What is the risk to the Lee College campus community?
The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic. A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes the immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states, including Texas. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC’s risk assessment will be updated as needed. The latest CDC risk assessment is available here.
What precautions should members of the Lee College community take?
- Always practice good hygiene: wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing food, cups or utensils.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid personal contact with sick people.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. CDC cleaning recommendations can be found here.
- Get a flu shot. While the flu shot does not protect you against COVID-19, it is still flu season in our area.
- Recognize the symptoms of this illness which may include a high fever, cough, difficulty breathing, similar to what you may feel with the flu or a bad cold.
- Seek care and immediately from your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Self-report any planned international travel to the college, whether it is personal or college-related travel.
What to do if you feel sick
If you are experiencing influenza-like illness, with fever greater than 100.3, and symptoms, including cough, body aches, severe sore throat, or runny nose, should seek medical attention, especially if symptoms worsen.
Students should contact their health care provider and identify themselves as having flu-like symptoms to obtain further recommendations and guidance. Students should also consult with their regular health care provider or seek treatment at a local health center if they are overseas. Please call ahead to your health care provider to notify them of the reason for your visit.
Faculty and staff who are ill with flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their personal physician for further advice.
For additional information about COVID-19, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, please refer to the links below. The CDC’s website and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will also issue guidance for those planning to travel or who have recently returned.
It is necessary to place a 14-day self-quarantine (isolation from others) restriction on students, faculty, and staff returning from travel, whether personal or college-related, to all countries for which CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 Travel Warning related to COVID-19. This is consistent with CDC recommendations. During the quarantine, access to college campuses or activities is prohibited.
General Self-Quarantine Guidelines
- Stay home (or at another location approved by your local health department). This means do not go to school, class, work, public areas, or attend large gatherings or campus activities. If you need medical care, call your health care provider.
- Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you are out of self-quarantine.
- Stay away from public areas, including grocery stores, malls, theaters, and large public gathering spaces.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Monitor your symptoms, and if they develop or worsen, then call your health care provider BEFORE seeking in-person care.
- Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- Postpone any travel. If travel is absolutely necessary, you need to coordinate with your local health department. If you travel and become ill, you may not be able to return home.
- Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
You should follow these self-monitoring guidelines:
- Measure your temperature twice a day.
- Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.
- Call ahead before you go to your doctor’s office or to an emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and disclose any prior travel.