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COVID-19 Update March 13

13 March, 2019

The CCMT and the Coronavirus Taskforce continue to meet regularly to proactively appraise the situation, and set strategy and necessary policies that continue to strike a balance between protecting the community and minimizing disruption.

There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus and we are working hard for that to continue to be the case.

The following are items that we wish to update you on today.

New gate procedures

As of 7:00 p.m. yesterday, March 12, new gate procedures were put in place. All arrivals to KAUST who have travelled internationally or from Qatif in the previous 14 days will be placed into quarantine for up to 14 days.

As confirmed in yesterday's communication from the President, no personal visitors are allowed at this time.

All daycare services are now closed. All families affected have received an email with complete details.

The KAUST Cinema is now closed for the next 14 days. A number of enhancements to the KAUST IPTV service, including additional free content, are being rolled out. We will communicate more about this soon.

Service providers
Some service providers have begun relocating to KAUST to ensure continuation of services. Today KAUST Health DSFH staff and KAUST Fire Department staff moved into KAUST accommodations. These measures are being taken to ensure that KAUST is able to continue to provide critical services. We are very grateful to these team members for temporarily moving out of their homes, and in some instances, away from family, to continue to support the KAUST community.

Tamimi stores, the diner, and dining services and facilities remain open. Over the past few weeks, Tamimi has been increasing its stock capacity above normal levels to ensure that we have enough supplies. In addition we have delivery contingencies in place should that become necessary.

Jeddah hospital arrangements
In the event of a positive case of COVID-19, patients will be treated in the King Abdullah Medical Complex Jeddah (KAMCJ). Because KAMCJ does not have pediatric facilities, children under the age of 14 will be treated at the East Jeddah Hospital, an adult will be allowed to accompany them. In the event that adults and minors are confirmed as having positive cases together, they will go to the East Jeddah Hospital together.

A KAUST team, including Chris Sealey, Sulaiman Al-Thunayan, Daniel Buttigieg and Professor Diogo Gomes visited KAMCJ on Thursday and they sent back a highly positive report. Their impression was that the facilities are modern, with experienced staff who are ready and prepared. The hospital serves as a backup for Hajj, so it has plenty of additional capacity. KAMCJ handled the MERS outbreak, so they have experience with handling these types of cases. The procedures presented were clear and well organized—patients with COV-like symptoms are evaluated in isolation rooms, they use separate elevators and more.

The Taskforce are arranging to visit the East Jeddah Hospital facilities as soon as possible and will communicate about their findings in the coming days.

High-risk regions
The list of high-risk regions has been updated to include 13 additional regions. Please refer to the list on the KAUST Health website as it is constantly updated.

KAUST Health Website
If you need to refer to previously published announcements related to COVID-19, you can do so at the KAUST Health website.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many and we urge everyone to act with kindness and a sense of community spirit.