Coronavirus Update; Precautions During Cold and Flu Season

stethoscope

Announcement

Updated February 25, 2020

We are continuing to follow the developments regarding the Novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of February 25, there have been several confirmed positive cases in California, with no confirmed positive cases in Yolo County. However, this is a serious matter, and UC Davis and Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) have implemented measures to help protect our community should a patient be identified in the future.

Any member of our community suspecting they have influenza or the Coronavirus should stay home. Students should call Student Health and Counseling Services at 530-752-2349, or call their primary medical provider prior to arriving at the medical office. This will allow us to provide you with information on your illness and to plan for your visit to the clinic, if needed. Faculty and staff should contact their provider’s office for additional instructions about seeking care.

We also recognize that some members of our campus community are directly affected by the virus without themselves being sick. The news, and especially the uncertainty, can feel very scary. Some also have concerns regarding family members and friends in other areas who are sick, or who are at increased risk. We want to help if you are struggling, and students can call Counseling Services at 530-752-0871 to schedule with a counselor or to hear more about our counseling resources on campus. Mental Health Crisis Consultation Services are available in 219 North Hall, Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm and in the Student Health and Wellness Center, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. No appointment is needed.  Faculty and Staff can contact the Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) at 530-752-2727.

One of the best ways to help combat fear is with information. We realize that there are many questions about the virus, its impact and what it means for our UC Davis campus community. The FAQ below is provided to help answer basic questions about the virus, to share steps for keeping yourself healthy and to provide guidance if you feel that you have potential symptoms or exposure.

The campus continues to operate normally. As we approach Spring Break, we encourage students to review recent travel advisory information provided by Global Affairs. As the campus and medical center leadership continue to monitor the situation, we will share updates on this page and throughout various campus resources.

We appreciate your cooperation and support in protecting the UC Davis community.

Cindy Schorzman, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director, Student Health and Counseling Center, UC Davis

Coronavirus FAQ

What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) comes from a large family of viruses that are a common cause of mild upper respiratory infections, but also include both SARS and MERS, which can cause more serious disease. Most patients with Coronavirus have mild symptoms, however, this new virus has resulted in cases of severe illnesses and deaths. To learn more about the Coronavirus, the CDC website is a reliable source of updated information.

Have there been any positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the UC Davis Campus? 
There are currently no positive Coronavirus cases on the UC Davis campus.  Detailed information of confirmed cases in the U.S. can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website as such information becomes available. 

What is being done to prevent the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
According to the CDC, the incubation period for the virus is up to 14 days. To reduce further spread of the infection, the United States has implemented travel restrictions on individuals traveling from China. Airports are now conducting health screening of travelers from China who are allowed to enter the United States. Depending on their health status and travel history, these travelers have some restrictions on their movement for a period of 14 days after leaving China, as determined by public health. 

Locally, the campus and medical center are in coordination with our local public health departments and the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) to provide ongoing clinical guidance.

How is UC Davis responding to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
There are no current cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Yolo County. However, UC Davis is monitoring the situation as it unfolds in California and around the globe and is working closely with the Yolo County Health Department and UCOP to provide our community with the most up-to-date information.

UC Davis and UC Davis Health have implemented measures to protect our community should a patient be identified in the future. Additionally, all students seeking care at the Student Health and Wellness Center are being asked about recent travel and contact with people with known COVID-19.

The campus continues to operate normally. We are updating the community through Student Health and Counseling (SHCS), Global Affairs and Dateline as new information is learned about the Coronavirus.

It is currently cold and flu season. How can I help protect myself from viral infections, including the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
All members of the UC Davis community are reminded to practice preventative measures to stay healthy, including:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school
  • Practice healthy habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food
  • If you have not received your annual flu shot, please schedule one with your provider to help protect yourself against the flu.

*In addition, healthy students should not stay home for fear of catching an infection in class or on campus and healthy UC Davis employees should not stay home for fear of catching an infection at work.

What should I do if I think I have the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) or a respiratory viral illness?
If you have a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath:

  • Stay home from school/work if you are having symptoms
  • Wash your hands and stay well hydrated by drinking fluids
  • Cover your cough, and avoid close contact with others
  • Call your healthcare provider for advice if you think you have Coronavirus or if you are concerned

If you have traveled to Wuhan, China, or have been in close contact with someone who has known 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), within the 14 days before the onset of your symptoms, please notify your provider/clinic BEFORE entering their office. It is important to call so that your provider/clinic can be prepared for your visit.

SHCS, based on CDC guidelines, has developed additional screening (by phone and at our front desks) and has implemented additional protocols to help identify possible cases of Coronavirus to provide optimal care for those with symptoms and to protect other patients and staff.

UC Davis students should call SHCS at 530-752-2349 to speak with an advice nurse.

UC Davis faculty and staff should call their healthcare provider immediately for care.

Is there a vaccine for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and can I be tested for it if I feel unwell?
There is currently no vaccine for the Coronavirus; however, the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working around the clock to develop one. Testing for the Coronavirus is done at the CDC Laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, and the CDC is currently working with other qualified laboratories across the United States to expand testing locations. At this point, testing is only performed for patients who are at high risk for this infection, as determined by the health department. 

Do face masks protect against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Do I need one?
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear face masks to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including Coronavirus. Face masks should be used by individuals who show symptoms of Coronavirus in order to help protect others from the risk of getting infected. 

Are there plans to cancel classes or restrict movement on campus?
There are currently no plans to cancel classes, and we will not plan to do so unless directed by our Yolo County Health Department. In addition, only the County Health Department has the authority to quarantine community members.


Original Announcement

January 23, 2020

With the latest news reports on the Coronavirus, a new virus originating in Wuhan China, we felt it was a good opportunity to remind you of precautions to help protect yourself from virus-borne illnesses. While there are currently no known exposures of the Coronavirus on campus, we are in the midst of an active flu season. We will continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for any developments about the Coronavirus and will provide updates to the community, as needed.

Methods to prevent the spread of influenza, and other viruses:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Into a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash them frequently, and certainly before/after touching your face or a sick person.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean, disinfect surfaces and objects contaminated with germs.

Flu symptoms can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscles and body aches, headache, fatigue, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Most people who get the flu do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people until you are fever-free.

Signs of Coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Any student who suspects they have influenza or the Coronavirus should contact UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) at 530-752-2349.

It’s not too late to get your seasonal flu vaccine on campus from SHCS. Flu shots are covered for students with SHIP insurance and $25 for students without SHIP. You can make an appointment by calling the phone number above.

For anyone traveling to or from China or areas with confirmed cases of Coronavirus, please refer to the travel advisory issued by UC Davis Global Affairs.

Stay well,

Cindy Schorzman, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director, UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services