Coronavirus Update

February 5, 2020

The University continues to closely follow an emerging public health situation regarding an outbreak of pneumonia caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, also referred to in the media and by health professionals as 2019-nCoV, in Wuhan, China. The safety and health of St. John’s University students, faculty, administrators, and staff are the top concern for all of the University’s leadership.  

Here is what you need to know:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of contracting 2019-nCoV in the United States is very low.
  • While a growing number of cases are being diagnosed, most still occur in China. To date, several cases have been confirmed in the United States; none are in New York. As of today, there have been no identified cases in the St. John’s community, including on our campus in Rome, Italy, and at our locations in Paris, France, and Limerick, Ireland.
  • St. John’s University officials receive guidance and work closely with the US Department of Health and Human ServicesNew York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University’s Office of International Education, and other offices to monitor this evolving situation and respond appropriately.
  • Symptoms for the novel coronavirus are very similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Because it is cold and flu season, and this virus has similar symptoms, it is important to not make any assumptions and have any respiratory illness evaluated by a health-care provider. 
  • It is flu season! Take the same precautions: wash your hands often, cover your cough, and if you feel sick—stay home. For more information, visit
  • Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Students should call Student Health Servicesimmediately at 718-990-6360 (select option 4). If Student Health Services is closed, please call the Department of Public Safety at 718-990-5252. Faculty, administrators, and staff should call their primary care provider. 
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency and the US government has issued travel restrictions and an advisory warning against all travel to China.

All concerns regarding novel coronavirus and potential cases should be directed to Student Health Services at 718-990-6360 (select option 4). Student Health Services will work with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to take appropriate action.

In an effort to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the novel coronavirus, please visit