Health Advisory: 2019 Coronavirus
In response to the emerging global outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a new
strain of a previously well-known virus, the University of Dallas has been taking
proactive steps to ensure the health of the students, faculty and staff at the Irving
and Rome campuses.
Note that the following information applies to most respiratory viral illnesses. Remember
that we are still in Flu season with both Influenza A and B illnesses widespread with
an estimation of 18,000 deaths thus far.
- Flu vaccine effectiveness was released last week: reduction of doctor’s visits by
45% overall (55% in children). It’s still not too late to get your Flu shot!
About the coronavirus
- SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19, the disease.
- Thought to mainly occur from person-to-person contact (within about 6 feet) through
respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes (similar to influenza
and other respiratory viruses).
- People are most contagious when most symptomatic (sickest). • Spread may be possible
when a person touches a contaminated object and then touches their own mouth, nose,
or their eyes, but this is not the main way.
- Might be possible for people to spread before symptoms occur, but less likely.
- Symptoms typically appear 2 to 14 days after exposure (usually 5 days).
- Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath; occasionally sore throat, diarrhea,
and general malaise.
- Older adults and people with preexisting conditions are most at risk for severe illness.
• Fatality rates estimated at 2.5-3% overall, primarily in older adults and people
with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Note 97-98% of people recover, and ~ 80% have only a mild illness.
- The fatality rate in people with no other medical conditions is <1%.
- The fatality rate is lowest in people ≤ age 30.
Prevention of spread (applies to ANY viral illness)
- 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.
- 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.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- 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. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers
and people who are taking care of someone in close settings at home or in a health
Student and Faculty/Staff returning from Rome
- Self-isolate for 14 days at your home.
- There is no need for other family members to self-isolate unless the student returning
from Rome displays symptoms.
- If you become symptomatic, contact your medical provider and advise them of recent
travel. There is no need to go to the Emergency Room and potentially spread the illness
if your symptoms are mild.
- For students returning to homes in the Irving area, contact UD Student Health Services:
214.721.5322. Dr. Rodriguez or Dr. Dekat will return your call and determine the best
time for you to come in for evaluation.
What if I plan to travel over Spring Break?
- Due to the quickly evolving situation, individuals planning personal international
travel do so at their own risk and are advised to check the CDC watch lists for spread
of COVID-19 cases abroad (and in the US): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. Note that countries may be elevated to the CDC’s Level 2 or 3 travel advisories
with little warning. Students, faculty and staff should be aware of the associated
risk of disruptions to their reentry to the United States or other countries.
What will happen if cases are identified on campus?
- Student Health Services and the Office of Student Affairs have developed an emergency
response plan that addresses housing, meal plans, and ongoing monitoring of the student
while minimizing risk for community spread of the virus.
Will the University have to suspend classes?
- The University continues to work in close collaboration with the Dallas County Health
- At the moment, there is no significant spread of COVID-19 within the DFW area.
- Should there become significant spread of severe disease, UD Administration will be
following the directives of the Health Department and implement an Emergency Operation
Plan to ensure continuity of education, of housing, and of meal programs.