Today, the College was notified that a member of our administrative staff, who works in Old Main, tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The employee was notified of the test results today and shared the information with us.
This staff member was last at work on the morning of Tuesday, March 10. When the employee began feeling ill, they went home and, after consulting with their health care provider and the local health department, began a 14-day self-quarantine. Furthermore, while the employee was not immediately tested, per current health department guidelines and consultation, they did contact other campus community members with whom they had close contact. The College has remained in touch with this individual and their family, and with the relevant local health agencies for guidance throughout.
Please join me in keeping this employee in our thoughts and prayers and in wishing them well for a full recovery.
It’s important to reinforce that, per healthcare guidelines, we have a responsibility to maintain the privacy of this individual. Thank you in advance for helping us honor our obligation to maintaining our employees’ privacy while fulfilling our commitment to keep the campus community informed.
We knew that it was likely only a matter of time before our campus community would be more directly affected by COVID-19, which is why we’ve taken the steps that we have over the past several days and weeks to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community. We have been told by public health officials to expect additional cases in the days and weeks to come; that information doesn’t make today’s news any less upsetting. Going forward, we will make updates about future cases directly to the College’s website (info.northcentralcollege.edu), and we will continue to consult with the health department regarding all future COVID-19 cases. I encourage everyone in our campus community to continue caring for each other during these trying times.
Troy D. Hammond
North Central College
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website (www.cdc.gov) includes many resources regarding COVID-19, and below is some helpful information from the CDC.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
How do I know if I was exposed to COVID-19?
Individuals generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Examples include living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19, caring for a sick person with COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, or being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.). The CDC says there is a low risk of exposure for those who are in the same indoor environment (e.g., a classroom, a hospital waiting room) as a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time but not meeting the definition of close contact.
What should I do if I am in close contact to someone with COVID-19 but am not sick?
Individuals are advised to monitor their health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing during the 14 days after the last day they were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. Individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should not go to work and should avoid public places for 14 days.
What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have symptoms such as a cough, fever or other respiratory issues, contact your regular healthcare provider in advance. Please do not go directly to a clinic, urgent care, emergency room or other health facility without calling first, as providers need to take special measures to protect themselves and other patients. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.
Please continue to visit the College’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates website for the most up-to-date information and the evolving list of FAQs regarding the College’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.