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Coronavirus

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Individuals and organizations around the world are taking aggressive steps to contain COVID-19. To contain the spread of COVID-19 and in compliance with the governor’s Restore Illinois Plan, SIU Carbondale is planning to offer fall classes in multiple formats, including in-person, online and hybrid (a mix of in-person and online).

Offices are open Monday through Friday. Please do your part protect the health and safety of the Saluki community. Call or email to make an appointment whenever possible. Masks are required to enter buildings; in public spaces such as hallways, lobbies, reception areas and elevators; and whenever social distancing is not possible either indoors or outdoors.

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The following FAQs address SIU Carbondale’s response to COVID. Information is subject to change due to the rapidly changing situation. Please revisit this site regularly. Submit additional questions to pandemicinfo@siu.edu. (updated 5-15-20)

General Information

See the Fall 2020 plan and FAQ for details about the fall semester.

Please see Saluki Safety for details on safety initiatives.

Yes, but we recommend contacting offices to see if they can help you remotely or calling ahead for appointments. Offices will continue to assist visitors remotely but may also serve them in person following social distancing practices. In-person appointments, if necessary, should be scheduled, and visitors should be advised that masks are required. Signage will be posted at building entrances indicating that masks and social distancing are required. Visitors are not allowed in residence halls.

University-sponsored gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed with appropriate approval beginning August 1, in compliance with the state's Restore Illinois Plan. Event sponsors will be expected to have an approved plan that incorporates social distancing and other safety protocols.

Approval is required for all on-campus and off-campus events sponsored by the university. To request approval, submit the approval form to the appropriate vice chancellor at least two weeks before the event. Plans will be reviewed by an internal safety team before approval is final. Events may not be promoted until they are approved, so early submission is encouraged.

In order to protect the health and safety of the university community, external groups may not rent or use university facilities at this time.

Decisions on fall events are pending.

Yes. SIU has had cases with residential students as well as employees. We work closely with the Jackson County Health Department, which is responsible for tracing cases of COVID-19 and recommending quarantine or isolation of ill or exposed individuals. Faculty, staff or students who have been exposed to COVID-19 are notified directly by the health department.

The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the university’s safety protocols (see Saluki Safety) stay-at-home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.

COVID-19 shares many symptoms with more common respiratory diseases. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for further guidance. Students should contact the SIU Student Health Center at 618-453-3311. In addition, Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) has established a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-988-7800. Clinicians there will answer questions, assess each caller and advise on next steps for evaluation or potential testing.

The university has been giving excess or unneeded supplies and equipment, including gloves, masks and goggles, to health agencies while ensuring that we retain enough on hand to serve the campus if needed. There is a great deal of collaboration between the university, including its School of Medicine, and Southern Illinois Healthcare and other organizations. See SIU campus donates needed items to local health and safety agencies and other stories.

The Student Health Center will continue to monitor the situation with this virus and is in contact with the Jackson County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for regular updates.

The health center has protocols in place, in concordance with CDC guidelines, for the evaluation of patients who may be at risk for contracting COVID-19. The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to detect new cases quickly and prevent community spread of COVID-19.

Parents can visit this website regularly. To be added to an email list for updates and other information, send your email address to  pandemicinfo@siu.edu or sign up here.

Admissions staff are available to speak with students by phone or in a virtual format. Students and families can register for an individualized virtual chat with an admissions coordinator at admissions.siu.edu/visit. Starting August 10, a limited daily visit program will be offered by appointment only. Please contact 618-536-4405 or admissions@siu.edu to arrange an in-person or virtual meeting.

The federal CARES Act provides emergency funding to help students cover some expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Funds can be used toward the cost of attendance, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care or similar expenses directly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. CARES Act funding available to students in the spring has been distributed.

ACADEMICS

See the Fall 2020 plan and FAQ for details about the fall semester.

Yes. Registration deadlines could change due to COVID-19.  Fall registration is open and available up to the start of fall 2020 semester classes on Aug. 17.

Resources for faculty are available at siu.edu/facultystaff. Resources and tips for students are at siu.edu/current.

Academic advisement will continue online as well as phone and email.

Study abroad: The Office of Study Abroad Programs has suspended 2020 travel study programs through the summer.  All students who were studying abroad during the spring semester have safely returned to the United States. 

The office is accepting study abroad applications for fall 2020, winter intersession 2021, spring 2021, spring break 2021 and summer 2021. If a program is cancelled due to COVID-19 before the start date, SIU will refund all payments or students may defer their application to the next term.

For students seeking an international experience that does not require travel, Study Abroad Programs has joined with partner institutions around the world to offer a Virtual International Internship Program during the 2020-21 school year.  Virtual internships are available in most career fields and areas of study. Please email studyabr@siu.edu for more information.

International student enrollment (current students in the U.S.): The U.S. government has waived the maximum online hours rule for schools that have switched to online delivery during the summer session due to the coronavirus. Visa status will remain active so long as students enroll in the appropriate courses to be full-time. A decision by the U.S. government regarding the fall 2020 semester is expected in the coming days. Immigration updates can be found on the Center for International Education website.

International student enrollment (new and current students abroad): Most American Embassies and consular offices are not currently issuing student visas due to the coronavirus. Newly admitted students who are currently outside the U.S. as well as current students who returned home over the summer may not be able to travel to the U.S. in time for the start of the fall 2020 semester. To the extent possible, the university will work to accommodate these students via online instruction.  Students are encouraged to contact their academic units to determine if online courses are available. 

University international travel: The university will continue to monitor recommendations from health agencies and adapt plans as necessary. Please see the updated travel restrictions, some of which apply to students, in the faculty/staff section.

HOUSING AND STUDENT LIFE

Students, including student employees, may pick up their masks when they check into residence halls and in their academic colleges. Masks will be distributed between 9: a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14, and Monday and Tuesday, August 17 and 18. Masks will also be available at the Dean of Students office, the Student Center I.D. Office, and the Student Health Center Wellness office.

All student services and facilities will be available, including computer labs, Career Services, Student Health Services, Morris Library, academic advising, tutoring programs, the Student Center and the Student Recreation Center. However, services may be modified to accommodate social distancing and other safety requirements. For example, the Student Recreation Center will deactivate every other machine, enhance cleaning protocols and enforce new capacity guidelines. Details are included in Saluki Safety.

Students who are eligible for CARES act emergency funding have been notified. Please see additional information.

We know that many students and families are facing financial challenges due to the pandemicr and our shared efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to minimize the impact of these challenges on your ability to continue your education.

We have increased the amount you can carry on your bursar account in order to be able to register for summer and fall 2020 classes. Previously, if you owed more than $200 on your account you would not be able to register. We are raising that amount to $1,500 to minimize barriers to registration. In other words, as long as you owe no more than $1,500 on your account, you will be able to register for summer and fall 2020 classes. This is a temporary measure in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic. Please email the bursar’s office at bursar@siu.edu or call 618-453-2221 with questions.

You might consider calling Counseling and Psychological Services, where counselors are available to help students with mental health concerns or coach students with who are dealing with anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. CAPS staff will be available by phone at 618-453-5371 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Treatment and coaching options have been expanded to accommodate students remotely and now include telehealth appointments, skills coaching or referrals to other providers in your area. All students are advised to call CAPS at 618-453-5371 to determine the treatment options that would best meet their needs.

The following websites offer strategies for people who feel anxiety related to the coronavirus and suggestions on how to take care of your mental health: Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak and Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks.

Yes. Saluki Express will continue to run the break route.

Yes. Although library stacks will be closed, items can be checked out in advance. Individuals with specialized research needs that require access to the stacks may make an appointment. Access to collections will be limited to current students, faculty and staff. Reference service will be offered online and by appointment. Access to special collections, maps, microfilm and the testing tutoring and writing centers will be by appointment.

The first-floor computer lab, room 139, will open and has been reconfigured to accommodate social distancing. The first-floor study around Delyte’s will be open with access to WiFi for those with laptops who do not have WiFi at home. (Students who do not have laptops should contact Saluki Cares for assistance.)

The library will continue to deliver the following services:

  • We are scanning parts of books for faculty and students on demand. Current Fair Use best practices allow us to scan entire books if necessary.
  • Reference services will be delivered through Ask a Librarian by phone at 618-453-1455, or by appointment.
  • Please consult our Morris Library Covid-19 FAQ for more information.

All student services and facilities will be available, including computer labs, Career Services, Student Health Services, Morris Library, academic advising, tutoring programs, the Student Center and the Student Recreation Center. However, services may be modified to accommodate social distancing and other safety requirements. For example, the Student Recreation Center will deactivate every other machine, enhance cleaning protocols and enforce new capacity guidelines.

You still have access to many university support services whether you are on campus or at home. Here are just a few:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Counselors are available to help students with mental health concerns or coach students who are dealing with anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. CAPS staff are available by phone at 618-453-5371 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Treatment and coaching options have been expanded to accommodate students remotely and now include telehealth appointments, skills coaching or referrals to other providers in your area.
  • Morris Library: Reference services are being delivered virtually through Ask a Librarian or by phone at 618-453-1455. Library staff members are scanning parts of books for faculty and students on demand. Current Fair Use best practices allow scanning of entire books if necessary. Please consult the Morris Library Covid-19 FAQ for more information.
  • Saluki Cares: Students in distress due to financial, academic or other concerns can reach out to Saluki Cares for help. Email siucares@siu.edu, fill out a referral form or call 618-453-2461.
  • SalukiTech: Contact SalukiTech for technology services. SalukiTech also has online resources to assist students, faculty and staff impacted by the “stay-at-home” order. (added 4-3-20)
  • Student Health Services: Staff are available to answer health-related questions by phone and email. Students can call 618-453-3311 or email shcinfo@siu.edu with health-related questions. Please do not share personal health-related information by email. Students in the Carbondale area should call ahead to make appointments.
  • Students Legal Assistance: Enrolled students have access to legal assistance in selected areas. Visit the website to learn more or email sladesk@siu.edu.

United Healthcare is taking action to ensure health plan members and patients affected by COVID-19 have the support and resources they need. United Healthcare has an informative FAQ sheet, and students can ask specific follow-up questions at 1-866-948-8472. It is important to note that laboratory testing for COVID-19 will be covered, and cost sharing will be waived, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines. Please call the number above if you have concerns regarding approved locations. If you are an SIU Carbondale student in the Carbondale area, please remember that Student Health Services is open and capable of testing for COVID-19. If you have symptoms and/or a possible exposure to COVID-19, please call the Student Health Center to schedule an appointment at 618-453-4458. If you are at home, please visit www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount to find a network provider near you.

You can contact Gallagher Student Health at 1-888-538-0602 to request a form to petition to add student health insurance due to a qualifying event. The rates will be prorated for the semester.

Students and family members can call the Office of the Dean of Students 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday. Questions can also be sent to the pandemicinfo@siu.edu email address at any time, including evenings and weekends.

Because recommendations change daily, please contact Student Health Services at 618-453-3311 or shcinfo@siu.edu.The State of Illinois is currently not requiring quarantine of people who come from other states.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold in-person commencement in December based on what we know today about the likelihood that the size of gatherings will still be limited under the Restore Illinois plan. We will hold a virtual commencement ceremony and plan to offer an opportunity to participate in a face-to-face commencement in the future.

FACULTY AND STAFF

Following are highlights of the return-to-work plan in effect August 1-December 31, 2020. Note that the plan is based on recommendations from multiple sources and is subject to change based on additional guidance from state and health officials.

  • Most units or offices will be physically staffed by at least one person and maintain regular office hours.
  • On-site staffing will be determined by unit directors and deans based on the guidelines outlined throughout the online FAQ (50 percent maximum, ability to ensure social distancing, office need, etc.). Note that directors and deans may delegate any of their outlined responsibilities. Employees may be asked to work staggered shifts or days to ensure that no more than 50 percent of staff are physically present at any one time. Only those employees directed to return to campus should do so. Many staff members will continue to work remotely either some of the time or all of the time.
  • Employees who can work effectively from home may be allowed to do so based on the needs of the office; we assume that many employees who currently work remotely will continue to do so.
  • Employees who are unable to perform their duties from home may be notified that they should return to work on campus.
  • Social distancing and a number of other precautions will be taken to support the safety of faculty and staff.
  • Staff who have been required to work on campus since March will continue their responsibilities as directed by their supervisors.
  • Meetings should continue to be held virtually regardless of where staff are located.
  • Review Returning to Work: Training and Resources and Returning to Work: Guidelines for August 1-December 31 .
  • Adhere to safety protocols: wear masks in public spaces as required, wash hands frequently for no less than 20 seconds, maintain social distance, etc.
  • Clean areas and equipment as noted under safety precautions.
  • Leave trash cans and recycling bins outside of your office when you leave; building services staff will not be entering individual offices in order to minimize touching of doors.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones or equipment and sharing items that are not easily cleansed, sanitized or disinfected.
  • Open office windows when possible to promote circulation of fresh, outside air.
  • Clear public areas of handouts and other items to minimize contact by multiple people.
  • Hold meetings virtually.
  • Student Center dining options may be limited. Starbucks will continue to be open with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Most water fountains are shut off, but there are touchless fountains to refill water containers in each building. Please plan accordingly.
  • Pay attention to your health. If you are sick or believe you may have been exposed, stay home and follow your doctor’s instructions. Employees who suspect they have or been diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow instructions from health officials.

Please see Saluki Safety for information about health and safety protocols.

Yes. Reusable face coverings have been provided to units and office offices packaged individually with employee name. Employees may also use their own. Email hrbenefits@siu.edu to make a request for a mask if you did not receive one.

Buildings will be unlocked during regular office hours. Individual units may post signage if they prefer that people call before they come to their offices.

Mail will be delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and FedEx and UPS deliveries will be possible Monday through Friday.

Buildings and offices will remain physically open after the Thanksgiving holiday through December 23. Operations and services will be maintained as usual. However, remote work will be allowed and encouraged whenever possible during this period. Deans, directors or their designees will determine essential on-campus staffing levels. Employees who are not required to work on campus and who are able to work effectively from a remote location will be allowed to do so with appropriate vice chancellor approval.

Directors and deans will have discretion to physically staff offices based on need and will limit the number of people who come in to no more than 50 percent of the staff at any time You may ask your supervisor to be considered as decisions are made.

Yes, if your director or dean determines that you are needed to support on-campus operations you must report to work.

Director and deans will have discretion to approve individual requests.

Directors and deans, with approval of the appropriate vice chancellor, will have discretion to approve individual requests. In reviewing requests, they will consider the employee’s effectiveness while working at home and the staffing and other needs of the office. To the extent reasonable, supervisors are encouraged to allow employees who meet these criteria to continue working remotely.

Individuals requesting or approved to work remotely for any part of the work week should complete and submit a remote work agreement to their supervisors, who will review and forward to the appropriate director, dean or designee. See remote work guidelines and agreement.

Note that while approval to work remotely can be for up to three months, supervisors have discretion to approve a shorter time frame or reassess and require employees to return to campus before the approved time frame. Supervisors should also keep in mind the importance of maintaining services as students return to campus in August. Approved agreements with vice chancellor signatures should be sent to hrrecords@siu.edu or the human resources records office, mail code 6520.

Directors and deans, with approval of the appropriate vice chancellor, are encouraged to allow employees who meet the CDC guidelines for being at a higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 to work remotely if the employee requests such an accommodation and the employee can perform the essential functions of the position while working remotely. If the employee is approved to work remotely, the supervisor and employee should complete a remote work agreement. See remote work guidelines and agreement. Approved agreements with vice chancellor signatures should be sent to hrrecords@siu.edu or the human resources records office, mail code 6520.

Employees requesting remote work due to high risk associated with COVID-19 are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. They should submit a doctor’s statement to human resources. The medical certification does not need to be submitted by June 29 in order for employees to work remotely with approval from the appropriate unit director or dean. Statements should be submitted as soon as practicable with a goal of September 1.

If remote work does not allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the position, supervisors should consider, in consultation with the employee and appropriate director or dean, any appropriate accommodations or modifications, including but not limited to changes to the work site (e.g. acrylic shields or location changes) or modified shifts to address safety issues for those employees. Some requests for accommodation may fall under the Americans with Disability Act. Supervisors who receive requests they cannot reasonably accommodate should visit the campus ADA website for guidance on what is covered under the act and consult with the ADA office as needed.

Requests for leave due to an employee’s risk for COVID 19 should be referred to Human Resources.

In phase three, employees who are unable to perform their responsibilities at home can be directed to come to campus. Employees who are unable to work or decline to work as directed must take vacation or unpaid leave unless they meet certain criteria for emergency paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please see background and full guidelines.

It is possible that you may qualify for extended family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please see background and full guidelines.

It is possible that you may qualify for extended leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please see background and full guidelines. Employees who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should consult with a medical professional and their supervisors before returning to work.

The university will be taking a number of steps to protect the safety of employees and encourages staff to take precautions at all times, whether or not they are at work. If you are required and able to work and choose not to do so, please contact Labor and Employee Relations to discuss your options.

Emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave will be available to faculty and staff who meet certain criteria from April 1 through December 31, 2020. Please see background and full guidelines.

Student employees may work as long as you can ensure social distancing and other safety protocols, provide training, and your dean or director has verified that you can comply with the 50 percent staffing ratio. Student employees may get there masks at the same locations masks are being provided to all students.

A phased research reengagement plan has been drafted and shared with research faculty. The plan helps faculty assess their ability to comply with social distancing and other COVID-19-related requirements and mandates the use of an application for reengaging labs that have not been operational during the stay-at-home order. Contact your lab supervisor or the Office of Research Compliance for more information.

You can find information about remote teaching and work tools at siu.edu/facultystaff.

The Office of Information Technology has developed online resources. You can also contact Saluki Tech at salukitech@siu.edu or 618-453-5155.

Yes, employees exhibiting symptoms will be sent home. The employee's continued presence must pose no risk to the health of the employee, other employees and students in order to remain at work.

Infected employees pose a threat to other employees and students and could spread the virus. If a supervisor believes an employee has COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever, the supervisor will consult with his/her director. Based on that and any other necessary consultation, an employee who is suspected to have COVID-19 will be ordered to go home to protect the campus community. If the employee refuses the directive to go home, that employee may be disciplined for insubordination in accordance with applicable policies, rules, and/or collective bargaining agreements.

It’s important to understand that the governor has issued an order that masks are required in certain circumstances. This is for your protection and the protection of your colleagues, students and campus visitors, many of whom may be at high risk or live with individuals who are at high risk. We expect employees to set an example for others by following safety protocols. Employees who do not comply with safety protocols may be subject to discipline.

In compliance with the governor’s order, masks are required in indoor public spaces regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. Indoor public places include spaces anyone can access, such as reception areas with walk-in access and the lobbies of buildings. However, we expect staff to wear masks at all locations, including offices and laboratories, where multiple people are present and social distancing is variable or not possible. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing is not possible and when multiple employees are sharing a vehicle.  The university encourages employees to use their own masks when possible.

Individuals who are not wearing masks when required should be reminded that they must wear masks to protect the health and safety of the campus community. Individuals who refuse to wear masks in the public spaces of buildings should be asked to leave. You may report employees who refuse to wear masks when required to either the employee’s supervisor or to Labor and Employee Relations, ler@siu.edu or 618-453-6691.

Offices may request a few extra masks to give to visitors who arrive without masks. Email hrbenefits@siu.edu starting June 29 to make a request.  Visitors who refuse to wear masks should be asked to leave.

Temporary illnesses, such as the flu, are not typically considered a work-related injury under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act. However, the university encourages employees to consult with Human Resources in order to verify whether the employee's particular situation may be covered.

FMLA may be available with regard to the employee's own serious health condition or for the care of a family member with a serious health condition. Please also see question above regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Contact Human Resources for more information.

Business travel is strongly discouraged but may be approved in rare cases by the appropriate vice chancellor. Please use the travel request form.  Depending on where they travel, employees may be required to self-quarantine upon return. Because recommendations change daily, employees should contact Student Health Services at 618-453-3311 or shcinfo@siu.edu for advice about quarantining after travel. Faculty and staff who have traveled or self-quarantined should communicate with their immediate supervisors.

Because recommendations change daily, employees should contact Student Health Services at 618-453-3311 or shcinfo@siu.edu for advice about quarantining after travel. Faculty and staff who have traveled or self-quarantined should communicate with their immediate supervisors.

Please work with the airlines as you would with any other canceled flight.

Start with your supervisor with questions related to your status or office. Supervisors will consult with directors and deans as appropriate. Questions may also be sent to pandemicinfo@siu.edu by any employee.

INSTRUCTORS

Detailed guidelines for managing classroom concerns will be provided to you in a classroom safety guide. As one aspect of our approach, your dean’s or school director’s office will provide you with extra masks to give to a student who forgets to wear one. The syllabus supplement that is routinely provided from the provost’s office includes language about mandatory wearing of a mask in the classroom and the student conduct code violation.

With the aim of de-escalation of conflict, students who refuse to wear masks should be reminded of the University’s mask requirement. A student who continues to refuse should be excused from the class for the day and directed to leave the classroom. Students who repeatedly forget masks or refuse to wear them should be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for possible disciplinary action. The office can be reached at 618-536-2338 or via a Saluki Cares report.

Tell the student to self-isolate and call the Student Health Center at 618-453-3311 for further instruction. If the student shows up in class and expresses concern about his or her health or seems to be ill health, ask them to leave, self-isolate and contact the Student Health Center for further instruction.

The Jackson County Health Department is responsible for tracing and notifying individuals who may have had contact with someone exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. You may be contacted for your seating chart, but the health department has the responsibility for notifying individuals who may have been exposed. The health status of an individual student is confidential. Decisions related to future classes should be made in consultation with the dean or director based on information provided by the Jackson County Health Department.

If you believe you have been exposed to or may have COVID-19, do not come to campus and follow the instructions of your health care provider or the Jackson County Health Department. You may also call the SIH COVID-19 hotline at 844-988-7800 for guidance. Follow the usual protocols for notifying your department or school of your absence. Do not return to work unless you have a negative test result or have been cleared by a medical professional.

If you believe you have been exposed to or may have COVID-19, do not come to campus and follow the instructions of your health care provider or the Jackson County Health Department. You may also call the SIH COVID-19 hotline for guidance. Follow the usual protocols for notifying your department or school of your absence. Do not return to work unless you have a negative test result or have been cleared by a medical professional.

Please contact Disability Support Services at 618-615-4492 for private, confidential assistance with requests for accommodation related to elevated risk for COVID-19.

Please contact Disability Support Services at 618-615-4492 for private, confidential assistance with requests for accommodation.

The Center for Teaching Excellence is providing several resources. Please click on this link: cte.siu.edu.

Please email pandemicinfo@siu.edu and we will follow up with you directly.

ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus that was first identified after an outbreak of respiratory illnesses in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus has now spread internationally and has been widely reported in the United States.

The following information is from the CDC: “Everyone is at risk for getting COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill, which means that they may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die.”

People at increased risk for severe illness include older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are within close contact (about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object with the virus and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

The following is from the CDC website. Check the site for updates.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

We recommend that you follow reliable sources of information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization, both of which are constantly updating their websites as the situation evolves.

Social distancing is a way to reduce the risk of controlling the spread of contagious diseases. It includes avoiding large gatherings, keeping at least 6 feet away from other individuals, not shaking hands and other strategies to avoid close contact with others.

Please see the CDC recommendations.

  • Avoid others who are sick if possible.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer multiple times a day.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Monitor your health.

Students should call the SIU Health Center at 618-453-3311 before going to the center. Faculty and staff, as well as students who are not locally based, should contact their community medical providers before going to the office. See additional information below.

  • Students:
    • Call the SIU Student Health Center (or the medical clinic you are going to present to) prior to coming to the clinic.
    • Please check-in at the welcome desk and tell them that you might be at risk.
    • You will be given a mask to wear and clinic staff will be notified so that they can take you to a separate room to be evaluated.
    • If it is determined that you qualify as a Patient Under Investigation (PUI), then the Jackson County Health Department will be notified.
    • Further testing and evaluation will be determined through guidance from the Jackson County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Non-students:
    • Follow the CDC’s guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
    • If you are a resident in a community where person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been detected and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider about your symptoms.
    • If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider about your symptoms and your exposure.
    • People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.