Novel Corona Virus

3/3/20

Public Health provides guidance for returning travelers

As an increasing number of countries around the world begin to experience person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 infections, there are questions about what travelers should do when they return to the U.S.

For travelers from China, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still actively screening at airports and notifying local public health departments at their final destination. These individuals are then monitored by public health.

Individuals returning from Italy, Japan, South Korea and Iran are also considered to be at an elevated risk of exposure. Although the CDC has not made any formal monitoring recommendations for these individuals, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Branch is asking returning travelers from areas with sustained community transmission to monitor themselves for fever and respiratory symptoms upon their return.

  • If you are a returning traveler experiencing mild respiratory symptoms that do not usually require medical care such as a mild runny nose, sore throat or cough without fever (temperature less than 100.4 F), please stay home while ill and until symptoms clear.
  • If you are a returning traveler experiencing more concerning symptoms and feel you need medical evaluation, please phone your medical provider or the emergency department before going in for care. This allows facilities and providers to take proper precautions to reduce the spread of disease. If you have any questions about this, you can also phone the Public Health Branch at 707-445-6200.

Standard public health recommendations for ill individuals apply regardless of travel history and include staying home when ill, covering your cough, washing hands frequently and cleaning commonly used surfaces in the home often such as keyboards, remotes, phones, doorknobs, handles and counters. Taking these measures inside the home will help to protect family members if you are ill. Having ill family members keep some distance from other household members, such as staying in their own sleep area as much as possible rather than in common spaces, can also help to decrease spread.

When COVID-19 begins to circulate within our own community, there will no longer be a need for travelers to self-identify as they will be at no higher risk of infection than anyone else in the community. DHHS Public Health, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC are closely watching this rapidly evolving situation and will provide additional guidance as it becomes available.

At some point, when our community is seeing spread of COVID-19, we may implement some social distancing strategies such as cancelling large events, recommending people avoid large gathering places and even working with schools on temporary closures. These strategies can be effective in slowing the number of new cases but also have broad-based community impacts, so these measures will only be taken if they are likely to help limit transmission. 

In the meantime, review your family’s emergency preparedness plan just as you would for earthquakes or fires or other events that might disrupt normal day-to-day activities. Being prepared will help to decrease the impact of COVID-19 in our community.

For more information about COVID-19, please call Public Health during normal business hours at 707-445-6200, or visit Humboldt Health Alert at humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert.

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Public Health guidance for travelers

2/21/20 

Humboldt State University

First Case of Documented Novel Corona Virus infection in Humboldt County

The Humboldt County Public Health Department has received confirmation from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a case of COVID-19 in a Humboldt County resident. There is a second ill individual who is a close contact of the index case and is being tested. This second case is not yet confirmed. This marks the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Humboldt County.

Presently, the ill individuals are doing well and are self-isolating at home, while being monitored for symptoms by the Public Health Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control Unit. Any close contacts of this individual will be quarantined at home and monitored for symptoms by health department staff. With the amount of foreign travel by County residents, including travel to China, it is not surprising that a case has emerged locally. 

Per the Humboldt County Public Health Department, there is no current evidence the novel coronavirus is circulating in the local community. The risk to the public is still low.

Recommendations for campus community:

  1. Stay home if you are sick or have a fever. You should remain at home until you do not have a fever for 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications.
  2. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching you face and eyes, nose, mouth with your hands.
  3. Perform routine cleaning at home particularly for high touch surfaces like door knobs.
  4. Ill students with fevers, cough or severe illness can be evaluated at the HSU Student Health Center. Please notify the Student Health Center at 707-826-3146 before coming and wear a mask if you have traveled out of the country in the last 2 weeks or if you had close contact with a person with a known COVOD-19 infection.
  5. Staff and faculty who are ill should seek care from their local health providers or an emergency room. Please notify these providers immediately if you have traveled out of the country in the past 2 weeks or have known exposure to a person with COVD-19 infection.
  6. Minimize unnecessary traveling. Consult the CDC or State Department website for more information on travel recommendations
  7. Consider limiting attendance at optional large gatherings. This is where colds, flu and other respiratory viral infections are spread.

 

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Webpage

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


 

Message to HSU Campus regarding traveling over Spring Break

2/18/2020

We want all of our campus community to stay as healthy as possible this Spring. Please try to get enough sleep and drink plenty of water.

Novel Corona Virus infections have become widespread in mainland China. When possible, avoid travel to mainland China where the risk of exposure to the novel Corona virus remains high.

According to the California Department of Public Health, travelers who do go to mainland China should not attend school for 14 days after they leave China and should remain in an isolated environment ( at home) to prevent spread of a possible infection. If symptoms of fever, cough or breathing difficulties develop these travelers should seek immediate medical attention. When seeking medical attention they should wear a mask and let the health clinic know of their recent travel as soon as they enter the clinic.

 

For all campus members:

Please stay home when you are sick. Remain home until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours. Seek immediate medical care if your symptoms are severe such as high fever, difficulty breathing.

Use good respiratory etiquette by covering your cough with a tissue or your sleeve.

Wash your hands frequently.

Consider getting the influenza vaccination if you have not already done so.

If you have questions or concerns please contact the HSU Student Health and Wellbeing team at 707-826-3146.

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Dear HSU students, faculty and staff, 

With the five confirmed case of novel corona virus infection in the United States and 2 confirmed cases in Southern California in recent travelers to Wuhan City China as of January 26, I encourage you to read this message in total. 

Humboldt State University’s primary commitment is to the safety, health and wellbeing of all campus community members and campus visitors. We encourage all members to actively engage in healthy habits to help prevent contracting and spreading illnesses. Also, HSU Student Health Services team is actively monitoring the outbreak and known cases in the United States. The team is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HSU is also in communication with Humboldt County public health officials. 

What is the coronavirus? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring developments around an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by what is considered a new coronavirus. Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory disease. The novel, or new, coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has since resulted in over 2000 of confirmed cases in China. 

The CDC reports that patients with novel coronavirus have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe illness is more common in people with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems and older adults, the CDC reports. 

What should I do? 

With increased influenza activity in the California, and the outbreak of novel corona virus infections, HSU encourages campus members to take certain active measures to protect against influenza-like illness and respiratory infections. Everyone should wash their hands regularly with soap and water for 20 second or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable. If you have a cough please use a tissue to cover your mouth or cough into your elbow.

Avoid touching your face or eyes.

Students on campus are able to seek medical attention from Student Health Services. If you are feeling unwell and have traveled to Wuhan, China during the month of January, please use a face mask and notify a member of the Student Health Services team by calling 707-826-3146 before visiting the Health Center. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their primary care providers for support.


If you have symptoms of influenza-like illness or other respiratory infections, please stay at home and do not come to campus for school or work. Also, contact your healthcare provider to seek medical attention as soon as you are able.

All international travelers should stay up to date on Center for Disease Control and State Department recommendations as increasing infections internationally are likely to occur. Chinese New Year typically brings increased travel across China and spread of this coronavirus is likely to occur.

 

More Information 

Accurate and up to date information about corona virus outbreak is available through the Center for Disease Control Website.