Message to students: Student Health and Spring Break Advisory

Posted on March 8, 2020

Dear Students,

I am following up on the campuswide email you received Saturday evening (March 7) from President Castro, after the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH)confirmedthe first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Fresno County.

Per the FCDPH, the patient is an elderly person, with a mild respiratory infection, and is expected to recover fully. This is a travel-related case and was not community- acquired.

At this time (8:30 p.m. 3/8/20), per the FCDPH, the patient is not believed to be affiliated with the Fresno State community.

Also, at this time, the FCDPH says there is no immediate threat to the general public, and the FCDPH is not recommending cancellation of events, closure of schools or buildings at this time.

We will follow the direction of the Fresno County Department of Public Health and the CSU Chancellor’s Office before we make any decisions regarding significant changes to teaching continuity and campus operations. Consistent with other California public universities who have had confirmed cases in their county, we are not planning to cancel classes or suspend or modify operations at this time.

While Fresno State’s leaders continue to be guided in our actions by medical professionals and public-health guidance, I believe it is important that you know what you can do to stay healthy and remain focused on your studies.

  • Please continue to take the preventive steps we have beenencouraging:
    • Stay home when sick with flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever with coughing or difficulty breathing/shortness ofbreath);
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds eachtime;
    • Cough and sneeze into your elbow; and
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashedhands.
    • If you are concerned about any health symptoms you maybe experiencing, please contact the Student Health and Counseling Centerat the earliest opportunity. (Please call 559.278.2734 before coming to the center.)
  • If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, you should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, contacting your health care provider or the Student Health and Counseling Center if you feel you need to, not attending class if contagious, and in the event you miss class due to illness, working with your instructor on any necessary arrangements for making up coursework. Faculty have been asked to be prepared to accommodate students who are requesting to stay home due to illness, as described above, including clearly communicating opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or make-up work.

TRAVEL DURING SPRING BREAK

As we approach the upcoming spring break (April 6-10), personal travel plans may be part of your activities, and we would like to remind you of the serious situation with COVID-19 as it quickly evolves.

  • All students (and faculty and staff) are strongly advised against all international travel – including popular spring break destinations such as Cabo San Lucas and Cancun inMexico.
  • Flight cancellations, quarantines and border closures have been implemented by several countries on shortnotice.
  • If you travel internationally, be prepared for mandatory health screenings, flight cancellations or isolation measures — including the possibility of a required 14-dayself-isolation.
  • Students, faculty and staff returning from outside the U.S. may be subject to screening and possible self-isolation requirements before returning to campuslocations.
  • Students, faculty and staff who are unable to return to the U.S. may encounter disruptions to their studies due to travel delays or self-isolationrequirements.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will share more information about COVID-19 as it becomes available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Fresno County Department of Public Health. Updates will be posted to https://fresnostate.edu/coronavirus.

YOUR ROLE IN BEING INFORMED AND RESPECTFUL

I encourage you to continue being respectful of others by not engaging in rumors or speculation and not making assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin. This is a time to extend compassion and kindness to others during what is, for many in our community, a time of stress and uncertainty.

Lastly, it is important that you rely on and share trusted sources of information regarding COVID-19 such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the Fresno County Department of Public Health. In addition, please check the University’s Coronavirus webpage and the Frequently Asked Questions, as additional information is added to the University’s website regularly.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carolyn Coon
Dean of Students and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment
Management