While COVID‑19 can be a very dangerous disease that is easily spread, there are a few simple principles that can help keep everyone healthy. They include getting vaccinated, washing your hands, covering your mouth/nose, wearing a mask if you are not vaccinated and not standing too close to others.
This best way to protect yourself and others is by getting vaccinated. Research has shown all of the vaccines approved by the CDC are highly effective against COVID‑19. Once fully vaccinated, the CDC no longer recommends masking or social distances in most instances. For the latest information on vaccinations or to schedule an appointment, visit the Magers Health and Wellness Center vaccination webpage.
Wash your hands and minimize contact with surfaces
While the risk of infection from touching a surface is low, the most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly and vigorously wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Between hand washings, use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed across campus. You may also want to consider carrying a personal-size bottle of hand sanitizer, so you have one with you at all times.
Avoid touching surfaces. Throughout our day, we touch door handles, handrails, elevator buttons and many surfaces others have touched. While custodial staff is taking additional actions to keep those surfaces clean, it is not possible to do this between every person. Germs left on a surface can be picked up by the next person to encounter it, who may then become infected when they touch their mouth, nose or eyes.
Avoid using your hands. While it is natural to push a door open with your hands, consider using an arm, shoulder or foot to avoid touching the surfaces with your hands. Consider using an elbow to push an elevator button rather than your hand.
Cover your mouth/nose
Cover your mouth and nose. This is normally done by wearing a mask or cloth face covering to prevent the spread of germs. It also includes covering your cough or sneeze when you are without a face covering.
Don’t stand too close
Keep at least 6 feet of physical distance between you and others. This is generally called social distancing.
We have all felt uncomfortable when someone stands too close and is in our personal space. With COVID‑19, our personal space has been extended to 6 feet because the virus generally spreads through droplets caused by someone coughing, sneezing or even talking.
Avoid shaking hands. Shaking hands has long been the standardized way of greeting others. However, it can risk the health of each person, so a friendly smile and a wave helps keep everyone healthier.
If you are unable to keep your distance, wearing a face covering becomes increasingly important, along with minimizing the amount of time you are closer than 6 feet.
Using these three principles will not only help you, but they will also help those at high-risk of developing serious complications from COVID‑19.
While masks are not generally required to be worn while outdoors on campus, wearing a mask will provide additional protection to you and others. Wearing a mask is required in all buildings on campus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe flu-like illness and death for confirmed COVID‑19 cases.
The most important way to prevent others from getting sick is to monitor yourself for symptoms and stay home or in your room if you have any unexplained symptoms.
The university strongly encourages every student and employee to take a few moments each morning before leaving your room or home to ask yourself if you have or are experiencing:
- A fever (temperature over 100.4⁰F) without the use of fever-reducing medications?
- New loss of smell or taste?
- Muscle or body aches?
- Sore throat?
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
- Congestion or runny nose?
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
- Have you, or anyone you have been in close contact with, been diagnosed with COVID‑19?
- Have you been asked to isolate or quarantine by a health care provider or a local public health official?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions follow the guidance for someone with COVID‑19 symptoms.