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Coronavirus Campus Communication

Email from Health Services 3/13/20

Mar 13, 2020

Guidance for VCSU employees who are currently traveling and/or have plans for future travel within the United States.

As you are aware, sustained community spread of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported globally. Sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where some of them became infected is not known, and virus transmission is ongoing.

Since older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe disease, people in these groups should discuss travel with a healthcare provider and consider postponing nonessential travel.

VCSU and the North Dakota Department of Health continues to strongly encourage everyone to consider all Centersfor Disease Control (CDC) travel recommendations when making decisions to continue on or schedule non-essential travel to any of the affected countries or within the United States.

If you travel, take the following steps:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid traveling if you are sick.

If you have traveled to any destination during the past 14 days or are planning to travel:

Currently there are no CDC recommendations for self-isolation upon returning from travel within the United States. You may return to work with the following recommendations:

  • Monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • Monitor your temperature twice a day for 14 days; maintain written documentation of these readings. 
  • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
    • Seek medical advice immediately. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. If you are at work when these symptoms occur, go home immediately and then call your health care provider.
    • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Notify your supervisor, who will then notify Betty Tykwinski in Health Services at 701-845-7305 or betty.j.tykwinski@vcsu.edu.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

The North Dakota Department of Health has established a hotline if you have general questions about COVID-19. The number is 1-866-207-2880, open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are having symptoms, call your health care provider, not the hotline.
As noted in previous communications, this is a rapidly changing situation. Continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Health websites for updated travel recommendations. Continue to monitor your VCSU email for any additional updates regarding VCSU sanctioned travel and activities.

Betty Tykwinski, MSN, RN
Director for Health & Wellness Services
Valley City State University