Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Posted: 02/28/2020

Because the coronavirus continues to spread internationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released updates on the spread of this virus, and Carlow University remains committed to informing the Carlow community.

At this time, there have been no confirmed cases of the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) at Carlow University, at any college in Pittsburgh, or in the state of Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, Carlow officials  continue to monitor the potential for impact of the coronavirus to the Carlow community.

On campus, we have mobilized a monitoring group to review updates, review protocols in the event that the virus spreads to this area, and to put measures in place to maintain business continuity as it is deemed appropriate to do so. We remain in contact with agencies that are hosting student-learning experiences to monitor any increase in concern about attendance.

At present, we are more likely to contract influenza. Taking precautions to combat the spread of influenza remains the best defense. However, it is important that we remain vigilant and up-to-date on information. Should the spread of coronavirus continue to develop and include this area, we will provide updates.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website will have the most up-to-date information. In the event of any spread, directives will flow through the State of Pennsylvania and its respective county health departments.


Novel Coronavirus (COVD-19) Facts - PA Department of Health


Background

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in animals, such as camels, cats and bats, and at times, evolve and infect people, before spreading through human to human contact. Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold—through the air by coughing or sneezing; through close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands; by touching an object or surface with the viruses on it; and occasionally, through fecal contamination. This has occurred previously with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreaks.

Who does the issue impact?

People most at-risk of contracting a coronavirus are those who have traveled to places where the virus is occurring. In the case of the novel coronavirus, that location is China, and particularly the Wuhan area and the Hubei province. 

What are we doing?

The department frequently exercises and prepares for a potential infectious disease outbreak. We have been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in China using information from our federal and local partners and are preparing our response teams in case of an outbreak here. We have talked with clinicians about the potential spread of the coronavirus into the United States and specifically, Pennsylvania, and also on how to ship lab specimens of potential coronavirus cases.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. 

What can you do?

  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands!
  • Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Contain- if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.

Resources for more coronavirus information