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March 14 8:00 p.m. update: The most up to date information about COVID-19’s impacts on SOU’s Finals, Spring Break and Spring Term can be read about here and on SOU’s COVID-19 Informational Page
Coronavirus or COVID-19, the new outbreak that the world is watching is just one of a few viruses that have spread panic worldwide. Swine flu, Ebola, smallpox, and influenza, had a similar hysteria surrounding them. According to the BBC, the majority of deaths correlated with coronavirus are elders (ages 60+) or people with compromised immune systems. NPR released an educational comic on their Instagram about the common myths of coronavirus and how to be safe when you’re sick. The comic stated that there have been very few cases of young people getting sick, but if you are worried that you might have coronavirus, then get in contact with your local health-care provider immediately. To prevent the spread of any germs, always wash your hands and sneeze into your elbow. State officials are monitoring the spread of the virus and doing their best to contain it. the Oregon Health Department (OHA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have both made statements and are continually updating their pages with the latest information.
Both the OHA and CDC said that the symptoms range with mild to severe respiratory issues with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The OHA mentioned that with like any sickness, it can travel person to person. The OHA website has suggestions for how to stay healthy and safe from coronavirus as well as other illnesses. For example, wash your hands thoroughly and often, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and stay home if you are feeling unwell.
The Student Health and Wellness Center has sent out emails within the last few weeks about the Coronavirus for the safety of the students and staff. In these messages, they included a link to the 211 website, a site that helps Oregon and Washington citizen connect with their local resources. Citizens who live in Jackson country are, of course, concerned due to their proximity to California and I-5. Jackson County Health is taking prevention steps and also monitoring schools in case there is a need to close them.
As of March 9th, one college on the West Coast has needed to shut down due to the virus, University of Washington located in Seattle. The most recent update states that there are 14 cases of the Coronavirus in Oregon. Governor Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency which allows OHA to bring in emergency volunteer health care professionals to work with local health authorities throughout the state. SOU is working alongside county health officials and following guidance from the OHA and CDC. Both groups have stated that the risk in our area is not high enough to warrant preventative cancellation of any SOU classes or public events.
Students are encouraged to wash hands thoroughly and frequently and stay home if they are feeling unwell. If students have traveled out of the country or traveled to places where coronavirus is a high threat (Italy, China, Japan etc.) and wish to get tested, please get in contact with SOU Health and Wellness Center or your local health-care provider. Click here to go to SOU’s website that contains more information about COVID-19 and how to stay healthy.
For more information follow the links below:
“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Mar. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
“COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions.” Oregon Health Authority : COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions : Diseases A to Z : State of Oregon, www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/COVID19-FAQ.aspx.
Cuffe, Robert. “Coronavirus: What Are the Chances of Dying?” BBC News, BBC, 4 Mar. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/health-51674743.
“Emerging Respiratory Infections: COVID-19.” Oregon Health Authority : Emerging Respiratory Infections: COVID-19 : Diseases A to Z : State of Oregon, www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx.
Phillips, Tanya. “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).” Health & Human Services – Jackson County, Oregon, Health & Human Services – Jackson County, Oregon, 6 Mar. 2020, jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/Public-Health/Public-Health-News-Information/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-2.