of the virus is so unpredictable, this applies to all travel, including personal trips, domestic and international.
While LSU Health New Orleans will remain open, we are suspending university-sponsored and on-campus large gatherings (30 people or more) until further notice. We will begin the transition to remote learning on Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice. Deans’ offices will be providing more information about this.
Faculty and staff who are well and not under a self-isolation period are expected to report to work as usual. We will implement social-distancing practices and other preventive measures on campus. Please follow the instructions from your schools and administrative leadership. Contact your deans’ offices or supervisors regarding any special circumstances.
This is an evolving situation, and as our situation changes, we will provide updates to our policy and communicate them to you.
Please know how much we value your dedication to health and well-being and your contributions to our success. You have shown remarkable resilience throughout the many challenges we have faced, and this one will be no different. Together we will triumph over this one, too.
Larry Hollier, MD
LSU GME Knowledge Base
Copyright 2020 LSU School of Medicine unless otherwise specified.