quinebaug valley community college

COVID-19 Coronavirus – Symptoms & Prevention

What Are the Symptoms?

Most people with the illness report symptoms similar to the flu, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How Can I Prevent Myself from Getting Sick?*

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. On campus, you can play your part in public health efforts to limit the reach of the virus by taking everyday preventative actions that help stop the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Refrain from shaking hands in greeting others.
  • 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What Should I Do if I Feel Sick and Think I Might Have COVID-19?*

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention any recent travel or close contact with someone showing these symptoms. Your healthcare professional will work with the state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you do become sick, stay home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain at home until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. How long you need to stay home should be a decision made in consultation with your healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

What Happens If I Get Sick and Have to Miss Classes?

Students who are sick are to stay home.  Students who must stay home because they are sick will not be penalized for missing classes due to illness, and will be expected to make up missed work. Be sure to keep in touch with your professors while you are staying home to let them know you are sick, and to find out what you are missing and how you can make it up.

All faculty have been asked to ensure that all on-campus courses have the syllabus, grades, and handouts added to their respective Blackboard course shells.  This will be completed within the next couple of weeks.  This will allow all students who might be affected by illness to access course materials remotely.  As additional contingency plans are developed, updates will be made to the Blackboard course shells.

Prevent Stigma and Discrimination*

Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine, even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.

It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.

Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:

  • Persons of Asian descent
  • People who have traveled
  • Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
  • Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people.

Stigmatized groups may be subjected to:

  • Social avoidance or rejection
  • Denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment
  • Physical violence
  • Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.

In times like these, it is more important than ever to honor values of dignity, respect, kindness, compassion and civility.  If you do experience some type of discrimination or harassment, please report it to the Student Affairs office.

*Information in this section was adapted from the CDC website on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.