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Public Health Advisory

Published Monday, March 2nd, 2020

The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department and the Wayne State College student health office have issued guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus situation.

To: Students, staff, and faculty of Wayne State College

From: Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department and Wayne State College Student Health office

Date: March 2, 2020

RE: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

As you prepare for the March 9-13 Mid-Term Break, please be aware of the following information regarding the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation. The following information aims to help you stay healthy in the event that you plan to travel or come into contact with travelers during the break. Given current infection rates, consider your travel destinations for spring break.

Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department (NNPHD) has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation and staying in close contact with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prepare for and protect the people of Northeast Nebraska. Wayne State College student health employees are meeting with officials from Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department via conference call weekly to receive regular updates on the virus. This is a quickly changing situation with many unanswered questions. Individual risk from the virus depends on exposure.

There are simple things you can do to help yourself and others to stay healthy.

1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

3. Stay home and away from others when you are sick.

4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

COVID-19 can be a serious illness. Please do not let a lack of health insurance or money keep you from getting necessary healthcare.

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.

Certain people will have an increased risk of infection, for example, travelers to countries with community spread of COVID-19, healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19, and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19.

Public health is currently requesting help from the public to identify possible new cases of COVID-19. This guidance has been developed due to community spread in countries outside of China. Public Health is now requesting:

1. People with Symptoms: Anyone with known exposure to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 or who have returned to Nebraska in the last 14 days from the following countries: mainland China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam (as of the date of this report) and who have fever of at least 100.4 or respiratory symptoms (cough and/or shortness of breath) should stay home and away from others and call their doctor.

2. Travelers without symptoms from mainland China are requested to self-report to the Nebraska public health on-line tracking system (https://cip-dhhs.ne.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=JKHEPR4DPR) and to stay at home and away from others for 14 days. Reports can also be made via phone to NNPHD at 402-375-2200 or 800-375-2260.

3. Travelers without symptoms from South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are requested to self-report via the contact information listed in #2 above.

Always refer to CDC for the most up-to-date information: www.cdc.gov

Sincerely, 

Julie Rother, BSN, RN, CPH

Regina Korth, RN, WSC Student Health Nurse 402-375-7470 or studenthealth@wsc.edu