University of Southern Indiana

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Published March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

For the latest updates visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How is it spread?

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • Rarely, fecal contamination

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of coronavirus may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you have traveled to any of the affected geographic regions and have symptoms, contact a healthcare provider before visiting in person and before returning to campus or work.

What do I do if I feel sick?

It is important for the University to receive information about possible cases of COVID-19 in order to assess any immediate or future impact to the campus community. Contact the University Health Center at 812-465-1250.

Call 812-450-6555, 24 hours a day, to talk to a Deaconess triage nurse. If it is determined that you should be seen at a Deaconess facility, the nurse will give you instructions on where to go and what to do. There is a COVID-19 symptom checker in MyChart. Log-in now or use your MyChart app. You can also schedule a FREE Deaconess Clinic LIVE video visit appointment at www.deaconess.com/LIVE. These visits are currently offered at no cost to help screen patients in their homes during this active COVID-19 outbreak.

Call your doctor. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus, follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting the doctor
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all high touch surfaces daily
  • Monitor your symptoms

For more detailed information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

I may have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?

Contact the University Health Center at 812-465-1250 to report.

The CDC has direct guidance for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.

I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?

At the current time, only emergency departments are testing. AND, only IF patients have symptoms and meet travel guidelines. All tests are sent to Indianapolis to be evaluated by the Indiana State Health Department. Call 812-450-6555, 24 hours a day, to talk to a Deaconess triage nurse. If it is determined that you should be seen at a Deaconess facility, the nurse will give you instructions on where to go and what to do. There is a COVID-19 symptom checker in MyChart. Log-in now or use your MyChart app. You can also schedule a FREE Deaconess Clinic LIVE video visit appointment at www.deaconess.com/LIVE. These visits are currently offered at no cost to help screen patients in their homes during this active COVID-19 outbreak. 

How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including coronavirus?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • 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 with regular household cleaning spray or wipes
  • 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. 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 healthcare facility).
  • 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.

Visit the CDC Prevention and Treatment page for more detailed information.

Should I wear a mask?

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of becoming infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).

How should I clean and disinfect communal spaces?

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. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Visit the CDC Prevention and Treatment page for more detailed information.

I feel anxious about coronavirus. What can I do?

Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

Visit this website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site to stay up to date with the latest news and prevention information.

If you need to talk to someone, contact the USI Counseling Center or the Employee Assistance Program.

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