CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
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Coronavirus FAQ

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory disease. It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Additional information about this emerging disease can be found at the CDC.

A member of our community who is an adjunct in the College of Music and Media has been officially diagnosed with COVID-19. Federal health privacy laws prohibit us from publishing our adjunct’s name. At this time, the individual is feeling ok and is in good spirits while in isolation at home. We have reached out already to people who have been identified as being in close contact with our adjunct. This is a reminder that we must all continue to be very careful, as we have significant community spread in New Orleans and in locations around the nation.

Be assured that, going forward, we have procedures in place to notify people who were in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, just as we have done in this case. We also remind you to report to Student Health Services or to Human Resources if you have been exposed or diagnosed with a presumptive or confirmed case of coronavirus as directed on our website. This is so that we may make every effort to keep you and fellow community members safe. 

Yes. The number of cases reported in New Orleans is still developing. For the most immediate updates on the spread of COVID-19, we recommend these resources: 

You can also text COVIDNOLA to 888777 to receive alerts from NOLA Ready. 

Over the weekend of March 7-8, at a downtown conference, a faculty member and two of our undergraduate students had lunch with someone who was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. They discovered and reported this information last night, Tuesday, March 10.

The professor and these two students, who all live off-campus, are currently all self-isolating and do not have any symptoms. President Tetlow has spoken to the director of state public health, who shares that there is not a reason to broaden that circle more widely—those who later interacted with the faculty and students do not also need to self-isolate. We will continue to update you on all such information.

Other faculty, students, and staff who recently returned from personal travel or study abroad in level-3 watch countries have also been asked to self-report and to self-isolate. Some of them have already completed this process. We encourage everyone to continue to show kindness, care and compassion to anyone in self-isolation while remaining vigilant and practicing social distancing. Care packages, letters, Facetime, texts, and skyping are always welcomed as a way to keep our community closeness while in distance.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath – similar to what you may feel with influenza or a bad cold. Currently, the CDC believes that symptoms appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Coronavirus can be transmitted person-to-person. Additional information about coronavirus symptoms can be found on the CDC website.

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from an area of a country where the virus is present, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact.

If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Those who have not recently visited an affected area but are experiencing influenza-like illness, with fever greater than 100.3, and symptoms including cough, body aches, severe sore throat, or runny nose, should consider seeking medical attention for the possibility of the flu, especially if symptoms worsen. Students should contact Student Health Services at 504.865.3326 and identify yourself as having flu-like symptoms. Students may also consult with their regular healthcare provider or seek treatment at the student health provider for their program if overseas. Faculty and staff who are ill with flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their personal physician.

The current evidence suggests a typical incubation period (time from exposure of the virus to the development of symptoms) is 2 to 7 days but might be up to 14 days in some individuals.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 are treated with supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Masks are only recommended for use in healthcare facilities by those who are being assessed or treated for a potential illness.

While there is still much that is unknown about the virus, we know what we can do to reduce our risk for infection from many infectious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water thoroughly, for 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • This helps to contain your germs without contaminating your hands. Use a tissue over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and dispose of dirty tissues immediately.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since germs spread this way.
  • Do not share drinks or eating utensils with anyone.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with germs like the flu, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and phones.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep/rest.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.
     

Social distancing is a public health safety intervention used to reduce the likelihood of transmitting communicable disease. Social distancing involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding large public gathering venues, adhering to spacing requirements in the workplace, and following proper personal hygiene practices. Here's a resource from NPR on how to practice social distancing.

Travel to any countries with a CDC warning level 3 must be approved by the Provost. The virus continues to emerge in countries beyond China where it was first discovered. Travel restrictions can change without much warning, so all travelers are encouraged to stay aware. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to assess the viability of any pre-existing travel plans, especially to any countries on the CDC watch/alert list, and to countries with new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

If a case of COVID-19 virus is confirmed, then CDC protocols will be followed. This includes notifying the community. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Updates will be posted on this website. Major notifications and announcements may also be shared via email. Be sure to check your university email on a regular basis.