January 31 Update on Coronavirus

Dear Marymount University Community,

We would like to provide an update on the recent developments concerning the 2019-n Coronavirus, which started in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and was declared a Global Health Emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30, 2020. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated the immediate risk of the virus to the public is low. The University is currently monitoring the situation to ensure that we keep our community safe.

In Virginia, there are currently four “people under investigation” (PUI). Two have tested negative, while results for the remaining individuals are still pending. To date in the U.S., the CDC has confirmed six positive infections. Positive diagnoses involving PUI’s have occurred in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington (state). Of the two cases in Illinois, the second case is notable because the person acquired the infection through person-to-person contact. The individual had not traveled to Wuhan City.

The symptoms of the Coronavirus consist of a mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure can develop in severe cases. Nonetheless, if you have not traveled to Wuhan, China, or been in close contact with someone who was or is ill, your current risk is low.

If you have traveled to Wuhan City in the past two weeks or been in close contact with a person who has, and you develop symptoms within 2-14 days, please contact Student Health Services as soon as possible to let them know about your recent travel or exposure. Should you develop symptoms, your professors will work with you to ensure you are not penalized for health reasons.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommends that everyone take appropriate steps to prevent the transmission of respiratory illnesses, including influenza (flu). These steps include:  
  • Getting the flu vaccine (still available at Student Health Services).
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva.
  • Coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow.
  • Getting adequate sleep and eating healthy, well-balanced meals to maintain your immune system.
  • Staying home when sick (do not return to campus activities until fever-free for 24 hours).
  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces in your room or home. 

Health officials and administrators throughout the University will continue to work closely with VDH to prepare for, screen, and prevent the spread of illness. As this situation continues to develop, we will continue to provide updates and information to help you stay healthy.

The CDC and VDH have helpful resources to answer any questions you may have. Student Health Services Providers (703-284-1610) are available to answer any questions that you may have as well, especially regarding symptoms.

Student Health Services
Department of Campus Safety
Vice President of Student Enrollment and Student Affairs