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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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In an effort to promote the health of the AIC community, we ask that you please read the following important information regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The CDC has also provided this fact sheet, which outlines risks, symptoms, and preventive measures to help stave off the virus.

This concern is dynamic. AIC officials are monitoring and following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Public Health, and American College Health Association. Continuity planning remains ongoing and will be informed by the ever-changing nature of the situation. Everyone can do their part to keep the AIC community healthy by following the health and hygiene recommendations that are outlined in this communication.

What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

2019-nCoV, also referred to as COVID-19, is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.

Symptoms and transmission:

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.

Please check the CDC Travel Website and make an informed decision before traveling.

  • If you must travel:
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • 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.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel with their health care provider.

Prevention:

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • 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.

Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:

If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to Health Services, your doctor’s office, or the emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • AIC patients may call Health Services at (413) 205-3248. Health Services is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • If an emergency, please call Campus Police at (413) 205-3333.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel or use public transportation while sick.

AIC’s response to this public health concern:

  • Additional hand sanitizing stations have been deployed around campus, especially in dining facilities.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Awareness campaign posted throughout campus over the coming days, including reminders about hand washing and how to prevent the spread of illnesses.
  • Protocols reviewed regarding getting food and necessities to students who are sick.
  • While there is no indication that this will be necessary, AIC is developing a continuity plan in the event that normal business and class functions are impacted.

Further Resources:

Contact Us

For any questions regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19), email covid19@aic.edu, and we will respond within twenty-four hours.

 

 

 

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