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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, and more severe illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals and sometimes infect humans. While the mode of transmission remains unclear, person-to person transmission is occurring.
- COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered strain of coronavirus. The outbreak originated in Wuhan, China in fall 2019.
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have shortness of breath, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. About 80% of those infected recover without needing special treatment.
- Around 1 in 6 patients with COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of those infected have died.
- People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
In areas where the COVID-19 virus is spreading, it is transmitted through:
- Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes;
- Close personal contact, such as caring for an infected person; and
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
Most experts agree that the incubation period for COVID-19 appears to be 2-14 days. It may also be possible for infected persons to spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms of the disease. For this reason, social distancing (see below) has been recommended for persons returning from travel in affected areas and routine precautions are recommended for the entire community.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu shot.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you feel sick, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze (with your bent elbow, or with a tissue that is immediately thrown in the trash).
- Cook meat and eggs thoroughly.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you feel unwell or become sick with similar symptoms to COVID-19, seek medical treatment immediately. Call in advance of visiting your health care provider, and follow their instructions.
- Read about COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment.
- Consider an elbow bump or footshake instead of a handshake when greeting colleagues and friends.
Social distancing, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the practice of avoiding congregated settings and limiting public activities. To the extent possible, persons recommended to practice social distancing should remain home or in a comparable setting. Social distancing is recommended for the duration of the known incubation period (14 days for COVID-19).
Social distancing is a self-regulated recommended practice for those with higher risks for developing COVID-19. Quarantine is the mandated separation of persons with known exposure to the disease ( i.e., a close contact or immediate family member). Isolation is the process of keeping those with the confirmed disease away from the healthy population.
Administrators and health professionals are closely monitoring all developments related to COVID-19, and will continue to update the LMU community as the situation evolves. The university is in close communication with local and state authorities, and is following all guidelines outlined by the CDC and the LA County Department of Public Health. In the unlikely event of an outbreak on campus, LMU is prepared to respond in a holistic manner. The campus community will be notified, and the established plans and protocols will be mobilized.
Please check the CDC’s Guidance for Traveling During the Pandemic for up-to-date recommendations on safety precautions.
Please visit the Travel Restrictions page on this site for the latest information.
Current California state mandates require the use of face covering when outside your home. Please visit the LA County Department of Public Health for up-to-date face covering requirements.
Monitor your health for 10 days following your return from affected areas. During that time, you should stay home and limit interactions with others as much as possible. If you start to feel unwell (even just a headache), call your healthcare provider ASAP and notify them of your recent travel to the affected area.
The seasonal flu vaccine does not prevent COVID-19, however, the CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months of age get the flu vaccine. The common flu is widespread, and if you don't get sick, you won't need to worry about the symptoms aligning with those of COVID-19.
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