COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Overview
BLACKSBURG AREA UPDATES
Mar 27, 2020
Alternative modes of transportation can help with social distancing, good health and wellness, says expert
Virginia Tech transportation expert Ralph Buehler says that people who need to travel should consider alternate modes of transportation to not only practice social distancing, but foster healthy lifestyles and mental well-being.
Mar 25, 2020
Creativity, collaboration are key for online instruction
Before spring break and the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, Michelle Stocker’s class met during big blocks of lab time Mondays and Wednesdays to examine pieces of skeleton laid out on trays across six tables. That in-person environment presented a challenge to Stocker when figuring out how to best replicate the class in a distance-learning format.
COVID-19 at a glance
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.
Each member of the community plays an important role in preventing the community spread of COVID-19 by following these precautions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (at least 6 feet of distance).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning product.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
Additionally, everyone should practice social distancing as much as possible in their daily lives.
What to do if you get sick
- Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever (subjective or confirmed) and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing).
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Contact the New River Health District COVID-19 hotline at 540-267-8240 with any questions about symptoms. They will help guide you to next steps and answer your concerns.
- You may also contact your health provider or Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444.
- Call ahead before you seek medical care at Schiffert Health Center (540-231-6444), LewisGale Hospital Montgomery-Emergency Department (540-951-1111), or your health care provider office if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including fever. Tell the receptionist or your provider about your recent travel and symptoms.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Health.
March 22, 2020
All University community members who have traveled within the last 14 days domestically, internationally or from Northern Virginia, Eastern Virginia, or other identified COVID-19 hotspot areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia need to complete a phone or online health screening. A hotspot is defined as any geographic area or location that has had either a concentrated outbreak or a high risk of transmission. Read more