February 12, 2020
The College has been monitoring the recent coronavirus outbreak since it was first reported and closely following updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). According to the CDC, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania and 12 cases that have been confirmed nationally. Despite the absence of any confirmed cases near NCC locations, it's very important we treat the situation and associated health risks seriously. To that end, we are in regular communication with St. Luke's University Health Network about appropriate steps to follow in protecting our campus community during this time.
What is the College doing?
- Screening all individuals visiting the Health Center for recent international travel.
- Working to identify those individuals who may have been in China in the past two weeks.
- Continuing to partner with St. Luke's University Health Network to ensure awareness and implementation of CDC guidelines as they evolve.
What should you do?
- If you have traveled from China in the past two weeks or have direct contact with someone who has traveled from China in the past two weeks and you have not already received direct communication from the Health Center about the coronavirus, please contact the Health Center immediately by calling 610-861-5365.
- If you have traveled from China in the past two weeks or have direct contact with someone who has traveled from China in the past two weeks and you begin to experience symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) go to a local Emergency Room immediately.
- The CDC has not recommended any additional precautions for the general public at this time. Everyone should continue to practice everyday preventive action to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Wash hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- 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
- Get a flu vaccine
While these are every day habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses, the CDC also has specific guidance for travelers at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china.
Is there a coronavirus vaccine?
There is not currently a vaccine for the coronavirus, but we want to remind everyone of the importance of getting the flu vaccine. The CDC reports that, in the United States, the flu is currently a far bigger threat to public health than the coronavirus.
If you have any questions about information shared in this communication or what you should do to protect yourself against the coronavirus, please contact the College Health Center at 610-861-5365.
Theresa Newman MSN, RN
Health Services Coordinator
Northampton Community College
St. Luke's University Health Network