General COVID-19 Information
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Slippery Rock University is in regular communication with county and state health and emergency officials to monitor the on-going situation. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available. It is prudent to recognize that as the outbreak is still evolving, the risk of possible infection is great.
What is novel coronavirus?
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), commonly known as a coronavirus, is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers this a serious public health concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk from a coronavirus to the general American public is considered low at this time. For additional information, visit the CDC website.
What are the symptoms? Similar to the common cold and influenza, common symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure.
How is it spread?
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. Symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization.
Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing.
- Close personal contact, such as touching and shaking hands.
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
- In rare cases, contact with feces.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- Difficulty breathing
What should I do if I feel ill?
If you have traveled to or through a CDC Level 3 (widespread, ongoing transmission) Warning country and develop a fever (temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, seek medical advice by calling your primary health care provider or local health department.
If you cannot reach your primary health care provider or local health department, call ahead before going to the emergency room to notify them in case of recent travel to countries or locations within the U.S. with elevated levels of COVID-19.
What should I do if I've recently traveled to a country with coronavirus cases?
We strongly recommend any student returning from a CDC Level 3 (widespread, ongoing transmission) Warning country, whether on personal travel or University-associated travel, self-isolate at home for two weeks to reduce the potential spread of the virus.
During your 14-day self-isolation, check your temperature daily. If you develop a fever (temperature >100.4) or symptoms of a respiratory illness such as cough or shortness of breath, please seek medical advice by calling your primary health care provider or local health department. If you cannot reach your primary health care provider or local health department, call ahead prior to visiting an emergency room to notify them of your recent travel.
Who can I contact with more questions?
Health questions can be directed to Student Health Services at 724.738.2052.
Parents and students seeking additional information should contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724.738.2155.
SRU employees with work-related questions, individuals may call Human Resources at 724.738.2070.
Additional information about the coronavirus can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health page here.
How do I prevent getting the Coronavirus?
Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent COVID-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends typical infectious disease precautions, just as those used to prevent cold or flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
- Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
- Stay home while you are ill (except to visit a healthcare professional) and avoid close contact with others.
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional public health measure. Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. For more information from the CDC, click here.
Download an accessible version of the above infographic for screen reader purposes.
Health questions can be directed to Student Health Services at 724.738.2052. Parents and students can contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724.738.2155. SRU employees with work-related questions can call Human Resources at 724.738.2070.
Question about COVID-19?
Fill out the following form if you seek additional information about how SRU is responding to COVID-19.