The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, as there is yet no vaccine. Here are some steps you can take:
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with either a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Always throw used tissues in the trash.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact
You should avoid close contact with individuals who are sick. If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, put distance between yourself and other people, especially those at a greater risk of getting very sick, which are mainly the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
Stay Home if You're Sick
If you are sick, please stay home except to seek medical attention. Since COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person, it is best thing to do is to remove yourself from any contact with others while you are sick.
Wear a Face Mask if You Are Sick
If you are sick, you should wear a face mask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare facility. If you are not able to wear a mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and individuals taking care of you should wear a face mask.
If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone sick. Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and Disinfect
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. For more information on disinfecting services, visit the CDC's complete disinfection guide.
Mild to severe symptoms have been reported within 2-14 days after exposure. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of Breath
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
- Stay home except to seek medical care.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick.
- 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 information on these steps, visit the CDC's steps when sick.
Social distancing is a way to reduce exposure, slow the spread, and minimize transmission of contagious diseases. Use video- and teleconferencing tools like Zoom instead of holding in-person meetings when possible. Try to maintain at least a 6-feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Avoid shaking hands and close physical contact with anyone displaying symptoms.
Social distancing is applicable to students, faculty, administration, and staff (full-time, part-time, temporary or contracted services). Social distancing is a best practice recommendation of health professionals to prevent or slow the spread of a virus via human-to-human transmission. Social distancing suspends public gatherings and limits on-campus business to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Social distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people.
Communicate with your instructor
Given the situation, your instructor will be communicating with you about how your course is set up and how you can connect to the course. Be sure you are clear on how and when the course will be held, what materials are needed, and how to communicate with your professor and classmates.
Know the expectations
Your course will be either synchronous and given at a specific time, requiring you to login with the rest of your classmates. Or, it will be asynchronous, where you are provided the materials and can learn on your own time. Whichever method your course is delivered through, be sure you are clear on the expectations that have been set and hold yourself accountable for the work you need to complete.
Your instructor will still be holding you accountable for the work you do in online discussions and collaborations, just as they would in a face-to-face class. Be sure the expectations are clear and if not, don't hesitate to reach out to them with questions!
Establish a functional work space
You will want to set up a dedicated learning environment to partake in your online course and study. Determine what space lends yourself to greater productivity and the least distractions. Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection available to use. Whether it be at home, a library, or a coffee shop, you will want to be able to have a good connection. If you are in a public space, have headphones available for listening to lectures or discussions.
Utilize your resources
After your instructor has set the expectations for the class, be aware of the resources provided for you. Mark due dates on your calendar and bookmark websites that you'll use frequently. Just because you won't physically be with your professor doesn't mean they aren't still there to educate you. There will likely be an online discussion board for the class to ask and answer questions, but never hesitate to email your professor or instructor directly (unless you can find the answer in the syllabus!). If you need help, ask for it!
Manage your time wisely
If your course is asynchronous, it may be a new concept not to have to be in class at a specific time. That said, this doesn't mean you have free range to complete all the work right before the course ends. Be sure you follow your syllabus and are active in discussions so that you don't miss out on any due dates or deadlines. Set aside time to participate in the class and work on your coursework.
Actively participate and leverage your network
At first, it may feel like you are learning on your own, especially since you can't see any of your classmates in person. However, that is not the case. Professors and instructors encourage you to participate actively and work together with classmates to complete assignments and lessons. Engage in the discussion, read your emails, ask questions, and be an active participant in the course.
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