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IHP Emergency Preparedness

-February 27, 2020-

Dear IHP Community:

The MGH Institute continues to actively participate in the Partners-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) response and emergency preparedness. We are fortunate to be part of a large health care system with so many resources dedicated to this very fluid situation.

The Institute’s Emergency Preparedness Committee is developing a response plan if our academic, clinical education, and administrative operations are impacted in any way. This plan includes preparing for the possibility of a school closure and how we would ensure that classes and administrative operations continue remotely if this were to happen. Additional information will be communicated early next week.

The Institute has adopted the updated travel policy which now includes China and South Korea. (See below.) As reported, the outbreak has been continuing with rapidly increasing case counts across the globe. In addition, the CDC has issued an additional Level 2 Travel Alert advising that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should postpone non-essential travel to Japan, Italy, and Iran. The CDC indicates there is a strong possibility of further changes to these alerts in the coming days and weeks. The latest CDC information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/.

Students, faculty, and staff who are traveling over the upcoming spring break should understand that if they go to South Korea or China or are exposed to anyone with the virus in any country, they would need to follow the furlough procedure upon their return. These travel alerts are fluid and could change at any time.

If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to Denis Stratford .

Updated Partners Travel Advisory:

The CDC has issued a new warning recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea in addition to China. Given the current characteristics and dynamic nature of the outbreak, the Partners travel policy has been modified, effective immediately:

No further business travel: All Partners related business travel to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) and South Korea is suspended. If the CDC extends its travel warning to additional areas, these will be included in this policy as well.

No further business-related visitors: Partners is also suspending all business-related visits to Partners’ institutions from CDC-defined impacted areas.

As of the date of this guidance, CDC Level 3 impacted areas include all of China and South Korea. Other countries and locations may be added as the situation evolves.

Individuals who traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, or South Korea and returned in the last 14 days or who elect to travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau, or South Korea are required to do the following:

Complete OHS Travel Survey. All individuals traveling to China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, and CDC defined Level 3 areas are required to complete the Returning Travel Activity Survey before returning to work. Occupational Health will review the survey results and contact the employee with a return to work date.

Furlough. Partners Employees (including IHP students) will be furloughed for 14 days following their return date. All other persons of interest will be restricted from visiting Partners institutions for 14 days.

Exposure to COVID-19 Patients Outside of Partners Institutions

At times, through other employment or clinical engagement, Partners employees (and IHP students) are asked to participate in the care of patients outside of Partners HealthCare duties. Individuals in these roles who have contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 patient or an individual quarantined by public health authorities outside of Partners facilities will also be furloughed for 14 days following their last date of potential COVID-19 exposure.

For more information, visit: www.partners.org/travelsafe