The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all Americans take safety precautions and continue to monitor news of the coronavirus outbreak, which causes a respiratory illness known as COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in humans and other mammals, birds, bats and reptiles. In humans, they cause upper respiratory infection symptoms such as fever, cough, stuffy nose and shortness of breath. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Many mild cases can be treated with rest and over-the-counter medication. In the more severe cases, breathing difficulties may occur and medical intervention should be sought.
Epidemiology experts have said the best form of preparedness is to remain calm and take the same steps taken to avoid the flu and common cold.
What to Do About the Coronavirus
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus. To help prevent an infection, avoid travel to areas with high outbreaks, comply with travel bans and do the same things you would do to avoid the common cold.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hand, but still wash your hands.
Clean your hands often.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try to avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
Avoid sharing personal household items.
Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. All these items should be washed thoroughly after use with soap and water.
Stay home from classes or work if you are ill; monitor your symptoms; seek medical intervention as needed.
If you have any symptoms, such as a cough, fever or breathing difficulties, do not come to class or work. Students should inform their instructor(s) if they need to be absent due to illness and comply with their instructor(s)' policies. Faculty and staff should inform their department head/supervisor if they are ill and need to be absent from work in accordance with College and department policies. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your health care provider and tell them that you may have, or may need to be evaluated for the coronavirus. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
What the College is Doing About the Coronavirus
Hand sanitizing stations.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be located in numerous areas around the College's Main Campus and Regional Centers, including but not limited to reception areas and bathrooms.
Cleaning high-traffic areas.
Additional personnel will brought in to clean and disinfect high-traffic areas of the College.
Coronavirus information session.
Faculty in Community College of Philadelphia's Biology and Nursing departments will present current information on the coronavirus on Thursday, March 12 from 1:45-3 p.m in the Bonnell Building, Large Auditorium. Dr. Linda Powell and other Biology faculty members will discuss the known pathophysiology and the trending of the virus. Dr. Carol Moriarity from the Nursing Department will present information on personal protection, prevention of spread and treatment.