1/31/20: Coronavirus Update
Jan 31, 2020
As the week comes to an end, I want to provide an update on the novel Coronavirus:
- There are currently NO UCI students, staff, or faculty identified by the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) as “Persons Under Investigation” for the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus.
- There are NO NEW positive cases identified in Orange County.
UCI leadership have been meeting daily to discuss developments and keep our campus informed and safe. We are also working closely with the OCHCA and the UC system. We continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and have not been directed to quarantine or isolate students, staff, or faculty who have had recent travel to China.
The CDC continues to enforce the proactive screening of new travelers from high-risk areas as they enter the United States at major airports. These travelers are screened for symptoms, and depending on findings, may be advised on infection precautions, or tested and possibly isolated prior to returning to their home/work/school.
UCI is following the counsel of both the CDC and the University of California, which advises that available masks are for ill patients only, who we advise should stay home and recover before returning to classes.
Use of the specialized N95 masks is primarily designated for staff who have the highest potential contact with potentially sick individuals, such as healthcare providers and first responders.
Feelings of Concern
We are all aware of the anxiety that comes from the unknown, and there are still many unknowns about the Coronavirus. We have resources for our students who are feeling stressed and we encourage them to contact the UCI Counseling Center for support. Staff and faculty who are feeling anxious should contact the Employee Assistance Program.
The campus has launched a campaign this week with wellness ambassadors to bring awareness to best practices for staying healthy – physically and mentally. Ambassadors are also able to answer your questions regarding what is currently known about the Coronavirus, influenza, and the common cold.
As always, remember to wash your hands with soap and water frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Thank you for your cooperation in protecting the UCI community.
Albert S. Chang, MD, MPH
Medical Director, UCI Student Health Center
For more information, visit: https://ehs.uci.edu/PublicHealth/coronavirus.html