In order to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of ALL of our current active exchange program participants, host companies, and communities, ICCE continues to monitor global developments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, following updates and guidance from the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO). We would like to share the following guidelines advised by such organizations.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include (but not limit to):
• Fever – 100.4 F / 38 C or higher
• Shortness of Breath
Health and safety tips:
- Monitor your health watching for symptoms.
- Avoid unnecessary trips to high risk countries and regions, and stay highly sanitary in public, including airports, restaurants, and train stations. If your area is under the government’s ‘safer at home’ order, pay attention to the details of the order and make sure to comply.
- Protect yourself by:
a. Washing hands with soap and water frequently
b. Practicing social distancing
c. Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth
d. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
e. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, countertops, phones, laptops, and toilets.
- If you are having symptoms and believe it’s related to the COVID-19, Don’t panic. Read the CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html, and follow each step as instructed.
As the CDC advises, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
• Trouble breathing
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• New confusion or inability to arouse
• Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Find more information here:
On 3/23/2020, ICCE asked our cultural exchange participants currently in the United States to return to their home countries immediately. We are currently communicating with our participants and host companies to support the repatriation of these participants.
The decision was made after much consideration of our participants’ health and safety. ICCE sees a high possibility that the US or the participants’ home countries may go on lockdown and close their borders, which may prevent our participants from being able to return home when the need arises.
Any participants who choose to stay in the U.S. against our strong recommendation must stay connected at all times with ICCE’s Support Team in order for us to assure your safety and health as well as your program placement status. These participants must provide their current financial status to prove that they are financially stable and prepared for any immediate departure to their home country. Please also understand that ICCE may have to ask you to leave the country immediately without any exceptions if the pandemic situation worsens. Again, it is very important to stay connected as ICCE will inform any COVID-19 related updates as frequently as needed while you are staying in the U.S.
When you need to visit a medical institute, ask your insurance provider for the nearest clinic that accepts your insurance and bring your insurance ID upon visiting. As the CDC advises, make sure to call the clinics first before your visit.
We have confirmed with your insurance provider that they will treat COVID-19 as any other illness in terms of medical coverage unless you contract COVID-19 before you started the program or you have any pre-existing conditions affecting your immune system such as HIV/AIDS.
If you don’t have your insurance ID, please contact ICCE Support Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance. We will guide you how to print it out from your insurance provider’s website.
For Host Companies:
ICCE cares for both our participants and host companies. We understand that it’s a difficult time for our host companies to conduct regular operations in the office. However, while ensuring the safety of all employees, we recommend host organizations to keep ICCE updated about any rearrangements to maintain the program objectives and to avoid unnecessary exposure. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to ICCE if any issues or concerns were brought up.
ICCE always prioritizes the safety, health and wellbeing of our participants and of our valued partners.
Stay safe and strong!