The novel coronavirus (COVID-19)is a newly identified illness that is transmitted from human to human and from contact with infected surfaces or objects. You have likely heard about COVID-19 over the past few months. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a strain of coronavirus. It’s part of the same family of coronavirus diseases that includes the common cold.
What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?
They can be similar to the flu or cold: fever of 100.4°F or higher, felt feverish, chills, muscle aches, body aches, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, hoarseness, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea or loose stools, or lost sense of smell or taste. Symptoms can occur in as few as 2 days after exposure, or as long as 14+ days after exposure.
How does the virus spread?
Like many other viruses, COVID-19 seems to spread from person to person and from contact with infected surfaces or objects.
Who is at risk? Evidence related to China’s statistics shows that 80% of the cases are mild. The individuals at-risk are the aging population, those with underlying medical conditions, or individuals with compromised immune systems. At this time, the pediatric age group (0-19 years) and younger populations (20-30-year-olds) have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe symptoms are possible, they are uncommon.
Generally, our faculty and staff are at a higher risk simply due to age. While we do not want you to share with us your underlying medical condition or conditions, we do want you to be vigilant about staying healthy, and containing this virus. Individuals with diabetes, asthma, COPD, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, obesity, or a compromised immune system, etc. are at a higher risk.
What does “social-distancing” mean? CDC is recommending that all people “social-distance” themselves from other people and households, providing at least six (6) feet in between you and others.
It is important to know how Public Health Stages work during a pandemic like COVID–19.
The first stage is containment and the goal of this stage is to keep the virus as contained as possible. So for example, quarantines, travel advisories, etc., are put in place in order to keep the virus from spreading too rapidly.
The second stage is mitigation and this means that the virus is in the area, people are infected, and now stronger measures are taken to, again, slow down the spread of the virus and illness. A goal of this stage, for example, is to keep as many people on staff up and running — to prevent all the workers from coming down with illness at the same time so that operations can continue.
The third stage is management, and this means that the virus has spread to a community or region and there is no real way to slow its progress — now the task is to manage the illness and to treat people and help people recover and return to their work, studies, activities, etc. We are currently operating in this stage.
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, has been identified as a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. At present, there is no vaccine to prevent a person from contracting COVID-19 and no standardized, effective treatment for those who are infected. While it is true that the majority of people who are infected with coronavirus are asymptomatic or suffer only mild symptoms, some infected persons have extremely negative health outcomes, including long-term respiratory damage and/or death. The coronavirus is highly contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets.
As a result, federal, state, and local governments and federal and state health agencies recommend social distancing and have, in many locations, prohibited or dramatically limited the congregation of groups of people. The public health response continues to evolve as we learn more about the virus and the disease it causes.
Martin Luther College (MLC) takes the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, children of families served, visitors, contractors who serve MLC, and our community seriously. We are called to love our neighbors. Accordingly, MLC has put in place a number of preventative measures to attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19; however, MLC cannot guarantee that you or others in your family will not come into contact with the coronavirus or with someone infected with the virus while you are on campus or attending/participating in an MLC sponsored event. Likewise, we cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with COVID-19.