March 8, 2020 – Duquesne Stresses Preventative Behaviors and Hygiene Etiquette
Current planning efforts and policy updates are below. The most crucial thing we all can do, however, is to engage in safe hygiene practices and heed experts for accurate information.
Preventive Behaviors and Hygiene Etiquette
As we return to classes, activities and work on campus, please exercise good hygiene etiquette. We know COVID-19 is easily spread by:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Unclean hands
- Touching your face after touching contaminated objects
- Touching objects after contaminating your hands.
To help stop the spread of germs on campus and among your communities:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in a waste basket.
- If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
Remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing:
- Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
Planning at Duquesne
- On March 1, the University made it official policy that any Duquesne student or employee returning to the U.S. from a destination with a CDC travel health notice of level 3 or higher must quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to the Pittsburgh campus.
- We instructed returning individuals that they must return to their homes or similarly suitable locations to practice quarantine as a protective measure for themselves and others.
a. Quarantine is not isolation. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to or were in an area with a known contagious disease to see if they become sick. Isolation separates sick people with a known contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms. While in quarantine, if you develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact your primary care provider by telephone.
a. If you are on campus, employees are to consult with their primary care provider first, by first calling. Students are to call University Health Services prior to visiting their offices on the dedicated Coronavirus Information Line: 412.298.8980. Otherwise, to schedule an appointment, call the office first at 412.396.2617. Calling your healthcare provider ahead will save you time, ensure you are not unwittingly exposing yourself or others, and allow staff to continue to serve the needs of our campus community.
- Hand-sanitizer and information materials have been provided in all residence halls on campus. Individuals are strongly encouraged to use hand sanitizer that is available from dispensers throughout campus buildings.
a. Posters around campus remind people of the best safety and preventive measures they can take.
- Our Department of Facilities Management is following CDC and American College Health Association guidelines for preventative maintenance in University buildings, cleaning surfaces and high-use public areas with specific attention.
- Faculty and academic staff are aware of the potential for changes or disruptions to normal teaching practices. The University's Instructional Continuity plan provides guidance in the event that changes to instruction become necessary.
Status in Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf has declared a state of emergency in Pennsylvania, providing additional resources for state response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The declaration happens as the state's Department of Health has reported four presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the eastern half of Pennsylvania. The individuals have been quarantined. We continue to monitor county, state, and federal status updates.
As noted above, attention to personal preventive measures is the best advice for keeping safe. In addition:
- Check reputable sources of information, with the best being the CDC's fact sheet.
- Limit travel.
- Encourage others with whom you associate to seek accurate information and to practice preventive measures.
- Be vigilant and responsive to combating ongoing issues of bias and xenophobia in affected communities. Such behavior does nothing to assist our community in ensuring safety and awareness for our people.
Duquesne University's mission states that we serve God by serving students, who in turn serve others. The service we must provide one another in this situation is the calm attention to facts, patience with one another, and prudent measures of prevention and hygiene. Welcome back, and enjoy the rest of the semester.