January 24, 2020

Coronavirus FAQ and Tips

You may have likely heard about the recent coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, that has spread to a handful of countries including, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand. The U.S. has identified a confirmed case in Washington State; another patient in Texas is currently being examined. It is important to know that, at present, there are no known active cases in California.

We at Santa Monica College wanted to proactively share this information, in the event that you or someone you know is traveling to or from impacted areas. Here are some basic facts about the coronavirus, and tips on what you can do to protect yourself:

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that develops to pneumonia and was recently discovered in China.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Mode of transmission

Coronavirus is most commonly spread from an infected person to others:

  • By air via coughing, and/or sneezing
  • By close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • By contact with contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching mouth, eyes, or nose.

What Can Travelers Do to Protect Themselves and Others?

Travelers to China should:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

If you traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Don't travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Individuals who have a combination of the mentioned symptoms and think that they may have been exposed should be evaluated by their healthcare provider. They should inform their doctor that they may have been exposed to coronavirus. Individuals with symptoms should not return to any activity until their health care provider has cleared them to do so.

International Students

International students should go to Student Health Services to receive a referral for further treatment.

Student Health Services is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. - 2:20 p.m. during the winter session and is located on the ground floor of Cayton.

The Health Service's office phone number is 310-434-4262. Students can also refer to Center for Disease Control for further information.