University of Saint Francis makes preparations for coronavirus

March 5, 2020

USF COVID-19 Update

People and institutions around the world are addressing concerns and preparing to deal with COVID-19, which is a disease caused by a coronavirus. The University of Saint Francis joins others in this important precautionary stage.

USF is working closely with state and local agencies, the Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control in coordinating efforts to deal with COVID-19. In conjunction, USF is updating its emergency plan for pandemics in case COVID-19 becomes a health threat to USF’s Fort Wayne campus, USF Crown Point or the continuation of coursework at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Lafayette.

While there have been no reports of COVID-19 affecting the USF community, we know that can change and we are planning to take appropriate measures. USF will follow CDC warnings and guidelines to avoid trips to any country with level 2 or level 3 travel advisories for coronavirus.

Other USF plans include:

Limiting the spread if a case arrives. If COVID-19 afflicts someone on campus, USF is putting steps in place to protect that person and those around them. This includes places for quarantine and taking precautions for those who have interacted with an infected person.

Incorporating additional measures. If COVID-19 afflicts someone on campus, USF may also enact restrictions on all face-to-face interactions. USF is working on developing alternative modes of teaching, including further using our online systems and communications. Our plan also considers what affect this will have on resident halls.

Providing information. As information arises, USF will provide COVID-19 updates to students, faculty, staff and others. USF will continue to collaborate with state and local public health departments about further developments.

USF will be proactive in planning and taking necessary steps to ensure the best-possible safety for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

In the meantime, all of us can take precautionary measures to deal with a potential virus. We strongly encourage everyone on campus to be persistent about hand washing and avoiding contact with those who are sick. If you are sick, please stay home and contact your health care professional. USF students can visit the Health and Wellness Center, 1516 Leesburg Road. If you are traveling, we encourage  you to be extremely cautious.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Shepler, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Administration, at 260-399-7700, ext. 6920, or email jshepler@sf.edu, or Rhonda Wendler, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs at 260-399-7700, ext. 6747, or email her at rwendler@sf.edu.

COVID-19 FACTS TO KNOW

Novel coronavirus is a coronavirus causing an outbreak of lower respiratory illness, COVID-19. It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. Since then, it has been identified in various other countries, including the United States.

The University of Saint Francis will monitor the situation in coordination with state and local public health departments to be prepared for any developments if COVID-19 cases emerge in the local area.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

The illness ranges from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The spread of the virus is fluid and continues to be monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department. Travel advisories are issued through those entities.

HEALTH TIPS

Allen County Health Advisory Letter

There is no current vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this new strain of coronavirus.

Everyday steps to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Learn more about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://www.in.gov/isdh/28470.htm

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.acha.org/ACHA/Resources/Topics/2019_Novel_Coronavirus_2019-nCoV.aspx

https://www.allencountyhealth.com/get-informed/covid-19/

Congressman Jim Banks update

USF will provide updates as information develops.