Mount Aloysius College is closely monitoring the Coronavirus Outbreak
International Travel –Spring Break Week
The spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, is a significant concern for Colleges & Universities across the country including Mount Aloysius especially due to upcoming Spring Breaks when many students travel internationally.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published risks to those considering international travel including unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges returning home, and difficulty accessing health care. Anyone considering international Travel over the spring break week must consider all the risks to themselves as well others with whom they live and work.
There are currently no known or suspected cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at Mount Aloysius. However, we are instituting several measures proactively to protect the campus community following the Break.
Any student, faculty, or staff member who is traveling internationally, regardless of destination, is REQUIRED to inform the Director of Student Health, Ms. Shannon Grove, of their travel plans BEFORE leaving Campus. You may do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 814/886-6391.
Those who intend on traveling overseas must be aware of the following:
- You may be subject to involuntary quarantine by the United States and/or Pennsylvania State governments upon returning to the United States. This applies regardless of your travel destination, and is contingent upon the government’s evaluation of public health risk. This includes those traveling on foreign and U.S. passports.
- Those who travel internationally, particularly during the upcoming spring break, may not be able to return to the United States as a result of federal travel restrictions or quarantines imposed by U.S. or foreign governments. While there is evidence that the United States government has been repatriating citizens quarantined overseas, there is no guarantee of expediency, and these costs are generally not covered by the government.
- College health officials may require anyone who has traveled to certain countries to impose a 14 to 21-day self-quarantine prior to returning to campus. Please be aware that the College cannot provide accommodations for students or employees who miss significant work or class time as a result of travel quarantine or restrictions. Please be aware of this risk if you opt to travel internationally in the near future.
Countries for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel, will require at least a 14-day self-quarantine period before a Student or Employee is permitted to return to campus.
Each of us is responsible for following good public health practices to minimize the spread of illness. Please practice good handwashing techniques and take frequent advantage of the alcohol-based hand sanitizers located in dispensing units throughout College buildings.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, trouble breathing, consistent coughing) not come to work, “until they are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).”
As a result of the CDC’s recommendation, Mount Aloysius College is requiring that any employee who is experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness refrain from coming to work until the Symptoms have resolved. Supervisors are asked to send employees home if they are exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory illness.
Students and Faculty: Students who are experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness should refrain from going to class and limit their contact with others.
We encourage students who are experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness to immediately make an appointment with the Health Services Office by calling 814-886-6515.
The Health Services office can provide written excuses for students who they treat, which can be used to address individual faculty member’s attendance policies. We ask that faculty consider providing opportunities for students who miss class to engage in alternative educational activities (e.g., assignments through Canvas).
International Student Travel: The College is currently working to identify opportunities for international students who may be unable to travel home to remain on campus. International students who are not able to travel home for the upcoming Spring Break should contact the Office of Residence Life (814) 886-6510 and follow the regular Spring Break Extended Stay process. If the Coronavirus continues to be a concern as the semester progresses, additional information will be provided regarding housing options for any international students who may not be able to travel home for the summer.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) INFORMATION
Types of Notices
Please check the travel notice level of where you are traveling.
Warning Level 3 (Red): Avoid all non-essential travel to this destination. The outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.
Alert Level 2 (Yellow): Practice enhanced precautions for this destination. The Travel Health Notice describes additional precautions added, or defines a specific at-risk population.
Watch Level 1 (Green): Practice usual precautions for this destination, as described in the Travel Health Notice and/or on the destination page. This includes being up-to-date on all recommended vaccines and practicing appropriate mosquito avoidance.
In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider.
Coronavirus: Respiratory Illness
CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other locations internationally, including the United States.
How it Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily does the virus spread?
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:
- Shortness of breath
At this time, diagnostic testing for 2019-nCoV can be conducted only at CDC. State and local health departments will be notified when a person is identified a person under investigation (PUI).
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.