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 known or 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 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.
- Wear a mask to prevent affecting others and 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.
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.
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.