President Reveley sent the following message to the Longwood University campus community:
Dear students, faculty and staff,
As we return to campus from spring break, I wanted to be in touch and reassure you Longwood officials have been meeting regularly and carefully monitoring the global coronavirus situation. We have been in regular – usually daily – contact with state and federal public health officials. We are keeping close track of the guidance they are providing, particularly to college campuses.
This is an occasion for precaution and care, and certainly not an overreaction that might do more harm than good. Like almost any college, we are accustomed here at Longwood to having communicable diseases like flu in our community. Hopefully by now we’re also used to the kinds of precautions like hand-washing that are an effective defense. It’s also important to remember it appears with this new virus that young people generally develop only a mild strain.
That said, we are taking the matter seriously. While there have not yet been cases anywhere in Virginia, we are operating on the assumption they will appear. If we do have cases at Longwood, we will respond in a careful way that shows responsibility for the common health of our community and compassion for anyone involved – in short we will act as the responsible citizens we are.
Here are a few takeaways I want to be sure to communicate clearly to the Longwood community:
In the meantime, for the most up-to-date and reliable public health information, I encourage you to consult these official online resources:
My thanks to everyone for working together to meet this challenge responsibly and safely.
The university is monitoring developments both in Virginia and around the world related to the COVID-19 virus. We are working with the Virginia Department of Health, area partners, and following Centers for Disease Control guidelines. There are no reported cases of the virus at Longwood, and no confirmed cases in Virginia. As a precaution, our housekeeping staff has increased disinfectant and cleaning efforts, focusing on high-traffic areas.
SPRING BREAK TRAVEL
This week, the Centers for Disease Control issued a travel advisory, recommending that people avoid traveling to China and South Korea, as well as postponing any planned trips to Iran, Italy, and Japan. If you have international travel plans for spring break, please make sure you follow CDC advice. Updated advice can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
If you have questions related to the COVID-19 virus—it’s symptoms, reported illnesses, and how it spreads, please visit the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html) and the Virginia Department of Health website (http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/).
Preventing the COVID-19 virus is similar to other common viruses. Preventative measures include:
The University Health Center is open for student appointments. Contact them at 434-395-2102.
The Information Security Office would like to make you aware of a scam email related to student employment that is currently circulating. The email comes from a live.longwood.edu account and advertises the position of Desk Aide. It requests that interested applicants reply with confidential information, such as your cell phone number, address, or other identifying information, to be considered for the job. Please be on the lookout for this email and do not respond with any personal information.
If you receive this scam email, simply delete it without responding. If you have responded to the email and would like to send us information about it, send the email with headers to email@example.com. For instructions on how to send an email with headers, see our Report a Security Incident page.
With news spreading about the Coronavirus, I want to share some information the Virginia Department of Health relayed from the Centers for Disease Control below. There were two suspected cases reported in Central Virginia last week, but both have been tested and were negative for the Coronavirus.
Right now there is no cause for alarm at Longwood and no suspected cases have been reported. We know of no one in the campus community who has traveled to Wuhan. The incubation period on this virus is believed to be 2-14 days. As with any virus, practicing good hygiene can help prevent its spread, including:
The University Health Center is still offering flu shots to students, faculty, and staff. Longwood community members can walk into the health center without an appointment for the flu vaccine.
Q: What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
A: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Q: What is the source of 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
A: Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019-nCoV. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting the virus likely emerged from an animal source. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus. SARS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civit cats, while MERS, another coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from camels.
Q: What are the symptoms and complications that Novel Coronavirus 2019 can cause?
A: Current symptoms reported for patients with 2019-nCoV have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever1, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Q: How does the virus spread?
A: This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of MERS and SARS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.
Q: Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?
A: Yes. The first infection with 2019-nCoV in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020.
Q: Am I at risk for 2019-nCoV infection in the United States?
A: This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily.
Q: Is there a vaccine?
A: Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against 2019-nCoV.
The Farmville Police Department is seeking assistance from the Longwood campus community, as they investigate the reports of gunshots on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the McDonald’s on South Main Street. If you were present or in the vicinity of the gunshots and feel you have information or saw any of the events that evening, please call Investigating Sergeant David Ragland at 434-392-9259. Your information will be held in confidence. Thank you.