To mitigate the potential risk of exposure to the virus, all five University campuses have moved to alternative instruction methods as of March 18. Faculty and staff have been instructed to work from home, unless instructed otherwise. Please review the latest announcement from President Gabel for more information.
What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that causes respiratory illness. Since first being detected in China late last year, confirmed cases have occurred in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continuously updates its website with information as public health officials learn more about the virus. Visit the CDC's website.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
According to the CDC, patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have symptoms that can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illnesses.
The CDC believes COVID-19 symptoms can appear between two to 14 days after exposure, based on the incubation period of another type of coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
How is it transmitted?
While there is still more to be learned about COVID-19, health officials believe it spreads mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Learn more from the CDC.
How can I protect myself from contracting COVID-19?
If you are sick, the Minnesota Department of Health asks you to stay home to reduce the risk of spreading illnesses to others.
There are steps you can take to prevent the spread of all types of respiratory illnesses, such as:
- stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed;
- washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water;
- avoiding those who are sick;
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing it in the trash; and
- cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What travel guidance should I take into consideration?
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 changes rapidly around the globe, there are multiple items to take into consideration:
- All University-sponsored travel, domestic and international, has been canceled. For additional information, please review President Gabel’s March 10 and March 11 announcements.
- As of March 15, the University has suspended all study and education abroad programs and is requiring all students to return to the U.S. by Friday, March 20. All returning travelers will be expected to comply with guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health pertaining to returning to their communities.
- For U.S.-bound travelers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance broken down by the country you are departing.
- The U.S. federal government has implemented travel restrictions for most non-U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to China, Iran and some parts of Europe. Please review the latest from the Department of Homeland Security.
- All returned travelers are expected to comply with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines pertaining to returning to their communities.
Travelers who feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. If you are experiencing symptoms, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Travelers should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol.
Is there a vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 illnesses.
Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at: