everal weeks ago, we emailed you information regarding the coronavirus, a respiratory disease also known as COVID-19. Since that time, we have been monitoring and tracking new developments and the spread of the virus. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports confirm that the virus has spread to several areas of the world, including 57 confirmed cases in the United States as of last night. None are in Connecticut.
Here is a brief update on proactive steps the university has taken regarding the coronavirus, and a reminder of how best to protect and familiarize yourself with the resources available to you.
Update on steps we’re taking:
- Monitoring – We have been in ongoing communication with the CDC as well as with the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, and we continue to seek their expertise and recommendations regarding prevention and preparedness. We are also monitoring actions our peer academic institutions have been taking in response to these developments.
- Task force – We have established a coronavirus task force here at Quinnipiac, comprised of university leadership and medical professionals across a variety of fields and disciplines, as well as personnel from our Emergency Management Team. The task force is focused on ensuring that Quinnipiac is prepared for any case of illness or need.
How to best protect yourself:
- Please remember that the best protection is self-protection and self-monitoring, especially in this flu season. We have an obligation to stay away from others if we are ill, or suspect we are ill. Health officials recommend the following measures to minimize your risk of contracting any virus:
- Get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, stress-relief and exercise – a healthy body is the best defense against illness;
- Wash your hands with soap frequently and completely, for at least 20 seconds, and especially after sneezing, shaking hands/bodily contact with another individual, and before eating;
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing, don’t use your hands;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
- Avoid contact with others who are sick – health officials call this “social distancing” and recommend staying about three feet away from someone who is sick;
- Stay home and do not travel if you’re sick;
- Be mindful of the risks of illness during travel, including any travel you have planned over spring break.
Resources and additional information:
If you have any questions or begin to experience flu-like symptoms, please contact Student Health Services at 203-582-8742. Staff and faculty members who experience symptoms should contact their primary care physicians for guidance.
For additional information and resources about the coronavirus, we recommend the following:
- CDC web site – The CDC is publishing its latest updates, health tips, and country-specific travel information.
- Coronavirus Q&A – The World Health Organization has published a helpful Q&A addressing many of the common questions about the virus.
Rest assured, along with national and state agencies, we are working to anticipate and prevent any impact of the virus on our campus community while preparing for any and all contingencies. We will continue to monitor events and provide you with additional updates, as warranted.
With very kind regards,
Jennifer Gerarda Brown
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President