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From the Vice President for Finance and Management

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Information Regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Buffalo State College is carefully monitoring the situation regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is in close communication with the Erie County Health Department, the New York State Department of Health, and SUNY officials. We will continue to share important information as it becomes available.   

This new coronavirus is a respiratory tract illness that may present with flu-like symptoms. It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to a growing number of countries. Several cases have been confirmed in the United States. While there are still no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York State (as of February 24, 2020), we encourage the campus community to remain informed and to be vigilant and aware of misinformation, false reporting, and hoaxes on social media regarding the coronavirus. For accurate, up-to-date information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or the New York State Department of Health website, or call the New York State coronavirus hotline at (888) 364-3065.

In an effort to further educate our campus community about the novel coronavirus, we are sharing important information about the virus and what to do if you suspect you are experiencing symptoms:

What to do if you have recently traveled to an affected country and become sick
If you are a student, call the Weigel Wellness Center immediately at (716) 878-6711. Please call before going to the clinic.

If you are a faculty or staff member, stay home and contact your personal health-care provider. Please call before going to the provider’s office or clinic.

Important health information for those who have recently traveled to an affected country
If you have recently traveled to an affected country and feel sick with a fever or a cough or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell the provider about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Stay home if you’re ill (except to seek medical care) and isolate yourself from family members, co-workers, or roommates.
  • Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Symptoms
Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to severe illness in most people. Symptoms can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever

How Does 2019 Novel Coronavirus Spread?
Most of the early reported cases had experienced contact with a seafood and live animal market, suggesting an animal source of the outbreak; however, most cases are now likely being spread from person to person by airborne droplets that are dispersed when an individual with the virus coughs or sneezes. Since this virus is very new, health authorities are continuing to carefully monitor how this virus spreads.

Prevention
While there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, these simple steps can help prevent the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

  • 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, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is unavailable, sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm (not your hands).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Treatment
There is no specific treatment available for any coronavirus. People infected with the coronavirus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Influenza
The campus community is reminded that this is also influenza (flu) season. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year and practicing good hygiene and common sense, such as washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick. Students can receive a flu shot by contacting the Weigel Wellness Center, while faculty and staff members are encouraged to contact their personal health-care providers. For more information about flu symptoms and prevention, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) flu website, contact the Weigel Wellness Center (students), or call your personal health-care provider (faculty and staff).

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