Health, wellness and prevention

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If there is a medical emergency please call 911 and notify them of any travel or exposures.

The ACU Medical Clinic is operating by appointment only and patients need to call 325-674-2625 to be screened and have an appointment scheduled. No one should enter the Medical Clinic without an appointment. Remember that COVID-19 shares many symptoms with the influenza virus. Let the ACU Medical Clinic know where you have traveled recently or how you might have been exposed to the virus. The ACU Medical Clinic, along with the state and city health departments, will determine if you should be tested for COVID-19. Wildcat Care (telemedicine) is also available 24/7 at no cost to students, enabling you to consult a provider from home.

Practice good hygiene.

  • If you are sick, avoid contact with others and do not travel.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • 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 percent alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Monitor your symptoms closely. Take your temperature daily.

Stay home until you are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours. If you must leave the house or be around others, it is imperative that you wear a mask  and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around people who have compromised immune systems and those over the age of 65.

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

Additionally, the university requests that any person (faculty, staff, students and visitors) who traveled in a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (due to the novel coronavirus) take the following steps before arriving on campus:

  • Stay home for 14 days and monitor your health and check your temperature every day after you leave any country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
  • Monitor your health and report any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to the ACU Medical Clinic at 325-674-2625 or your Abilene primary care provider.

What if I want to be tested for coronavirus?

Only health care providers can request a test for the virus that causes COVID-19. According to the Abilene Taylor-County Public Health District, testing approvals are based on symptoms and on risk factors, such as travel history or exposure to individuals known to have the disease. You can text “covidhelp” to 325-216-4824. You will immediately receive a link to complete a questionnaire that will triage your symptoms and direct you to either the screening clinic hotline or recommendations for care at home.

How do I prevent the spread of coronavirus?

You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95 percent alcohol if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.

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 (such as door knobs, tables, computer keyboards, handrails, exercise rooms).

You should use a disinfectant on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus, an alcohol solution with at least 70 percent alcohol, or a 10 percent bleach/water solution to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. It is also recommended that departments contact the Office of Risk Management at risk@acu.edu or by calling 325-674-6142 to obtain single-use disinfectant wipes for touchpoints within their workspaces.

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.

When and how should I self-quarantine or self-isolate?

Self-quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.

In alignment with CDC guidance, anyone returning to the U.S. after travel to any country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (currently China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) will be required to self-quarantine in a U.S. location away from campus for at least 14 days before returning to ACU.

How to self-quarantine:

  • Stay home. Don't attend work, school, events, social gatherings or public areas.
    • Students who are self-quarantining should contact their professors and SOAR.
    • Employees who are self-quarantining should contact their immediate supervisor and HR.
    • Faculty who have students who are ill or self-quarantining should excuse their absences, encourage them to stay home and away from others, provide opportunities for these students to complete their work, and keep their chair and SOAR updated.
  • Self-monitor for fever by checking your temperature at least twice daily. Contact a health care provider if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or trouble breathing.
  • If you need to seek medical care, call ahead to describe your symptoms and travel history.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95 percent alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of it immediately. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
  • Limit contact with others as much as possible, including those in your home or residence. Try to keep a distance of about six feet.
  • Avoid any visitors.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding or other items.
  • Keep your surroundings clean. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as tabletops, tablets, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.
  • Avoid using public transportation, taxis or ride-sharing.

Self-isolate means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

Following updated guidance from the CDC, 14 days of self-isolation is required for:

  • Any travelers to the U.S. (returning or coming for the first time) from any country under a CDC Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel), regardless of whether that direction is specifically given to them at the U.S. point of entry.
  • Any students or employees who have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Any students or employees who have had direct contact with someone who is under care for suspected exposure to COVID-19.

How to self-isolate

If you’ve been directed to self-isolate, you should:

  • Stay home.Don't attend work, school, events, social gatherings or public areas.
  • Self-monitor for fever by checking your temperature at least twice daily. Contact a health care provider if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or trouble breathing.
  • If you need to seek medical care, call ahead to describe your symptoms and travel history.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  • If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95 percent alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of it immediately. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
  • Limit contact with others as much as possible, including those in your home or residence. Try to keep a distance of about six feet.
  • Avoid any visitors.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding or other items.
  • Keep your surroundings clean. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as tabletops, tablets, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.
  • Avoid using public transportation, taxis or ride-sharing.

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