Dear Campus Community,
I am writing with new information regarding the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and steps the College has taken to ensure the safety of our community.
As you know, members of our community who recently traveled to China participated in health screenings when they returned to campus for the Spring semester. We continue to take additional steps by carefully monitoring individuals to ensure that everyone remains healthy during the incubation period for the virus.
On Monday, Feb. 3, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Chief of Epidemiology and Infection Control at Lehigh Valley Hospital, I made the decision to admit one of our students with very minor symptoms to the hospital for a comprehensive evaluation of a respiratory virus. As part of that evaluation, they will be testing for 2019-nCoV.
The individual being tested is in very good condition. Based on a careful assessment of reported interaction between the student and other members of our community, public health authorities have indicated that there is a low risk to the campus. I will share the results of the testing for 2019-nCoV when they become available, which I anticipate will likely be several days from now. We are working closely with the PA Department of Health and in the event of a positive test result we will coordinate with the DOH to assess any additional risk for individual exposures in the community.
We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the campus. Our decisions and actions are based on the most up to date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health. That guidance continues to evolve as we learn more about 2019-nCoV. We will continue to assess the exposure risk of each individual in accordance with the latest information provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
I appreciate the exceptional cooperation of our students, and I know that everyone will remain supportive of anyone in our community who might be affected by this global health issue. I encourage everyone to read about the novel coronavirus, related FAQs and adhere to recommendations for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
Clean surfaces, door knobs, keyboards with germicidal wipes.
Stay out of class/work when you are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Director of Health Services