MU ALERT ISSUED

February 28 Health Safety Update

Dear Marymount Faculty and Staff,
 
As we receive updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus Disease 2019, we want to keep you informed as well.
 
Marymount has established a standing committee that includes staff members from across the University. Following guidelines from the CDC, this committee will monitor the situation and how it impacts our community, as well as make recommendations. We are committed to sharing with you regular updates with timely and accurate information about this issue and all other health-related concerns.
 
We encourage you to visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information available. Ensuring that you are taking the right sanitary precautions is a very important step in the prevention of any flu-like illness. For this particular virus, washing your hands is of the upmost importance.
 
Another key resource is NAFSA’s (Association of International Educators) website, which provides details on critical updates, travel notices, and how international education is being affected.
 
Please find below the most recent recommendation for health safety from the CDC, and Marymount University’s plan of action.
 
CDC information and recommendations:
  • COVID-19 is present globally, but has not yet met the World Health Organization’s (WHO) criteria for a pandemic.
  • The general population in the United States, which is unlikely to have been exposed at this time, is considered to have a low immediate risk. Currently, the goal is to contain the spread of the virus and the impact of the virus globally.
  • There are currently no confirmed cases in the state of Virginia.
  • COVID-19 is a respiratory disease similar to influenza. Individuals should get the flu vaccine, take everyday preventive measures, and take antiviral medication if prescribed. If you are ill, you are advised to stay home, avoid travel, and wear a mask (even for the flu) when outside the home.
 
     Marymount plan:
  • Marymount is closely monitoring the course of COVID-19. Recommendations from the CDC, World Health Organization, and Virginia Department of Health are being implemented as received. We are also participating in weekly discussions with the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area in order to jointly monitor coronavirus developments on campuses throughout the region.
  • We are reviewing our existing communicable disease protocol and tailoring it to COVID-19 scenarios. This plan includes contingencies for single cases on campus, as well as a potential outbreak in the DMV area.
  • Regarding programming, we are adhering to the CDC’s recommendation to avoid visiting countries at both a Level 3 risk and Level 2. Click here for a complete list of Travel Health Notices.
  • The CDC has determined Italy to be a Level 3 risk, and recommends that U.S. citizens not visit the country at this time. As a result of that recommendation, the University has decided to cancel our Global Classroom trip to Rome next week.
  • Our standing committee has recommended that all other scheduled international trips and Study Abroad programs remain in place at this time, but be canceled if any program involves travel to countries that the CDC lists as a Level 3 risk or Level 2 risk in the future.
  • If you are traveling to another country and experience sneezing, coughing, or other flu-like symptoms upon your return, please contact your primary care provider.

Communications Specialist Nick Munson will be the University's contact on any and all press inquiries related to our monitoring of COVID-19, and any actions we may take in the future should the need arise. Please direct any media concerns or questions to nmunson@marymount.edu.

We recognize the anxiety and confusion that global health matters can cause. We encourage you to take care of yourselves and others and exercise caution, while also understanding that the risk to you and our campus is currently low.

 
Dr. Laura Finkelstein
Assistant Vice President, Student Health & Well-being
 
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