Coronavirus Letter from Sister Maureen - March 4, 2020

March 4, 2020

Dear Members of the Holy Family University Community,

In the past few days, you have likely heard intensifying reports about the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), that originated in Wuhan, China and has spread to more than 40 countries around the world.  Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted Americans to begin to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. They also advised to prepare for the possibility of disruptions to daily life, suggesting that businesses, schools, and families plan for its potential impact. Health Services and the university are closely monitoring the situation and working in collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Given that the university is on Spring Break, we wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to all members of the campus community about the importance of staying informed about the spread of coronavirus. We are strongly recommending and encouraging our students, faculty, and staff to be cautious about their travel choices during Spring Break and beyond. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers and because information regarding this disease is changing quickly, we advise you to check the CDC website for the most up-to-date details and travel guidance. If you are planning travel abroad, please contact your primary care physician in advance for current travel health and vaccination recommendations or the area you will be visiting.

The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which also include the “common cold,” and influenza:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Limit the spread of germs. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva. Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, cups, vapes, etc.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell, unless receiving medical attention.

Holy Family University will continue to monitor the Coronavirus and will communicate with you any steps needed to keep you and all members of our community safe. For more information on the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Sister Maureen McGarrity