For those students who have had to remain on campus, unless you are extremely ill and look like you need hospitalization, we will provide a mask for you to wear to protect others and determine the best place for you to stay on campus.
To reiterate, we do not want you out and about on campus if you are ill with a fever and cough. This includes congregating with others on campus in close quarters - maintain your 6 foot social distancing and continue to practice meticulous hand washing and use of hand sanitizer.
We have been fortunate to avoid cases of COVID-19 in the Wabash Family (that we know of). Please read this information to become educated about how to slow down the spread of the virus and when to seek medical attention.
The best source for up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website and their FAQ page. You should bookmark these pages and refer to them frequently. The key to reducing the spread of the virus is to practice routine recommended prevention measures for respiratory illnesses. Frequent handwashing or using at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is extremely important, and is the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of becoming infected. Do not touch your face, mouth, nose or eyes (the average person does so 20 times per hour). It is CRITICAL that you become familiar with these practices and adhere to them every waking hour of your day. You should have a thermometer at home to monitor your temperature. You should carry facial tissues (Kleenex) with you to cough and sneeze into then throw them away. The goal of prevention is not only to keep you from getting sick but also to prevent you from spreading the virus to another member of the Wabash community who might develop severe illness or even die from COVID-19.
What Should I Do if I Think I'm Infected?
- Health professionals have difficulty differentiating respiratory illnesses this time of year. Many circulating respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold and influenza ("flu") have very similar symptoms to COVID-19. This makes it hard to determine who is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Testing for the virus is not currently recommended for the general population and is not available in the Health Center.
- The good news is that 80% of people infected with the coronavirus will have mild disease and make a full recovery just by staying home and treating their symptoms. However, you still need to remain vigilant and practice the Gentleman's Rule by helping protect others in our community. Data from China indicated that young people were felt to be at less risk of severe disease requiring hospitalization. However, data from the United States is revealing our younger patients are being hospitalized at a higher rate than in China. Note that there is no anti-viral medication available to treat COVID-19.
- IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:
- Extreme difficulty breathing
- Bluish lips or face
- Constant pain or pressure in the chest
- Severe constant dizziness or lightheadedness
- Difficulty being awakened
- Slurred speech (new or worsening)
- DO NOT WAIT TO CONTACT THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER
- Call 911 (tell the operator you think you may have COVID-19) or go to the Franciscan Health Crawfordsville Emergency Room north of Crawfordsville on US 231 (call ahead at 765.364.3132 and tell them you are coming and think you may have COVID-19).
- If you are experiencing normal symptoms (fever, cough, shortness-of-breath) and do NOT have the emergency symptoms listed above, do the following:
- Call your doctor’s office or contact the Student Health Center. DO NOT DROP BY UNANNOUNCED. Why? We do not want you out and about in public where you can expose others to your illness.
- Stay in your home or room on campus away from others and contact your doctor or the Student Health Center for advice. You may contact Nurse Amidon at 765.361.6265 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until you hear back from your doctor or Nurse Amidon, stay away from others and practice the infection control procedures outlined on the CDC prevention measures page. Note that this is the recommended procedure this time of year for any respiratory illness presenting with fever, cough or mild shortness-of-breath.
- Unless you are extremely ill and look like you need hospitalization, we will likely provide a mask for you to wear to protect others and, if you’re still on campus, ask that you leave and quarantine at home depending on how far away you live and other factors we may need to take into account. If you are unable to go home we will determine the best location for you to quarantine on campus.
- To reiterate, we do not want you out and about in public if you are ill with a fever and cough.
Thank you for your help in minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on the Wabash community.
Scott Douglas, MD ‘84
John Roberts, MD ‘83