Coronavirus Preparedness: What to Do Before Returning to Campus (3-5-20)

Dear Students,

I hope you are enjoying the mid-semester break and getting much-needed rest and time with friends and family. In light of the unfolding coronavirus situation, I wanted to offer a few important suggestions before you return to campus. Consider doing the following:

  • Obtain a thermometer, so you can check your own temperature if you get ill.
  • Obtain a large container of antiseptic hand wipes, so that you are able to wipe down surfaces in your room, at least daily.
  • Bring a large container of hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) as well as a smaller portable one to carry on your person and use, when washing your hands is not an option.
  • Talk to a friend on campus that you might be able to stay with for a few days if one of your roommates becomes ill and needs to limit contact with others.

If you are currently residing in an area where increased transmission of coronavirus is occurring, please take extra caution to practice good hygiene. The same would be true if you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, asthma, or a suppressed immune system.

After returning to campus, if you become ill and are concerned about the possibility of coronavirus, schedule a visit with a Student Health Center provider by logging into the MyCougar Health Portal with your APU credentials, and following the directions on the home page. You may also make an appointment at the SHC during regular business hours by calling (626) 815-2100. All undergraduate students may see a SHC provider free of charge, even if you did not purchase the student health insurance plan.

The leadership of APU is monitoring the situation closely and following the advice of the CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. If cases of coronavirus are diagnosed in the community around us, additional steps may be taken to safeguard your health and well-being, including the cancellation or postponement of public events, or moving classes to an online forum.

When the Department of Campus Safety receives a call for assistance in a health-related capacity, I have advised that staff to wear protective gear, including a mask. Such use does not indicate infection, but rather a precautionary measure to safeguard our community.

We appreciate all you are doing to take care of yourself during this cold and flu season and in light of this global concern. For more information about coronavirus, check the university’s website, which is updated frequently, and watch this video from the WHO.

Your health is important to us.

S. Todd Emerson, DO, ABFP, medical director, Azusa Pacific University