As an international organization with staff, visitors, and partners in San Diego and across the world, the San Diego Diplomacy Council extends our deepest concern for the countries and people experiencing the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We also offer support for and profound thanks to our colleagues in U.S. embassies in affected locations worldwide.
The San Diego Diplomacy Council and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) view the health and well-being of our international program participants and domestic implementing partners and communities as our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide further updates as soon as they become available. We follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the San Diego County Health Department, and the guidance from the U.S Department of State for updated risk assessments as more information becomes known.
Here are the measures we have taken to protect our visitors, community, and staff:
- Currently, we will not receive participants from countries with a State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 (“reconsider travel”) or a CDC Level 3 warning (“avoid nonessential travel”). Programs or participants’ visits have been canceled.
- Please be aware that some countries are imposing travel restrictions that could impact programs that have no direct connection to locations with COVID-19 cases. Such restrictions may cause participants to be unable to travel to the United States.
- Prior to their departure to the United States, participants receive the CDC’s “Prevention and Treatment” recommendations to mitigate risk throughout the program. International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) program staff also discuss the recommendations with them upon their arrival in Washington, DC.
- SDDC is following CDC guidelines to prevent germs (washing hands, no handshaking, use of zoom meetings…) and encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance of our building, office and any meeting space conference or events.
- Our events are handshake-free. We recommend the elbow tap instead and we have alcohol-based hand sanitizers. We also recommend social distance ( 3 feet or 1 meter)
- The U.S. Department of State issues and updates Travel Advisories for countries around the world. We urge you to review details on travel advisories for all locations at travel.state.gov [link]. We also urge you to review details of the travel notices issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all locations at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
For more information, you can view the Department of State’s Travel Advisories and Health Alerts here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
The regularly updated CDC Travel Health Notices here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
The recommendations from the San Diego County Health Department are here: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/prepare.html [link].
For additional information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s dedicated website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
SDDC will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide further information on additional event cancelations, as required.
We thank you for your efforts to make the safety and health of participants the highest priority and for all of your work. If you have any questions, please contact Fabienne Perlov, Executive Director at SDDC at firstname.lastname@example.org