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Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff, All Students
Message From:Message from the Wellness Center
Date Sent:Friday, February 28, 2020 04:32 PM CST

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Loyola Community:

With Spring Break beginning, we wanted to remind our community to stay current on the developments regarding COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus, and to take preventative actions as you would routinely do in preparation for the annual flu and cold season. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff remains of utmost importance to us.

The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health agencies domestically and internationally remind us that sound hygiene and sanitation practices are the best defense to preventing the spread of this virus, in the same way that they help prevent the spread of colds and flu.

To date, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the virus within our University community here in the U.S. or our study abroad programs.

Our Loyola University Chicago Wellness Center remains engaged with global, federal, state, and local health organizations and continues to monitor the situation closely so that we can best advise our community and implement current recommendations. According to the CDC, “the immediate health risk from Covid-19 is considered low” for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time.

In addition, a core COVID-19 response team has been mobilized at Loyola that reviews information from a range of associations like the American College Health Association (ACHA), government officials, and regulatory agencies abroad and at home. This includes ministries of health and local officials in the 33 countries where we have students.

This response team is working cross-functionally across teams, campuses, and programs to ensure the health and well-being of all of our students, including international and study abroad students, and to minimize disruption to their academic programs wherever possible and prudent. Our moratorium on University-sponsored travel to China remains in place with no study abroad programs in China for this semester.

We are in continual contact with students, faculty, and staff in the field in the countries where they are conducting their studies. We are asking them to be aware of any new developments and inform us regularly about their individual country health requirements, to follow guidelines established by Loyola and the health authorities in their host countries, and to communicate regularly with us and their families.

In the meantime, we urge you to continue to practice safe hygiene to ensure yourself, your families, friends, and our community stay healthy. Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you feel sick or have spent time with someone who has been diagnosed with this virus, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Loyola students can call Dial-a-Nurse at 773-508-8883 with questions or visit the Wellness Center for updates. Faculty and staff can contact their health care providers should they have questions.

Prevention

Reminder that the following can help prevent the spread of coronaviruses and protect you:

  • 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 with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you experience any symptoms during this cold and flu season and feel sick with fever, cough, or breathing difficulty, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • 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.

As we read reports of the increased incidents of COVID-19, we can take comfort in knowing that legions of health officials and experts across the globe are working diligently to remind us how to stay well, advance prevention, and increase and share learnings about this virus.

Other relevant updates will be provided to you as this dynamic situation continues to unfold and other information becomes available.

Our wish for you is to enjoy your Spring Break by exercising good judgement and hygiene.


Sincerely,

Joan Holden, APRN, ANP-BC

Director, Loyola Wellness Center