The first cases of COVID-19 in the state of Maryland were confirmed on March 5, 2020. Student Health Services and the office of human resources continue to monitor the situation. This webpage provides ongoing updates and information.
The University is making wipes and hand sanitizer more readily available across campus. In addition, public spaces are being cleaned more frequently, especially in high-traffic areas. The most important steps you can take are to be cautious when traveling and be especially vigilant about your personal hygiene practices.
Student Health Services has also created an FAQ page with info on COVID-19.
Prevention/Personal Hygiene Tips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 or go out in public until you are free of a fever of 100.4 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.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Loyola’s Technology Services would like to warn everyone to remain vigilant for coronavirus and COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails. Malicious actors commonly attempt to exploit the fear and chaos caused by emergency situations and disasters by sending emails with malicious attachments, or links to fraudulent websites, to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
As with any emails, always verify their legitimacy before engaging fully. Always be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments in an email, especially un-solicited ones, from unknown sender, or if they seem odd in general. Additionally, we encourage everyone to take the following precautions:
- Use trusted sources — such as legitimate, government websites — for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19. A malicious website pretending to be the live map for Coronavirus Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University has been seen circulating on the internet and spreading banking trojans and other malware.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.
- You can use the Report Message feature in Outlook to report phishing or junk messages. If you have questions about the legitimacy of an email, forward it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org for investigation.
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.
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.
The Counseling Center has created online tips for self-care related to effects of the coronavirus on mental health.
Additionally, you can explore the Loyola-specific mental health resources for mind, body, spirit, and community that are particularly applicable to struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All students are encouraged to utilize Togetherall, an anonymous peer-to-peer support community for mental health that is monitored by trained clinicians and available 24/7. The Counseling Center has partnered with Togetherall to provide the service to students for free.
Learn more about Togetherall