Health Alert: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus that causes respiratory illness. It was first identified in December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China. The first case was confirmed in the United States on January 21, 2020.


Symptoms

Fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, severe weakness, and pneumonia.

Symptoms may develop rapidly and be much more dramatic than a “typical cold.”

Faculty/Staff: If you have traveled in or through these areas of concern in the past 14 days and have any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care physician for medical instructions.

Students: If you have traveled in or through these areas of concern in the past 14 days and have any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care physician or Pelham Medical Service in the Schacht Center at 413-585-2250.

  • Stay in isolation until one of our nurses calls you back. Do not come to our office, attend class, or any dining hall in order to limit risk of exposure to others.

  • If your symptoms are severe and you are feeling very weak, have a hard time breathing or have uncontrolled coughing, it is important to get help right away. Please call Campus Police at (413) 585-2490 or ext 800 from a campus phone.


Prevention Information from the CDC

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.