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.
Reported illnesses for COVID-19 have ranged from little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. People most seriously affected tend to be older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
While COVID-2019 is believed to have originated from animals, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. Some individuals have mild or no symptoms, but can still spread the virus to others.
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 respiratory viruses in general, such as colds and the flu:
People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. (source: CDC)
Individuals should seek medical care if they have symptoms of fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing.
Before going to a healthcare facility, call ahead. They will provide specific instructions about how to come to the facility and where to go upon arrival to minimize the risk of exposing others, or depending on your symptoms, may give self-care advice to follow at home.
On the way to a healthcare facility:
You might feel stress or anxiety related to COVID-19. It is normal to feel some worry about this evolving situation. Some people find reassurance in equipping themselves with the facts about COVID-19 or talking with friends or family. If you experience stress, fear, anxiety or other emotions that make it difficult to keep up with your regular activities, consider contacting the Counseling and Mental Center to speak with a counselor about options. CMHC telecounseling is available through CMHC for students who have been asked to self-isolate.
Some of the fear and anxiety related to COVID-19 has led to stigma and discrimination directed towards people of Asian descent. This stigma creates more fear and harms ordinary people. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVD-19 than anyone else. If you become aware of hateful comments or bias incidents on campus, consider making a report to the Campus Climate Response Team.
You should stay home and self-isolate, monitoring yourself for symptoms that may require hospitalization. Follow self-isolation guidelines under “Symptoms” in this chart.
You should self-quarantine and self-monitor for fever or respiratory symptoms. Follow self-quarantine and self-monitoring guidelines under “Exposure” in this chart. Find additional information at How to Self-Quarantine (pdf).
You should practice social distancing and self-monitor for fever or respiratory symptoms. Follow social distancing and self-monitoring guidelines under “Everyone” in this chart.
Coronavirus and travel within the U.S.
The CDC has provided a summary of things to consider to help answer the question, “Should I travel within the United States?”, and also determine whether your destination has mandated restrictions on travelers arriving from certain states and cities in the U.S.
Travel abroad advisories
The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The State Department has urged U.S. citizens in countries where commercial departure options remain available to arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The advisory has also cautioned US citizens living abroad to "avoid all international travel."
Students, faculty, staff, visitors and contractors arriving from a location designated by CDC to have a level 3 travel warning (including airport layovers) are required to self-quarantine at their permanent residence or off-campus residence for 14 days. Follow self-quarantine guidelines under “Exposure” on this chart.
Faculty and staff arriving from travel from a location designated by CDC to have a level 3 travel warning, regardless of the reason for their travel, should contact the UT Occupational Health Program at 512-471-4647.
Read the mandatory quarantine instructions above for travelers flying into Texas from certain states and cities.
Students, faculty, staff, visitors and contractors arriving from all other locations should practice social distancing and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days. Follow social distancing and self-monitoring guidelines under “Everyone” on this chart.
If you must travel:
If traveling internationally:
For more information:
For the latest information about coronavirus, please visit the dedicated CDC webpage.
Students impacted by these regulations can contact Student Emergency Services for support and guidance. International Students who are unable to return to the United States should contact Texas Global International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).
For some, navigating these circumstances can be personally and emotionally challenging. The Counseling and Mental Health Center is available as a resource for students, including telecounseling appointments. The UT Employee Assistance Program is a resource for faculty and staff and can also arrange telecounseling appointments.
Download an informational flyer in the following languages:
Texas Global communications to campus concerning the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19):
|Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm by appointment|
University Health Services is committed to providing high-quality care to patients of all ages, races, ethnicities, physical abilities or attributes, religions, sexual orientations, or gender identities/expression.
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