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COVID-19 Information

Stay Informed, Stay Healthy

COVID-19 Information

Stay Informed, Stay Healthy

COVID-19 Information

Stay Informed, Stay Healthy
Computer-generated rendering of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Remote Operations Information

Get the information you need, including frequently asked questions, to stay on track as an SVC student or employee.

COVID-19 Resources and Information

COVID-19 Testing by the Skagit County Health Department

NEW HOURS
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30am – 4:00pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 11:00am – 7:00pm

(You don’t need an appointment)

Questions? Visit the Skagit County Health Department website or call 360.336.9380.

SVC COVID-19 Updates

March 26, 2020

No new operational updates.

Situation Summary

In recent weeks, we have seen news reports about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  We have been monitoring the development of this virus since we first became aware of it in January. As this health issue continues to evolve, we are taking steps to keep our college community healthy and safe, and to keep you informed.

SVC’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated permanently and is meeting regularly. The EOC is working closely with local and state public health officials, and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  to align our plans with the most current recommendations from experts. This includes encouraging everyone to monitor their own health, practice good hygiene, and stay home if they feel sick.

As part of the COVID-19 response, the College has instituted the Cleaning for Prevention plan. This plan concentrates on disinfecting touch points and surfaces. These include: urinals, toilets, sinks and counters, floors, tables, door handles in every door, push bars, drinking fountains, stair rails, and in general any surface the individuals may touch on a daily basis.

Policies/Advisories

Skagit Valley College is not restricting travel at this time. If travel situations change, SVC will support travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. State Department, Governor’s Office, Washington State Department of Health, Skagit County Health Department,  Island County Health Department, and San Juan County Health Department. We encourage you to visit these agencies online to determine if there are any specific travel advisories to your destination and whether or not you feel comfortable traveling.

Supporting a Healthy SVC Community

As members of a global community, it is important to note that although COVID-19 started in China, having Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not place a person at higher risk for this illness. Further, while some individuals may choose to wear a mask, we should not assume that person is sick, as there are medical, cultural, and social reasons for doing so.

We must take care of ourselves as individuals and as a college community by supporting SVC’s Guiding Principles of Respect, Integrity, Open and Honest Communication, Collaboration, and Compassion. Thank you for supporting a healthy SVC community for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

About COVID-19

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is currently low. Because this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including any changes in the risk assessment.

How does it spread?

Although we have a lot to learn about this virus, it is currently believed that it spreads like other respiratory viruses- by people with the infection coughing and sneezing. These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose or mouth by contaminated hands.

How can I help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

If you feel fine, but have had close contact with a sick person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (pdf), please monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.

If your child or someone else in your household has a cough and a fever, but has NOT been tested for COVID-19, the sick person needs to stay home until their fever and symptoms have been gone for 72 hours. You and the rest of the household can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. There are many potential respiratory diseases that can cause cough and a fever.

If a friend of a friend has COVID-19, you can continue to go to work and school as long as you feel well. If you have not been around someone with COVID-19, the chances that it is COVID-19 are fairly low.

If you are worried about your older or medically fragile friends and relatives, this is a time to practice social distancing. Refrain from shaking hands, high-fives, and hugs, stand 6 feet or more away from other people. See if you can work from home. Wash your hands frequently.

The CDC advises you to:

  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Monitor your symptoms closely. Remember that the likelihood is low that you have coronavirus. Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever.

Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around infants and small children as well as people who have compromised immune systems and/or are over the age of 65. If you returned from China in the last 14 days, and your arrival date was February 2 or later, you will have received instructions from the CDC and from the local or state health department. Please follow these instructions. Guidelines for travelers returning from other countries are available from the CDC.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

If you have returned in the past 14 days from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak OR have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 AND are experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms (such as fever with coughing or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath), the CDC advises you to seek medical advice and call ahead to your health-care provider or nurse advice line.

Additionally, if you have NOT returned in the past 14 days from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak OR have NOT been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, but do have fever and respiratory symptoms seek medical advice and call ahead to your health-care provider or nurse advice line. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, emergency room or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

Where can I get more information?

For general questions and concerns we have created a dedicated campus hotline at 844-840-0040.

For students, if you have a specific health concern please contact the Student Health Center at 360-650-3400.

For employees with specific health concerns please contact your primary health care provider.

For current information about this evolving public health situation, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page.

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, or what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

The Skagit County Health Department’s Novel Coronavirus page has updated local information and resources.

Prevention and Wellness

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you have a cough and a fever:

Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

The CDC also advises you to:

  • Avoid contact with others and do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Monitor your symptoms closely. Remember that the likelihood is low that you have coronavirus. Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever.

Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around infants and small children as well as people who have compromised immune systems and/or are over the age of 65. If you returned from China in the last 14 days, and your arrival date was February 2 or later, you will have received instructions from the CDC and from the local or state health department. Please follow these instructions. Guidelines for travelers returning from other countries are available from the CDC.

Take care of yourself. Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.

What should I do if I have an underlying health condition or am immunosuppressed?

According to the Washington State Department of Health, people with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection. Your health is the top priority, so public health officials may recommend that you stay home if there are more community infections. The Department of Health has created guidelines to help you plan and prepare in the event of needing to limit time in public or if you become sick. Your health care team can also help you assess your current medications and conditions to help you think about actions that can minimize risk to you and your household.

Should I wear a mask?

In line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Skagit County Public Health is now recommending that all people wear fabric face masks/coverings in public and for any group gathering, including workplaces. Please be aware that wearing face masks/coverings in public is considered an additional layer of protection and is not a substitute for existing 6-foot social distancing procedures or for frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.

Employees required to be onsite for work must maintain current 6-foot social distancing procedure. If in any instance it is not possible to maintain these procedures, employees must wear masks or cloth face coverings.

Please visit the Skagit County Public Health and Centers for Disease Controls websites for more information on the use of cloth face masks/coverings.

Are there steps individuals, families and communities can take to help prepare if there is widespread transmission of COVID-19?

The CDC has a guide for individuals, families and communities on prevention and mitigation of the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. These steps include many of those listed above for personal health, as well as others relevant for broader community efforts.

How should I clean and disinfect communal spaces?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, keyboards light switches). Use a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a 10% bleach/water solution to clean surfaces. Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.

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