February 13th Update

Health Service

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: Heather Dale, Director of Health Service and Assistant Dean of Students
SUBJECT: COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Influenza Information
DATE: February 13, 2020

I write today with an update on the College's ongoing work with regards to coronavirus and the precautions that are being taken for the campus community. Please know that there have been no reported cases at Gustavus or in Minnesota.

The Gustavus Health Service continues to be in regular communication with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) regarding coronavirus (now officially referred to as COVID-19). As the College continues to monitor developments of COVID-19, a Frequently Asked Questions section has been added to the Gustavus Health Service website.

There have been no cases of COVID-19 reported in Minnesota, and at this time there is no reason to believe that the Gustavus community will be impacted. That being said, influenza and influenza-like illnesses are active in Minnesota and may present similar symptoms.

Gustavus students who have influenza-like symptoms should call Health Service at (507) 933-7630 or email health-service@gustavus.edu for consultation. Gustavus employees should contact their primary care provider.

To prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, the following steps are recommended:

  • Washing 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.
  • Stay home when you are sick. You are most contagious when you have a fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get the influenza vaccine.

The College is planning to increase the amount of hand-sanitizing stations on campus and the frequency of routine environmental cleaning in high-traffic areas. The Gustavus Health Service and Infectious Disease Committee are meeting regularly to monitor the situation and will communicate any major developments to the campus community. In the meantime, please check the Gustavus Health Service website for additional information, including recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and MDH.

Students, please feel free to forward this email to your parent(s) or guardian(s).

If you have any questions, please contact the Gustavus Health Service at health-service@gustavus.edu.