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There is no vaccine available for COVID-19. In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:
- If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Maintain at least 3-feet distance between yourself and anyone else that does not live in your home (“social distancing”)
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and water bottles.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing: this video from the CDC can help you understand the practice of good social distancing behavior.
Who is at risk?
- According to the Maryland Department of Health, currently:
- people are at risk who recently traveled to geographic areas of concern
- people who have close personal contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or care for people with COVID-19.
- From the World Health Organization: “While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.”
- It’s not too late to get your flu shot!
- While the influenza vaccine does not protect against coronavirus infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season.
What if I get sick?
- University Health Services will be providing services remotely starting Monday, March 23, from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays. Please call 410-455-2542. If you have non-emergency health concerns outside of regular business hours and wish to speak with someone from UMBC’s After-Hours Support Line, please call 410-455-3230. If you are experiencing a physical health emergency while on campus please call UMBC Police at 410-455-5555. If you are off campus please call or 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Call ahead to a healthcare professional, such as UHS, if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections
- If you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread, tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact.
Don’t be a carrier
- If you become ill, follow all directions from your healthcare provider to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home or community.
- Stay at home until instructed to leave: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low as determined by healthcare providers.
- The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
- If you have been instructed to self-quarantine please follow all directions to help prevent the disease from spreading to others.
- The CDC differentiates between isolation and quarantine. Isolation is reserved for people infected with coronavirus who are separated from the general public to prevent spreading the virus. Quarantine for people who could have been exposed to the virus but haven’t shown any symptoms (asymptomatic) and are asked to self-monitor for a set period of time, typically at home, to ensure no symptoms develop.
- If you are instructed to quarantine or isolate you should stay home and not go into school or work.
Stay home if you feel ill
- If you are sick, please stay home and rest.
- This applies to all students, faculty, and staff.
What should I do if I feel sick and UHS is closed?
- Getting sick can be a frustrating experience.
- For Coronavirus symptoms, remember to call first before you go to any medical facility, to help stop the spread in case you do have the virus.
- If UHS is closed, we still want to make sure students can have urgent health questions and concerns addressed quickly.
- Resources for after-hours care – PLEASE DO NOT go to the Hospital Emergency room unless you have a true emergency, as it is very expensive – start with the list of Urgent Care clinics further down the page for non-emergencies: uhs.umbc.edu/services/emergency-after-hours-care/
I’m a Graduate Assistant, and I’m feeling ill, what should I do?
- If you are sick, please stay home and rest.
- Stay in touch with your supervisor and update them on your health.
- Review the GA handbook for more info about the sick leave policy, found on page 7.
- Link to GA handbook: gradschool.umbc.edu/funding/assistantships/handbook/