The following is an email that was sent to the Loyola community on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
Subject: Loyola's preparedness related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
With international concern about the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to reach out, particularly since many students will be traveling over the spring break. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Loyola University Maryland or in the state of Maryland.
Student Health Services continues to monitor the situation. The University has launched a webpage related to COVID-19 that will provide ongoing updates and information.
The most important steps you can take are to be cautious when traveling and be especially vigilant about your personal hygiene practices.
Prior to traveling, please consider the potential risks that may be involved in visiting your destination, including the risk of transmission as well as the risk of quarantine upon return. Avoid places experiencing sustained community transmission. Keep in mind that guidance may change once you have arrived at your destination or returned home. Updated information on recommendations for travel can be found on this travel information page on the CDC’s site.
If you travel to any location affected by COVID-19 over spring break, please call the Student Health Center at 410-617-5055 for an initial phone screening prior to returning to campus. (If after hours, call the on-call service.)
Personal Hygiene Tips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:
- Wash 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 hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Find more tips and additional information about COVID-19 on the CDC’s website.
Please keep in mind that we are in the midst of the annual influenza (flu) season. Loyola faculty and supervisors are encouraged to excuse students and employees who need to stay home due to illness to recover and reduce the risk of spreading illnesses. If you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, the CDC recommendation is that you stay home and not return to class or work until you are free of a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater and have no signs of a fever or any other symptoms for at least 24 hours without use of a fever-reducer or symptom-altering medication, such as cough suppressants. If you are ill, students should notify their faculty members, and employees should notify their supervisors and plan to stay home.
Emergency Preparedness on Campus
Taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our community is the University’s top priority. Emergency preparedness has been a focus for Loyola for many years, with resources, planning, and training invested to help ensure that the University can continue operations during an emergency.
- The University has a pandemic plan that is ready for implementation if needed.
- Administrative departments are reminded that they should update their business continuity plans so that employees can continue to provide support and services needed during any crisis/emergency.
- Academic affairs has its own academic and instructional continuity plan that has already been used during inclement weather situations and could be used in any other emergency.
- The office of international programs will continue to be in touch with all students who are studying abroad. We will continue to provide them with the most up-to-date information, working closely with their programs. As of right now, only the programs in Beijing and Florence have decided to close for the semester.
As always, any urgent communications to the community would be sent via text and email through Greyhound Alerts. In the event of an emergency, information would also be posted to the Loyola.edu/emergencyinfo page.
Following COVID-19 in the news can cause stress and anxiety. Students should not hesitate to contact the employees in the Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, or the student life office, all of whom are prepared to support you. If you need assistance outside regular business hours, please call the department of public safety at 410-617-5911, and they will connect you with someone who can help. Employees may contact Loyola’s Employee Assistance (EAP) Program at 1-800-765-0770.
Thank you for doing your part to help promote the health and safety of all members of our community.
Student Health and Education Services