Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

2019 Novel Coronavirus

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to update you on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and how UCSF Health is prepared to safely care for patients with infectious diseases, as well as actions you can take to help control respiratory infections. 

As of this morning, two patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV were transferred to the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights from another California county. Taking care of patients with complex illnesses, including infectious diseases, is our expertise and part of our commitment to caring for our community. UCSF Health teams are trained and equipped to effectively care for these patients. In addition to our standard infectious disease protocols, we are instituting a number of additional measures to screen patients with potential 2019-nCoV, as well as prevent spread of 2019-nCoV.

UCSF Health and our campus have been preparing for possible patients with 2019-nCoV for weeks. Actions include: 

  • asking patients about recent travel and possible symptoms. Patients suspected of having 2019-nCoV will be asked to put on a surgical mask and isolated as quickly as possible.
  • asking patients who have traveled to China in the last 14 days to monitor themselves for fever and cough and to wear a mask when they arrive at UCSF Health.
  • asking patients with non-urgent health issues to consider rescheduling until more than 14 days after their return from China to the U.S.
  • instituting travel guidance for faculty, staff, and learners returning from or traveling to China.
  • working closely with officials at the San Francisco, Alameda County, and California Departments of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC is working with state and local health departments to institute several efforts to control further infections, including screening passengers who arrived at San Francisco Airport on direct flights from Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged.

While the health risks for spreading 2019-nCoV to the general population remain low, please take steps to understand the facts about this disease and to protect yourselves and our community against transmission of 2019-nCov illness and much more common respiratory infections like seasonal influenza.

  • A small number of confirmed cases have been reported in the U.S., mainly among people who have recently traveled to the Hubei Province area of China.
  • Based on what we know today, the 2019-nCoV appears to have a significantly lower mortality rate than other epidemics, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
  • Since the CDC does not recommend use of face masks for the general public, we are reserving their use for patients and caregivers.
  • The high number of flu cases still remains one of our largest health concerns. The best way to stay healthy is to frequently wash your hands.

Please visit UCSF's coronavirus website at for more information including other precautions that you can take.

Updates will be provided as information becomes available. If you have questions about the 2019-nCoV, please email [email protected].

As always, thank you for your commitment to UCSF, UCSF Health, and the patients we are privileged to serve.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

Mark R. Laret
President and CEO
UCSF Health