Coronavirus Preparedness Update: March 6, 2020

Northern State University

POSTED MARCH 6, 2020 - INFORMATION MAY HAVE CHANGED.

Faculty, staff and students:

As our leadership team continues to monitor the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus), we’d like to again encourage everyone to take preventive measures. Recommended precautions include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (with a tissue or into your sleeve).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand gel).
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid handshakes; opt for another greeting, such as bumping elbows.
  • More preventative information can be found online at World Health Organization and S.D. Department of Health.

As you travel for spring break, please plan to monitor the ongoing outbreak.

  • As of March 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for travelers lists the following at-risk destinations: China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Locations may change on a daily basis.
  • If you do travel to a location considered at-risk, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return.

If you suspect you have the COVID-19 virus:

  • Call 911 if it’s an emergency.
  • According to a statement from Avera Health, Avera is closely monitoring the progress of the virus; following established protocols; and implementing additional precautions to protect patients, employees and communities. Avera is in ongoing contact with the CDC for the latest updates and recommendations regarding COVID-19. As part of its emergency preparedness practices, Avera is planning for how it will care for possible cases of the virus and establishing task forces to inventory needed supplies and equipment. Through its extensive telemedicine services, Avera eCARE® is also preparing to assist all locations in identifying patients as they come into its emergency departments, clinics and long-term care facilities. Avera advises following CDC guidelines if you are sick, keeping in mind that about 80 percent of patients who have COVID-19 can be treated at home. The rate of patients who experience serious complications is only slightly higher than that of seasonal flu. Get guidance before you leave the house to discuss your symptoms, risk and where to go for treatment in your community. Log in to AveraNow to connect with a provider on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. This service is available 24/7. (Download the app Apple App Store or Google Play.)
  • For the latest info and recommendations on COVID-19, Sanford Health recommends students look to the CDC for prevention information. If you are ill and have traveled outside of the U.S. in the last couple of weeks and have flu-like symptoms, you should call ahead (Sanford: 605-626-4200) before coming to seek treatment, unless it is an emergency. Instructions will be given during that call. The best thing people can do if they are sick and not needing medical intervention is to stay home and away from others.
  • The CDC also provides these further recommendations.
  • Additional resources: Facts About COVID-19COVID-19 TipsCOVID-19 Fact Sheet

Looking ahead, we are continuing to evaluate the status of our summer study abroad opportunities. Also, NSU Academic Affairs and IT are developing plans to continue coursework in the event the situation expands into our state.

Our leadership team will continue to monitor this constantly changing situation, with updates posted as needed at northern.edu/myNSU (top of the page, titled COVID-19 outbreak).

Let’s all work together to make safe, responsible decisions in order to close out a strong spring semester on our campus. Thank you for your vigilance, and enjoy spring break!

-NSU Senior Cabinet

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