This message was sent to the CUAA community from the Concordia University Ann Arbor Dean of Students Rev. John Rathje and Vice President of Administration Rev. Dr. Ryan Peterson on March 2, 2020 at 4:24 p.m.
Concordia University Dean of Students and Administration in coordination with the Washtenaw County Health Department and MI Department of Health and Human Services is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new Coronavirus (2019nCoV or COVID-19). Additionally, Concordia University Administration keeps abreast of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates and follows CDC guidelines regarding the new Coronavirus.
There are currently no confirmed cases at CUAA or in Washtenaw County or in Michigan.
What is novel coronavirus (2019nCoV or COVID-19)?
2019nCoV 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. In addition to Wuhan, China, other countries such as Italy, South Korea, and Iran have confirmed cases. This list and current recommendations remain in flux as the situation changes globally, so we will update if/when there are significant developments.
According to the 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 U.S. public is considered low at this time.
Symptoms & Transmission
Symptoms of the new Coronavirus include:
- Shortness of breath and/or breathing difficulties
The new coronavirus (2019nCoV) can cause mild to severe illness, including pneumonia.
Anyone who develops fever and respiratory symptoms and has travelled internationally in the past 14 days is advised to stay home and contact a health care provider.
Individuals who have travelled internationally, but do not have symptoms, pose no risk and should not be excluded from classroom or campus activities. You CANNOT tell if someone has a risk of spreading novel coronavirus by what they look like. Stereotypes and discrimination harm public health.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019nCov infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Currently there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- 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.
- Get a flu vaccine.
Review additional documentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has developed guidance for child care programs, K-12 schools, and colleges/universities. Those documents are available at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-for-schools.html
Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:
If you have symptoms of fever and cough, and/or difficulty breathing AND in the last 14 days you:
- Traveled to Wuhan, or
- Visited an affected region in China (and any country with confirmed cases) or
- Had close contact with someone who traveled to an affected region in China (and any country with confirmed cases) and had respiratory symptoms
- Seek medical care. Before you go to the doctor’s office or ER, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms
- Students: may call Campus Safety if they have symptoms (if they have questions, call the Dean of Students office: 734-995-7419) and share this update sheet with your family.
- Employees should contact their health care provider
- Avoid contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
What is CUAA doing about 2019nCoV?
- CUAA Administration stays in close communication with the Washtenaw Health Department for updates and guidance
- If epidemiological risk would be identified in an ill patient, CUAA Campus Safety and the Dean of Students would immediately report the clinical presentation to the county health department and take steps in accordance with CDC guidelines.
For additional information:
Washtenaw County Health Department: www.washtenaw.org/1129/Health-Department
MI Department of Health and Human Services: www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/ (Public Health Emergencies ONLY: 517-335-9030)
Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/COVID19
World Health Organization: www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Posted March 2, 2020 at 4:24 p.m.
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