Coronavirus Updates

For COVID-19 updates, visit trualert.truman.edu

Truman is currently on Spring Break.  We have taken the precaution of advising our community regarding travel recommendations of the CDC.  Students from countries with CDC Travel Health Warnings are not traveling home and returning over this short break.

Currently, Missouri has one person (not a Truman community member) identified as presumptively positive who is under quarantine with family members in the St. Louis area.  It is reasonable to believe that with increased testing currently available, more positive cases will be identified.

Truman will remain vigilant to guidance from the CDC and the Adair County Health Department.


Posted on March 3, 2020

Dear Truman Community Members,

As you know the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation. To date, no cases have been reported in Missouri. Currently, our general student population is not among the population known to be at high risk for severe complications with COVID-19. (The high-risk groups noted today include the elderly and those who are medically compromised.)

However, I’m writing today to call your attention to the widening outbreak, its growing potential to disrupt international travel during Truman’s Spring Break and the foreseeable future, and to advise of infection-control measures that you can take to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like influenza and the coronavirus.

Travel

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State and the CDC have raised travel advisory levels and issued various alerts for several countries, including China, South Korea, Italy, Venezuela, Japan and Iran.

If you are considering international travel this spring, Truman Student Health Services and international travel officials are encouraging you to monitor travel advisories due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Depending on your destination, you may have to reach difficult decisions to change or even cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and timely return to Truman.

In many countries and on cruise ships, there may be new entry and exit control measures, and even quarantines implemented with very little notice during the coming weeks.  These actions could significantly impact your plans and/or delay your return home with personal cost.

Because this situation is likely to continue to rapidly change in the weeks ahead, we highly encourage you to check both the U.S. Department of State (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/) and the Centers for Disease Control (https://cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html)  websites to find updated guidance for your destination as well as for those countries you may plan to transit.

Recommended Preventive/Infection Control Measures:

Everyday measures are most significant in preventing any respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and include:

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throwing the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, cough into your elbow rather than your hands.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces (think doorknobs and countertops) using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread to others. Some medical offices request that anyone coughing wear a facemask while in the waiting room to prevent the spread of illness to other potentially high-risk individuals. This only means that they are coughing, not that they are diagnosed with any illness.

One of the challenges associated with the coronavirus situation is that things can change rapidly. The recommendations provided currently may change if the virus spreads and as new information is gained.  Truman has had a Pandemic Plan in place for many years and this document will help guide decisions related to the Coronavirus and how the University will respond. In addition, one of the annual Crisis Management tabletop training exercises in recent years was centered on responding to a pandemic situation. We have also been in communication with other campuses about their planned responses. Later this week, members of the University community will be meeting with city and county representatives from public health and other agencies to coordinate as necessary.

General information about COVID-19 Coronavirus can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

Updated campus information on coronavirus is available at: https://studenthealth.truman.edu.

We encourage you to reach out to the following resources for assistance if you have any questions:

  • Truman Student Health Center (660-785-4182)
  • Center for International Education Abroad Office (660-785-4076)
  • Center for International Students (660-785-4215)
  • University Counseling Services (660-785-4014)

Please know that Truman administration and the Student Health Center are monitoring coronavirus developments both at home and abroad and will keep you up to date as we coordinate efforts with local public health officials and monitor CDC advisories.


Posted on January 30, 2020

Information About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for the Campus Community

What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including a small number of cases in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.

Symptoms and transmission:

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing.

Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.

If you travel to/through Wuhan or other parts of China:

The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Wuhan, China. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the airport. If you must travel:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their health care provider.

Truman State University has screening in place for students who have recently arrived from China. To date, no cases of suspected or confirmed Coronavirus have been identified on our campus and no confirmed cases have been diagnosed in the state of Missouri. Only six positive Coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in the United States as of this date.

Treatment:

People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. (source: CDC)

Prevention:

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Currently, 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading in the U.S., so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash 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.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:

If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days and you:

  • Traveled to Wuhan, or
  • Visited an affected region in China, or
  • Had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China and who had respiratory symptoms,

You should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. Students may contact Truman Student Health for instructions or to answer any questions at 660-785-4182.
  • Non-student members of the Truman community, including faculty and staff, may contact their personal health care provider or call the Adair County Health Department at 660-665-8491.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick. Please do not get on public transportation or just arrive at the campus health service. Call instead (660-785-4182).
  • Truman Student Health nurses offer advice by phone (call 660-785-4182 and request to speak to a nurse) to help save students unnecessary trips to the Health Center or the local Emergency Room.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

What is the campus health service doing about 2019-nCoV?

Truman Student Health is in regular contact with our local public health department and continues to monitor CDC bulletins for updates regarding the virus. Though we believe the risk of transmission of the novel virus is low on our campus, plans have been coordinated with our local emergency room for testing and isolation of any future suspected cases of coronavirus.