By now, you no doubt have heard news about the coronavirus called COVID-19. I wanted to pass along some information about what COVID-19 is and how NCU is preparing for it.
Broadly speaking, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. COVID-19 is a new and has not been seen in humans before. At this time, there are three identified cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. You can review statewide tracking here.
Based on current information, the Centers for Disease Control and our state and local public health departments consider that the risk to most Oregonians is low.
NCU is closely monitoring the situation, actively planning for the potential that COVID-19 could affect our campus as well as our study abroad and mission trips. We are working with public health authorities and are following their informed guidance. We are also working with our staff to keep our campus clean and students healthy. We have encouraged any staff and students with respiratory illnesses to stay home.
Public health officials recommend taking the following precautions to stay healthy and prevent the spread of many respiratory illnesses including coronavirus:
- Avoid shaking hands – use the fist or elbow bump.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw it in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If that’s not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Sanitize frequently touched objects and surfaces with a cleaning wipe or spray.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well, and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
- In the face of rumors, check a reliable information source such as oregon.gov/oha.
We will continue to provide updated information as needed. Reliable information and ongoing updates from public health officials include:
- Local public health nurse talks about COVID-19
- Oregon Health Authority – COVID-19 resources
- CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019
Joseph Womack, Ed.D