Coronavirus Update

January 31, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As director of the Bishop Wellness Center at Willamette, I wanted to give you an update on the Wuhan coronavirus. As of today, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Oregon and six in the United States. Although the threat to the Willamette community remains low, my staff and I are closely monitoring this situation and addressing questions as they arise.

Health officials are still learning more about the patients in the U.S., but one thing they have in common is that they recently traveled to Wuhan, China. As far as we know, there has been only one person-to-person transmission in this country.

If you haven’t been to Wuhan (or been in close contact with someone who has), your chances of contracting the virus are extremely remote. The Centers for Disease Control has provided a comprehensive resource guide that answers common questions about the Wuhan coronavirus.

If the new virus becomes more widespread, we’re well prepared to deal with situations involving communicable diseases. In fact, we just completed a comprehensive training exercise with state and local authorities this past fall.

Because we’re in the midst of flu season, it’s still wise to take basic precautions like washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth when you cough. The CDC estimates there have been at least 15 million flu illnesses and more than 8,000 deaths in the U.S. so far this flu season.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns, and rest assured that we’re tracking the coronavirus on an ongoing basis. Our primary goal is to ensure the health and safety of every member of the Willamette community.


Don Thomson, M.S., L.P.C.
Director of Bishop Wellness Center
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem, Oregon, 97301
(503)375-5420 (fax)

Back to Top