What to do if you think you were exposed to or are showing symptoms of COVID-19
Stay home and call your health care provider first before you go to their office. Tell them about your travel, exposure risk and your symptoms if any. DO NOT go to the Emergency room or urgent care unless you are in respiratory distress. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available from the CDC. The definition of close contact is provided in footnote 2 on the page.
- Symptoms can include fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- The virus can spread just like the flu or a cold: through the air by coughing or sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, and occasionally, fecal contamination.
- Protect yourself through prevention by covering coughs or sneezes with your elbow—do not use your hands! Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
- Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
Please review these resources from the CDC:
- What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Facts about COVID-19
- Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities
Steps You Can Take
Wash your hands well and often. Stay home if you are sick. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your face. Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with viruses such as door knobs, phones and desks. Again, most importantly, wash your hands well and often.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Steps We Are Taking
Steps we are taking at the Health Center:
Respiratory illnesses are common this time of year. The Student Health Center has well-established protocols for dealing with communicable illnesses, and there will be a heightened emphasis on determining travel histories for those presenting with respiratory illnesses.
Steps we are taking with Dining Services:
- Daily additional sanitation trainings with all team members
- Daily reminders and review of sick/wellness policy in regards to calling out and missing work time
- Additional hand sanitizers installed by exit/entrance doors leading into dining hall
- Individually wrapped single use utensils available
- Serving utensils switched out every 2-3 hours in self service areas
- Increased awareness and attention to cleaning and sanitizing of all dining tables and chairs
Steps we are taking with all Facilities:
- Daily cleaning of all community restrooms and shower rooms in Resident halls.
- Daily cleaning and disinfection of horizontal surfaces and touch points in common and fitness areas.
- Deploy and maintain sufficient levels of hand soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels, anticipating increased use.
- Coaching of all staff to use proper hygiene during this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I at risk for COVID-19 in the United States?
This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website. We will follow CDC, WHO, and Health Department guidelines.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.
What are the symptoms and complications?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.
How does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
Should I be tested for COVID-19?
Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
As we move through the remainder of this academic year, please know that we remain focused on creating healthy environments for our students, staff, and community. We are in regular contact with local, state, and national health organizations who continue to insist that our best efforts are spent on prevention. We want you to know what you can expect from us, and also what we will ask from you as the academic year continues.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What resources are available to those considering travel?
COVID-19 continues to spread to countries around the world, including the United States, and can present challenges to travelers. It is important for travelers to consider not only the potential exposure to the novel coronavirus from traveling but also the possibility of being stranded in a location due to a suspension of airline services and other modes of transportation. The CDC is currently monitoring the coronavirus disease and provides travel advisories for international travel.
What requirements/advice does Immaculata have for students, faculty and staff planning travel?
Students, faculty, and staff are asked to use this form to let the University know if they stay in or pass through any country with a CDC travel advisory Warning Level 3 or if they have been in one during the last 14 days.
Immaculata encourages students to discuss travel plans with their families, to consult the travel advisories issued by the CDC, and to observe CDC-recommended steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.
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