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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly diagnosed respiratory illness. The College is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation, and as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is taking action to address a potential future outbreak in the U.S. that could impact college operations, and other educational, personal, and business travel for students, faculty, and staff.

The College has convened its incident response team and is planning for different scenarios in the event it becomes necessary to implement emergency operations. We are in communication with local and state health officials to monitor the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  The CDC reports that immediate risk to the U.S. public is low; regardless, we understand there are many concerns about coronavirus.

There are no suspected or confirmed cases on First Institutes’ campuses.

Guidance for those who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19

The possibility of exposure to COVID-19 increases as more cases are confirmed around the country. If you believe you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or if you are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath), please seek treatment from a healthcare professional and follow CDC guidance.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you are under surveillance for COVID-19 please contact Lisa Raap, Director of Student Services and Compliance [email protected] immediately.

Preventing Illness

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • 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 spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • 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 with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website

For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings

Updated May 13, 2020