COVID-19 Coronavirus

Updated: February 13,  2020 4:06pm

The University of Utah has put together a coronavirus working group to track the risk of this disease to our campus community. The group is working in concert with the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Utah Department of Health to make plans on how to respond if and when COVID-19 is detected in Utah. To date, the virus has not been confirmed in Utah. 

UNIVERSITY ASIA CAMPUS
Due to concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus in Korea, the UAC New Student Orientation scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, will be cancelled.  This decision was made to reduce gathering of large numbers of individuals in one location.  As of now the Spring Term will commence, as planned, on Monday, Feb. 24 with normal operations.

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KEY POINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

TravelTRAVEL

Based on recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the university recommends non-essential travel to China be cancelled or rescheduled. See FAQ below for details.

Protect YourselfPROTECTING YOURSELF

You can protect yourself from coronavirus the same way you protect yourself from other viruses with a few common sense practices. 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. 
  • Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible. 
  • Disinfect shared surfaces. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 

Student HousingSTUDENT HOUSING

Officials in Housing and Residential Education and University Student Apartments have protocols in place for flu/cold season including wiping down common area flat surfaces and door handles and rooms set aside specifically for sick students to help prevent the spread of illness. See full FAQ for details. 

Important note: If the coronavirus is discovered in Utah, local county health departments in coordination with the state health department take the lead on tracking patients and those they have come in contact with to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you have questions please call the Utah Department of Health Resource Center at 1-888-222-2442. 

FULL FAQ

No, there is no coronavirus present at the University of Utah. The Utah Department of Health is investigating several persons with symptoms and potential exposure.

Yes. The University of Utah has put together a coronavirus working group to track the risk. This group is working in concert with the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Utah Department of Health to make plans on how to respond if and when coronavirus is detected. 

The university is taking its lead from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of State, which are both advising that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.  Questions regarding global travel plans to/through international areas affected by the outbreak should be directed to Global Risk Management in the Office for Global Engagement (801-587-8888).”

International Student and Scholar Services is monitoring current travel restrictions being put  in place by the United States government. They are monitoring the situation and will contact students as needed to help them understand how these restrictions may impact them. 

Housing and Residential Education (HRE), University Student Apartments (USA), and Student Health have worked together to put plans in place if a student living on campus is found to have coronavirus. 

  • If a resident comes down with the virus, and the student is not retained in a hospital or home setting, we have rooms set aside that have their own bathroom to support isolation.
  • Meals to go can be obtained through Dining Services and provided to the resident.  Meals are left outside of the room with communication to the individual that it has arrived.
  • The Resident Director for the space where the student lives will be the resident's primary contact. This includes a daily communication to the resident asking for anything they need as well as their meal order, pick up, and delivery.
  • HRE Custodial team wipes down common area flat surfaces and door handles. This process starts in October and goes through March for the flu season. 

You can protect yourself from coronavirus the same way you protect yourself from other viruses with a few common sense practices. 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. 
  • Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible. 
  • Disinfect shared surfaces. 

The coronavirus that is causing concern has symptoms similar to other respiratory illnesses. These may include: 

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath 

Treatment for this coronavirus is like treatment for other respiratory illnesses. There is no vaccine or cure so health care professionals treat the symptoms as best they care. 

Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. If they feel you should be seen by medical personnel we request that you call ahead to the health care center where you will be going so they can take precautions and not potentially expose other patients to coronavirus.

The fatality rate of COVID-19 is slightly less than that of the seasonal flu. 

Yes. As a major health care provider for Utah and the region, it is expected that patients with the virus would be treated at University of Utah Health. Experts in infection and disease at the hospitals and clinics are well -versed in best practices and patients being treated at university facilities would not represent a risk to the greater campus community. 

In the event that you or someone you know exhibits symptoms of novel coronavirus it is recommended that you first call your primary care provider to get a consultation before coming into a health facility. If they feel you should be seen by medical personnel we request that you call ahead to the health care center where you will be going so they can take precautions and not potentially expose other patients to coronavirus.

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