Health officials worldwide are monitoring a respiratory illness outbreak caused by a new coronavirus, named “COVID-19,” that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. UND continues to monitor updates on the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and we are using their guidance and recommendations here on our own campus. On March 11, the North Dakota Department of Health announced the first positive case of coronavirus in North Dakota (Ward County). Since then additional cases have been identified in North Dakota.
Information for Travelers
- U.S. citizens who have been to the Hubei province within the last 14 days will be subject to mandatory quarantine and a health screening at one of 11 airports across the country.
- U.S. citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China within 14 days of their return will undergo proactive entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
- All foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents) who have been to mainland China and Iran in the last 14 days are temporarily banned from entering the country.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- a general feeling of being unwell
The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. The illness can be more serious for individuals with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems. It could result in bronchitis and pneumonia.
What to Do if You Are Sick
Anyone who has returned from an affected region within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and a cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms. Students with symptoms should call Student Health Service at 701-777-4500. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their primary healthcare provider.
Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff
Resources About COVID-19
Informational Flyers About COVID-19
- CDC Guidance Flyer
- North Dakota Department of Health Guidance Flyer
- Altru Hospital Coronavirus Informational Flyer
- Altru Hospital Social Distancing Flyer
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does UND have any cases of coronavirus?
A: Yes. On Thursday, April 2, 2020, UND was notified that we had a positive case of COVID-19 within a member of the university community. The individual is currently receiving care and has not been on campus since March 30. The university is assisting public health officials in following up with any others that the individual may have recently come into contact with. Anyone who has been identified as a close contact will be notified by the North Dakota Department of Health and provided with additional information. On March 11, the North Dakota Department of Health announced the first positive case of coronavirus in North Dakota (Ward County). Since then additional cases have been identified in North Dakota.
Q: What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: 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.
Q: How does the virus spread?
A: 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.
Q: How can I best protect myself?
A: The CDC recommends following the same guidelines as flu prevention:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- 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.
Q: What is UND doing to prevent the spread of illness on campus?
A: UND has a Pandemic Planning Team that is prepared to respond to prevent the spread of any infectious disease. The planning team is closely monitoring updates on the situation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local health officials, and is using their guidance and recommendations to inform our own campus response. The team works closely with local and state officials, the Department of Public Safety and Student Health Services to help address communicable diseases and help keep our students, faculty, staff and University community safe and healthy.
Q: If I think I have been exposed or if I experience symptoms of coronavirus and have recently traveled to an affected area, what are my options for keeping up with my work if I need to stay home?
A:Students: Immediately contact Student Health Services at 701-777-4500. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent-care, or any other health facility without calling first. To make arrangements for classwork and other academic obligations, contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 701-777-2664.
Employees: Immediately call your healthcare provider. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent-care, or any other health facility without calling first. Employees should contact their supervisors regarding their illness and possible absence from work.
Q: I am feeling unsure and anxious about the possibility of exposure to coronavirus from people on campus who I think may have been exposed. How can I find help?
A: It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis. It is important to remember to not make assumptions about others’ perceived symptoms, travel history or identity. For students struggling with anxiety, they can reach out to University Counseling Center at 701-777-2127. For employees who are looking for support, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP): 800-627-8220 is a resource available to help employees through stressful situations and events.