March 3, 2020
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rapidly evolve, with two presumptive positive cases being confirmed in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health is monitoring these individuals, who remain in isolation. It is likely that additional cases in the state will be announced in coming days.
UCF is continuing communication, coordination and planning using updated guidance from our state and federal health partners. Today, we launched a new website, ucf.edu/coronavirus/coronavirus, which will be regularly updated with the latest information. The most important thing you can do right now is take precautions and prioritize your personal safety.
Protection and Prevention
COVID-19 symptoms are generally flu-like and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure, and a person can be contagious but not symptomatic.
While the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low at this time, everyone can take these simple steps to prevent the spread of germs:
- Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. More information about proper hand washing is available here: cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue or your elbow and dispose of tissue immediately.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick, and avoid others if you are sick.
- If you’re feeling sick, stay home. Do not risk your health or the well-being of others by trying to “tough it out.”
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
- Avoid grasping shared surfaces such as door handles, gas pumps, grocery carts, elevator buttons, etc. with your hands. Use your knuckles or hips or a paper towel or disposable glove.
- Avoid shaking hands.
Flu vaccines are highly recommended, as it is flu season. Flu shots are available for free to students at Student Health Services, and employees can also receive the shot there for a cost.
Hand sanitizer stations are available across campus, and UCF is adding more to high-traffic areas on campus to encourage use during flu season.
In keeping with federal guidance regarding avoiding nonessential travel, UCF Global has added China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mongolia, Italy and Japan to its restricted destinations list. All study abroad programs to these countries have been canceled.
Any students who return from travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea are required to self-quarantine and not return to campus for 14 days after their return, the period in which they could be contagious and pose a threat to others.
UCF Global is closely monitoring developments in the area and will continue to provide updates here: global.ucf.edu/international-health-and-safety/restricted-travel/
With Spring Break approaching, UCF encourages travelers to be mindful of COVID-19’s potential impact on their plans. Destinations with large, confined groups of people pose a higher risk of transmission. Travelers should proceed with caution, thoroughly research their destination, and consult with their doctors and UCF regarding any concerns.
Travel updates from the CDC are available here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelersl.
The most up-to-date information is available at ucf.edu/coronavirus/coronavirus.
At UCF, anyone with additional questions may call UCF Student Health Services at 407-823-2509. The UCF Police Department, which is staffed 24/7, also is available by calling 407-823-5555.
Students experiencing distress related to the outbreak can reach Counseling and Psychological Services 24/7 by calling 407-823-2811.
Frequently asked questions UCF employees may have are answered here: hr.ucf.edu/files/HR-FAQ-Coronavirus-2March20.pdf.
UCF will continue to monitor COVID-19 and share updates. Remember, the most important precaution you can take is being mindful your personal health by avoiding contact with germs.