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Coronovirus Information - 2020

Interim Director of Student Health and Wellness Service Casey Anderson shared the following message with the Swarthmore College community on Mon., Jan. 28:

Dear Students,

By now, most of you are aware of the spread of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has since spread to other parts of the world.

We want to assure you that while there are no cases or even suspected cases at the College, the Worth Health and Wellness staff is closely monitoring the situation and working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the situation. We are writing to share the below information to educate you of symptoms and provide you with preventative measures during this time.

Signs and symptoms of the coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC believes the symptoms of the coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Transmission of coronavirus is suspected to be through sustained person-person contact.  

According to the CDC, if you traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including influenza, which is nearly at its seasonal peak. To that end, we ask that you remember these smart health tips recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  

  • 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.
  • Do not share anything that comes in contact with the mouth – water bottles, towels, drinking glasses, utensils, cosmetics, lip balm, toothbrushes or smoking materials.  

Again, we remain committed to your wellbeing and to keeping you informed. Be assured that we are monitoring international travel of community members and if we identify or suspect the virus is in our community, we have a plan in place and will provide updated information at that time.

Students with concerns should immediately contact the Worth Health and Wellness Center at 610-328-8058 during regular business hours or the after-hours on-call nurse at 610-328-8548. Members of the faculty and staff with symptoms or concerns should contact their healthcare providers.

More information about the coronavirus is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.   

Casey Anderson