About the Virus
Understanding the situation is the first step to keeping yourself healthy.
U.S. COVID-19 cases include:
- Imported cases in travelers
- Cases among close contacts of a known case
- Community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
Based on what the CDC and the WHO know now, the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
- Follow social distancing guidelines; whenever possible maintain a distance of 3-6 feet from anyone sneezing or coughing.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Cover your cough with your arm, elbow or shoulder.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick, especially if you have a fever.
- Be kind to those who are worried or fearful concerning this outbreak.
The CDC does not recommend wearing masks to prevent healthy people from being affected by the COVID-19 virus.
The CDC has established the following exposure risk categories. These risk levels apply to travel-associated and community settings. These categories should be considered interim and subject to change.
- Living in the same household as, being an intimate partner of, or providing care in a nonhealthcare setting (such as a home) for a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection without using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation
- The same risk assessment applies for the above-listed exposures to a person diagnosed clinically with COVID-19 infection outside of the United States who did not have laboratory testing.
- Travel from Hubei Province, China
- Close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection, and not having any exposures that meet a high-risk definition.
- The same risk assessment applies for close contact with a person diagnosed clinically with COVID-19 infection outside of the United States who did not have laboratory testing.
- On an aircraft, being seated within 6 feet (two meters) of a traveler with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection; this distance correlates approximately with 2 seats in each direction
- Living in the same household as, an intimate partner of, or caring for a person in a nonhealthcare setting (such as a home) to a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection while consistently using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation
- Travel from mainland China outside Hubei Province AND not having any exposures that meet a high-risk definition
- Being in the same indoor environment (e.g., a classroom, a hospital waiting room) as a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time but not meeting the definition of close contact
- On an aircraft, being seated within two rows of a traveler with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 but not within 6 feet AND not having any exposures that meet a medium- or a high-risk definition
No Identifiable Risk
- Interactions with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection that do not meet any of the high-, medium- or low-risk conditions above, such as walking by the person or being briefly in the same room.
The CDC has reported:
“Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.”
All airlines are reporting that they have increased the amount of cleaning on planes between flights. You can also use disinfectant wipes to wipe down the back of the seat in front of you, the tray table, the armrests, the headrest, and the seat belts. At this point, no one knows how long the virus lives on soft or hard surfaces.
The COVID-19 virus is a major news story and topic of conversation across the globe. Not surprisingly, uninformed and unsupported information about the virus is flooding social media.
Many of these false reports speculate about the origin of coronavirus, the risks associated with it, and the methods of transmission. They often begin by offering preventative advice, starting with real, evidence-based tips about handwashing and staying home while sick. Then they devolve into harmful disinformation about how long the virus lives on particular surfaces, how far it can transmit from one person to another, whether or not the virus is temperature resistant, etc.
You should trust information from:
- The CDC, World Health Organization, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- What you find on this web page and in messages from the campus COVID-19 Task Force
- Medical databases, such as PubMed and MedLine
- Fact-Checking websites, like Snopes.com, FactCheck, and ProPublica
- Your Beloit College Librarians - pros at finding fact-based information and have a guide about evaluating sources here: http://guides.beloit.edu/fakenews
The COVID-19 Task Force is actively monitoring the situation and communicating with both local and state health department officials and with the local health care system emergency management coordinator.
Please see the communications sent to campus listed on the COVID-19 Information page.
The Task Force is meeting regularly to identify and plan for any challenges that might arise for our students, faculty, and staff including disruptions to classes, work, and travel.
The broad areas that the Task Force is addressing are:
- Campus health preparedness and response
- Study abroad and support of international students
- General emergency preparedness and response
- Community interaction and coordination
- Possible semester/summer course delivery interruption
- Summer and emergency accommodations
- Enrollment management and yield events
- General business continuity
Send your questions or concerns to the task force through email at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Beloit College is committed to helping to ensure that students studying abroad in spring 2020 will be able to complete their coursework. While the college does not have information at present on how this will play out for each student, it will continue to monitor the situation and will work with individual students to address their questions and needs.
MARCH 13, 2020
Students studying abroad during the spring 2020 semester were contacted individually on Thursday, March 12 to ask about their plans.
Students departing from study abroad sites.
- As of March 13, some students have or will return home from their host countries to complete coursework remotely.
- Beloit College will grant credit for coursework transcripted by host universities/programs, whether the coursework is completed on site or remotely.
- Students completing coursework remotely will remain full time students as long as they continue to be enrolled for the equivalent of at least 12-semester hour credits. This is the equivalent of 3 Beloit College course units.
- Guidance for completing coursework remotely will come directly to students from host universities/programs.
- Should students have concerns about their ability to maintain and complete a full-time courseload remotely, they should contact both Kathy Landon and Elizabeth (Betsy) Brewer: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students remaining abroad.
- Some students are remaining abroad to complete their semesters there.
- If they have not already contacted Kathy and Betsy about their plans, they should do so now at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If conditions change in their host countries such that their universities/programs recommend departure, they should convey this information to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kathy and Betsy will continue to monitor messaging about the impacts of the Corona virus on university/program operations abroad. However, universities and programs have different communication strategies, with information sometimes sent to students before being sent to sending institutions. Some universities are also communicating via updates on their websites. It is for this reason that we strongly encourage students to follow communications from their host universities/programs.
Contact the Health & Wellness Center or call your doctor if you…
- Develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or
- Have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.