As the COVID-19/coronavirus situation continues to evolve around the world and in the United States, so, too, are the policies and recommendations we are putting forth to maintain a safe environment at our University.
It is helpful to all of us to educate ourselves on the coronavirus—the origins of COVID-19; the symptomology; precautions that can be taken to prevent contracting or spreading the virus; what should be done if you suspect you or someone you know may be affected by the virus.
What is COVID-19, or coronavirus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus first detected in China but which has now been detected in nearly 90 locations internationally, including the United States.
What are the COVID-19 symptoms?
According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus—fever, cough, difficulty breathing—are similar to the flu and may appear two to 14 days after exposure. If you develop symptoms consistent with the flu or are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19:
- Students: Contact our Interim Dean of Students and Director of the Wellness Center, Del Rey Honeycutt (Honeycutt@alfred.edu). Del Rey will connect you with a health care professional who will determine the need for further testing and treatment.
- Faculty and staff: Seek medical care from your health care provider; self-isolate and work from home.
What precautions can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Public health officials recommend the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and do not travel or report to work.
- Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Alfred University also recommends faculty, staff and students practice “social distancing”— maintaining space between individuals and limiting physical contact (such as by shaking hands).
What travel restrictions are in place at Alfred University?
Alfred University is following all local, state, and national guidelines from the CDC and other official public health organizations with regard to travel guidelines. Our University is reviewing the status for various countries and states daily. We are not currently cancelling University-sponsored domestic travel. However, any University-sponsored international travel to a country that has declared a level 3 or level 4 COVID-19 status will be cancelled. We strongly discourage personal travel to a country that has declared a level 3 or level 4 COVID-19 status. Anyone returning from a country designated at level 3 or 4 status will be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to our campus.
The University is considering restricting travel to conferences and meetings at which there will be more than 50 people in attendance. While no such restriction is currently in place, such a policy may be announced in the near future, based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and/or the New York State Department of Health. As such, please continue to review all official university communications on the topic.
It is important to note that any student who experiences symptoms of coronavirus must self-quarantine, and will not be penalized for missing class(es).
Alfred University will be reassessing our policies and recommendations relative to the coronavirus as updates on the situation are released by the CDC.