Health Service

Posted 2/13/2020

What do we know about the COVID-19 (formerly known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus)?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Learn more about COVID-19.
Are there any cases of COVID-19 at Gustavus?
No. There are no cases of COVID-19 at Gustavus or in the state of Minnesota.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. Some people have very mild symptoms. In severe cases, pneumonia and other complications can develop, especially for persons with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions.
How is the virus transmitted?
The latest research has determined an incubation period (time of infectivity to development of symptoms) of five (5) days, with a range of 2-14 days. Details about the virus transmission are still being researched and developed. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.
What is Gustavus requiring of those who have recently traveled to China?
Guidance from Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is informing the Gustavus process for prevention and response. Per the CDC, all travelers from China who arrive in the US after February 2, 2020 are assessed at the airport. No Gustavus classes or groups have recently traveled to China. Currently, there are no recommendations for assessment of travelers from other countries. There are currently no COVID-19 screening tests available for clinics. Testing is only available to patients who meet specific criteria, and those tests must be sent to the CDC for analysis.
What is Gustavus doing to protect the campus community?
Gustavus is following CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on screening and response protocols along with other measures to protect the health and well-being of our campus community. The CDC guides national testing criteria, and we follow their evidence-based protocols in collaboration with the MDH when evaluating and supporting individuals. As the CDC and WHO issue new guidelines related to screening or testing, we will adjust our clinical protocols to rapidly identify, evaluate and support patients and the Gustavus community.
Gustavus has increased the frequency of routine environmental cleaning. Gustavus will be communicating with students, staff, and faculty about recommendations to stay home when they have a fever (100.4 F or greater), and to remain away from class, work, and other activities until they are fever-free without the use of fever reducing medications for at least 24 hours.
The College has an Infectious Disease Committee that is meeting regularly to review new information and keep tabs on any developments. The Gustavus Health Service is in regular communication with the MDH as new information about screening, transmission, and other factors becomes available.
I’m sick. How do I know if it is COVID-19 or something else, like influenza?
COVID-19 symptoms and influenza symptoms can be similar, but COVID-19 is related to the outbreak in China. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. There are, however, many cases of influenza and other respiratory illnesses.
Gustavus students who have influenza-like symptoms should call the Health Service at 507-933-7630 for consultation. You may also reach out to Health Service at
Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider.
How can I protect myself from contracting COVID-19, influenza, or other respiratory illnesses?
The best way to prevent any infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
  • 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, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get 8 or more hours of sleep
What do I do if I am worried I may have contracted COVID-19?
Take steps to get professional medical advice and prevent the spread of any respiratory virus, including COVID-19 by doing the following:
  • Seek medical advice. Call before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.
  • Stay home when you are sick, you are most contagious when you have a fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius). No class, no practice, no work until fever free without fever reducing medication for 24 hours.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Currently, there is no vaccine available for COVID-19. The CDC is closely monitoring the issue and will provide updates on their website.
I’m worried about someone who might be sick or might have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?
Do not assume that someone who is ill has COVID-19. Be mindful of the impact of your assumptions on colleagues or students who may be from the geographic area at the epicenter of the COVID-19. You may encourage someone with influenza-like symptoms to contact the Gustavus Health Service at 507-933-7630 or their primary care provider to seek advice and care.
Where can I get more information?
The Health Service website will have links and postings of campus communication. Gustavus recognizes this is a stressful situation for many members of our community.

If you have any additional questions, please call the Gustavus Health Service at 507-933-7630.