Due to growing concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, countries, states and cities have increased healthcare procedures to contain the flu-like virus. The University of Nevada, Reno, decided to increase its efforts against the virus as well in the midst of global concern.
In a recent email to the students, faculty and staff of the university, President Marc Johnson touched on the different angles of COVID-19 and what steps the university is taking in order to prevent an outbreak on campus.
“[A]s the global spread of the virus reached our western region in recent days, it became clear Nevada would not remain untouched by the coronavirus,” said Johnson. “[…] Deaths in the country from the virus remain low, yet remind us of the seriousness of this virus and the importance of following proper health practices.”
Johnson went on to explain the university’s plan to prevent a potential outbreak of COVID-19 on campus. He said the school partnered with Washoe County Health District, Nevada State Division of Public Health and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory. These partnerships aim to help align and prioritize health resources in Washoe County.
UNR and the University Studies Abroad Consortium canceled its programs in China, South Korea and Italy. Students and faculty returning from a spring semester abroad were placed in a 14 day self-quarantine.
Johnson warned about spring break travel for students, faculty and staff. He said the university was following the advice of the Center for Disease Control in advising against international travel. Those who travel to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or Japan will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days. They will be required to utilize sick time or annual leave time. Students are not accommodated by university policy if they miss class. However, the email states “opportunities will be provided” for missed work due to illness.
Globally, the virus broke 114,000 cases. Of those cases, over 62,000 have been recovered and approximately 4,000 have died. The death rate lulls around three percent. Most cases still rest in China.
Johnson’s email provided a list of precautionary measures people can take to prevent the spread of the disease. A few of those personal measures are avoiding close contact with those who are sick, avoiding touching the face, washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and cleaning surface areas touched frequently.
The university created a website for updates on the virus and includes information on the disease, resources and advice regarding issues surrounding the virus.
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact the Student Health Center at (775) 784-6598 or visit their website at https://med.unr.edu/student-health-center.
Sarah Strang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @scsstrang.