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Monday, February 17, 2020
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A Message About Coronavirus

We are sharing the following information to help educate the Emerson campus community about an emerging global health concern: the 2019-novel coronavirus, (2019-nCOv), which first emerged in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, earlier this month.

While you may see headlines about coronavirus in the news, it is important to note that there are currently no identified cases of infection in Massachusetts.

Additionally, as it is cold and flu season, Boston has seen an uptick in emergency room visits related to flu symptoms in the past two to four weeks. It is not too late to get a flu shot, as flu season is expected though April! We encourage all students, staff, and faculty to obtain a flu shot to reduce the impact the virus can cause to individuals and our campus community.

Please review the information below and pay attention to your own health and the wellbeing of those around you. Students on an Emerson campus who have concerns should contact the Center for Health & Wellness at 617-824-8666 or healthservices@emerson.edu. Emerson Los Angeles students should contact ela_reslife@emerson.edu. Students studying abroad should contact their on-site program staff.

Emerson College staff and faculty should contact their own health care providers.

The CHW has been participating in Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) conference calls specifically targeted for college and university health care providers, and following their recommendations.

Individuals who have traveled to or from the Asia-Pacific region within the last 14 days and are experiencing fever, cough with difficulty breathing, wheezing, or shortness of breath should seek medical attention immediately and inform providers of your recent travel. For those who must travel to areas where the virus has been identified, we recommend you monitor your health status for 14 days on return from travel. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggests steps to take if you must travel to Wuhan.

This virus (2019-nCov) is a respiratory infection spread through cough and sneeze droplets. It is not airborne, and routine use of respiratory/surgical masks does not provide any added benefit for individuals who are healthy. (The CHW routinely asks students presenting with symptoms of flu or fever to wear a mask while they are in the CHW to prevent possible flu virus exposure to others.) 

The simple actions below will help to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses and create a healthier campus community:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.
  • Review the guidelines for Flu and Self care and stay home, out of class or other social activities for a minimum of four days from the start of symptoms OR until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever lowering medications  

The Boston Public Health Commission has provided an FAQ on the virus on its website.

Additional information about (2019-nCOv) can be found at U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), Boston Public Health Commission, or the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

If you are planning to travel, please review the CDC Travel Health Notice for current information on your travel destinations. Travel health coverage is provided for students enrolled in the College’s BCBS insurance plan

The Center for Health & Wellness can assist with guidance and answer questions Monday, Thursday, and Friday,, 9:00 am– 5:00 pm; Tuesdays, 9:00 am- 8:00 pm; and Wednesdays, 1:00-8:00 pm.

I hope you are well,  

Jane Powers, MSN, ANP–BC,
Director, Emerson College Center for Health & Wellness

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