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Frequently Asked Questions

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About COVID-19


What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes more cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days, including more instances of community spread. It’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. Because this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including any changes in the risk assessment.

The Michigan Department of Health has created a coronavirus website with information about COVID-19: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

How does it spread?

Although we have a lot to learn about this virus, it is currently believed that it spreads like other respiratory viruses- by people with the infection coughing and sneezing. These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose or mouth by contaminated hands.

What are the symptoms of this infection?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

If you have returned in the past 14 days from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak OR have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 AND are experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms (such as fever with coughing or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath), the CDC advises you to seek medical advice and call ahead to your health care provider.

Additionally, if you have NOT returned in the past 14 days from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak OR have NOT been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, but do have fever and respiratory symptoms seek medical advice and call ahead to your health care provider or nurse advice line. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, emergency room or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

I feel anxious about coronavirus. What can I do?

We understand that some community members are concerned. If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students through:

You can help prevent the spread of colds and other viral ailments by doing the following:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

Where can I get more information about the novel coronavirus?

For current information about this evolving public health situation, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page. The Michigan Department of Health has also created a website with information about COVID-19: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

 

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Health, wellness and prevention


What do I do if I feel sick?

If you are sick, stay home. Practice good hygiene.

  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Monitor your symptoms closely. Take your temperature daily.

Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends, without the use of fever-reducing medications. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around people who have compromised immune systems, underlying health conditions and/or are age 60 and older.

Take care of yourself. Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection — such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath — within 14 days of your return from personal or official travel to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) OR have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19, call your health care provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) without wearing personal protective equipment.

What do I do if I have confirmed or suspected COVID-19?

The CDC advises you to:

  • Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
  • Do not go to work, school or public areas.
  • Avoid using public transportation, taxis, or ride-share.
  • Monitor your symptoms and call before visiting your doctor. If you have an appointment, be sure you tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
  • If you have one, wear a face mask around other people, such as sharing a room or vehicle, or around pets and before entering a health care provider’s office.
  • If you can’t wear a mask because it’s hard for you to breathe while wearing one, then keep people who live with you out of your room, or have them wear a face mask if they come in your room.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw away in a lined trash can. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Soap and water is best.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes and glasses, or bedding.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub hands together until dry.
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day, such as counters, tables, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, and keyboards.
  • Use a household cleaning product to clean, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. Notify dispatch that you have or may have COVID-19
  • Remain in home isolation for 7 days OR until 72 hours after your fever has resolved (and symptoms get better) whichever is longer.

I may have been exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?

If you had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, but you do not have any symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath):

  1. Stay at home for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person. Do not go to school or work. Avoid public places.
  2. During the 14 days, monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) without wearing personal protective equipment.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection — such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath — within 14 days of your return from personal or official travel to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) OR have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19, call your health provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.

Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) without wearing personal protective equipment.

More information about potential exposure to COVID-19 can be found on The Michigan Department of Health’s coronavirus site: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

I have COVID-19 symptoms but have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?

According to the CDC:  

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These can be symptoms of other respiratory illnesses as well as COVID-19.

  • If you are in a high-risk category, and have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for advice. If you are at risk for serious illness, your health care provider may arrange a test for COVID-19.
  • If you do not have a high risk condition and your symptoms are mild, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Do not go out when you are sick, practice excellent hygiene, and wear a face mask when you are around other people if you can.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Avoid sharing personal household items. Clean your hands often. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs often.
  • Monitor your symptoms and call your health care provider if symptoms worsen.
  • Stay home and avoid others for 72 hours after your fever goes down and symptoms get better.

I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?

Testing is typically conducted by taking a swab at a health care provider’s office. Call ahead before visiting your health care provider to discuss whether you should be tested for COVID-19. For mild symptoms, testing is not always necessary.
People at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are:

  • People older than 60 years
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Pregnant women

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please do not go to a health care provider before calling first.

Please follow the directions in the “What do I do if I feel sick?” question if you are ill.

How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including coronavirus?

You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.

What should I do if I have an underlying health condition or am immunosuppressed or pregnant?

According to the Michigan Department of Health, people with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection.

The Health Department recommends that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. This includes concert venues, conventions, sporting events, and crowded social gatherings.
People at higher risk include people:

  • Over 60 years of age
  • With underlying health conditions including include heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • With weakened immune systems
  • Who are pregnant

Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with health care providers about whether their children should stay home.

Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for novel coronavirus should consult with their health care provider to determine if they should limit their time in public.

Should I wear a mask?

Public health agencies currently do not recommend that people wear masks when they are in public. Additionally, scientists are not sure whether wearing a mask in public actually keeps healthy people from getting sick.  It’s most important for people who are sick to wear a mask in a health care setting (such as a waiting room) to avoid exposing other people when they cough or sneeze.

In some parts of the world, mask use is customary. People wear masks often for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution, as a courtesy to others when they have the common cold, and for other cultural and even social reasons.

Michigan Department of Health recommends staying home and away from others if you are sick. However, keep in mind that if we see our friends, neighbors or other community members wearing a mask we should not assume that they have been exposed to coronavirus or any other illness (coronavirus is not currently present in our community). Because mask use is customary in some cultures, it’s not appropriate to make assumptions about why someone is wearing a mask or to stigmatize or discriminate against people who choose to wear masks.

Are there steps individuals, families and communities can take to help prepare if there is widespread transmission of COVID-19?

The CDC has a guide for individuals, families and communities on prevention and mitigation of the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. These steps include many of those listed above for personal health, as well as others relevant for broader community efforts.

How should I clean and disinfect communal spaces?

The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, computer keyboards, handrails, exercise rooms).

The disinfectant used should be on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol, or a 10% bleach/water solution to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. It is also recommended that all departments purchase single use disinfectant wipes for touch points within their work spaces.

Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.

Is it safe to travel?

 The U.S. State Department has issued a warning to U.S. citizens not to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, issuing the highest possible level of travel advisory.

 More information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html

 

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College operations


Are classes being held at Macomb?

As of Monday, March 16: The college is closed to the public. In-person services, as well as on-ground instruction, are no longer available. Please contact departments by telephone or email for resources and support. The college continues to work through the process of moving most classes online by March 23. Students should regularly consult Macomb’s website for updates and additional information. The administration continues to monitor the situation with the CDC and Macomb County Health Department, and will take additional actions as appropriate.

To receive important information from the college, including class updates from instructors, students should make sure the email address they have on record with the college is their primary email address. Students can review their email address on record and make any changes to it by going to the Self-Service Menu in My Macomb.  Click User Profile (under your name) and scroll to Email Addresses.

Are campus events affected at this time?

All events have been cancelled at Macomb until April 13, 2020.

How does Macomb clean and disinfect?

Macomb’s custodial cleaning service uses an EPA-registered disinfectant to clean touchpoints, public and common area restrooms and kitchens daily.

There are also dispenser stations throughout the campuses containing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, though proper handwashing technique is deemed to be more effective by the CDC. Handwashing instructions can be found in most all of the restrooms on Macomb’s campuses.

 

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Information for faculty and staff


How should faculty prepare for teaching their courses online?

To transfer their coursework to an online format, faculty should consult with their dean and associate dean, and the Center for Teaching and Learning, 586.445.7588.

I am a faculty member who has been instructed by my physician to self-isolate due to unprotected and direct COVID-19 exposure. What should I do?

Please inform your supervisor and contact Lauren Willey in Human Resources, and stay home and self-monitor for 14 days.

 

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