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Coronavirus Information and Updates

Latest Updates on the Novel CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Superintendent: Craig Hoekstra “COVID-19 Update


COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Since then, cases have been identified in multiple other countries including the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
  • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.Accordion Sample Description
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people. Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms: If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days:
  • You traveled to/through Wuhan City or Hubei province, or,
  • You visited another affected region in China, or,
  • You had close contact with someone who has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset.
You should:
  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency department, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Ferris students may call Birkam Health Center at 231-591-2614.
    • Others may contact their health care provider or call the District Health Department #10 at 231-592-0130.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick. Please do not use public transportation or arrive unannounced at the Birkam Health Center. 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.

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.

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