The following information is provided as a resource for members of the Assumption community
The Facts on COVD-19
This page has been created to provide helpful and factual information about COVID-19, coronavirus to the Assumption community.
Assumption hopes and prays for the safety of all members of our community during this challenging time. Please follow guidelines issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These two information resources provide the latest news and information relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the Coronavirus?
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.
What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
How Can I Prevent Its Spread?
CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also offers helpful suggestions.
Why is the Suggested Quarantine 14 Days?
Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
Where Can I Find More Information?
Please visit the Centers for Disease Control, a comprehensive information resource.
Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath that can present two to 14 days after exposure. Unlike influenza, coronavirus does not cause a sore throat or body aches.
As a reminder, there are preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, as well as the flu, including:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick.
- Remain home and away from work and public spaces when sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, cabinet handles, railings, etc.
Please consult additional information as provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
Students, faculty or staff who are not feeling well and are concerned they may have coronavirus should seek immediate medical attention. Individuals should contact their primary care doctor or The Wellness Center, explain their symptoms then schedule an appointment. After seeing a medical professional, they will work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to determine if the individual should be tested for coronavirus or if they should self-isolate. As a reminder, anytime members of the Assumption community feel ill, they should avoid contact with others. Students should contact their professors and Eloise Knowlton, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at 508-767-7486 with regard to missed classes.
Members of the Assumption community should first call The Wellness Center rather than visiting the office without prior contact with staff.
The Centers for Disease Control has not issued domestic travel advisories.
Students, as well as all faculty and staff, were strongly discouraged from international travel during spring break. Those who decided to travel internationally were prohibited from returning to campus for a minimum of 14 days (possibly longer depending upon Centers for Disease Control guidelines) from the individual’s date of re-entry into the United States.
With regard to individuals traveling to areas with a U.S. State Department Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory (China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) they will be prohibited from returning to campus for 14 days and must be cleared by their physician. If the U.S. State Department designates a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory for other countries, visitors to those countries are also prohibited from returning to campus for 14 days.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that individuals traveling to the United States from countries such as Italy with a Level 2 or 3 Travel Warning “should stay home for 14 days…and practice social distancing.” The University expresses its gratitude to families and students for following the CDC guidelines. As an additional precaution, before students are welcomed back to campus, they must be cleared by a physician and provide documentation that they are free of coronavirus symptoms. Some families have inquired about measures to take with regard to the 14-day self-isolation period. Below, please find suggestions from MIT Medical relative to self-isolation protocols:
Monitor symptoms and contact your primary care physician if you or anyone in your home suspects symptoms of coronavirus. (Cough, fever, shortness of breath.)
- Call ahead before visiting a doctor’s office
- Stay at home; refrain from attending social or religious gatherings
- Limit contact with those residing in your home; use a separate bathroom if possible
- If using a separate bathroom is not possible, regularly clean the area with a disinfectant.
- Ensure the individual self-isolating is in a well-ventilated room
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
- Thoroughly and regularly wash hands with soap and water, preferably an alcohol-based gel, especially after coughing or sneezing
- Avoid sharing household items such as drinking glasses, utensils, etc.
- Try to regularly clean with a disinfectant commonly shared surfaces such as doorknobs, telephones, bathroom surfaces, etc.
Public Health England advises the following for those who self-isolate:
- If advised, wear a face mask
- Do not have visitors in your home
- Use a separate garbage bag for all waste that has been in contact with the individual who is self-isolating
- Avoid pets
Please visit the following websites for additional information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Official Coronavirus Webpage
- World Health Organization Official Coronavirus Webpage
- CDC Official Map of Confirmed US Cases
- Johns Hopkins CSSE Map of Global Cases
- U.S. State Department Travel Warnings and Advisories
- CDC Travel Health Notices
- CDC Coronavirus Symptoms
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Coronavirus Visual Tool for the Hearing Impaired
The Massachusetts Commission fo the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has published a helpful guide for the hearing impaired.