Release Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Info and resources about coronavirus

Woman washing hands


Visit the HFC Coronavirus information and resources website

March 4, 2020

Dear colleagues and students,

We have been monitoring the news and information about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The coronavirus causes a flu-like illness in people who are exposed and who are vulnerable to it. It is a mild-to-severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The disease is transmitted from person to person, and has been spreading globally, causing a high level of concern around the world.

Thousands of cases have been confirmed in mainland China, and hundreds of cases have been confirmed in Europe, South Korea. About 80 cases have been reported in the U.S. so far. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that five people were tested in the southeast Michigan for coronavirus, and none had the virus as of March 4.

What we are doing at Henry Ford College

We are actively sharing information and providing access to local, regional, and national resources. You will find information at our HFC coronavirus information website, which will be updated regularly.

We are making sure that all of our emergency-response plans and procedures are up to date. We are ready to be put these plans into action if we need to take additional steps in response to the coronavirus.

On a practical level, our Facilities department has begun to regularly sanitize all common surfaces, in addition to their regular daily cleaning on our campuses. These include door handles, push panels, tabletops, chairs, paper towel dispenser levers, counter tops, and more. We are making plans to provide hand sanitizer dispensers around our campuses for easy access.

We recommend that you review the “what you can do to avoid getting sick” section of our coronavirus website. The recommendations are relevant to many kinds of contagious illnesses, not just coronavirus. They include personal hygiene, contact with people and things, food and food implements, and other tips.

What we will do if there is a significant outbreak in our area

Vice President for Student Affairs Daniel Herbst is putting together a team that will continue to monitor the situation and respond as needed. The College has an Emergency Operations Plan that details how we would handle a College closure, if we decide that is necessary at any point.

We will coordinate with local health officials and other educational institutions, to make sure any necessary response will be timely, effective, and appropriate in scope.

We will continue to communicate any new information. If we need to make an urgent or emergency response at any point, we will communicate through the same immediate and continuous outreach channels that we use for weather and other emergencies.

National and local resources

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health, and the Wayne County Health Department remain the best places for specific and accurate information about coronavirus.  

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

• Students, faculty, and staff can assist in prevention efforts by reviewing and following this one-page CDC fact sheet.

Travel health notices inform travelers and health-care workers about current health issues that impact travelers’ health.

CDC Coronavirus resource page.

Other resources:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a coronavirus website.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a coronavirus website.

The Wayne County Health Department has a coronavirus website.

International travel: Before planning any trip abroad, check the Travel Advisories for your intended destination: U.S. State Department and Travel Advisories.

Please let us know if you have specific concerns that we have not addressed here.

Russ Kavalhuna