Update on coronavirus outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, China, and which has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including cases in the U.S. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019.”

While the immediate risk of this new virus in the U.S. is believed to be low at this time, there is concern for a nationwide spread of this disease. As of Feb. 26, there have been 14 cases of the virus diagnosed in the U.S., all in people who traveled recently to China or their close contacts. Another 39 U.S. residents have been infected in other parts of the world before returning to the U.S. and quarantined.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread through the air or via infected surfaces when a person with coronavirus coughs or exhales. This is why it is important to stay more than three feet away from a person who is sick.

Supervisors are asked to encourage employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they have these symptoms.

Here are things everyone should do:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Stay informed on the latest developments about coronavirus. The CDC has described this public health outbreak of the coronavirus as “an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.” Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health department, and the LCC Emergency Management Department.

As we always do during flu season, the college’s Facilities Department will continue to work with our custodial services teams to routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces. Anyone who has not already gotten their flu vaccine is encouraged to do so.