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NKU alerts campus to incidence of possible Coronavirus exposure at weekend camp

Staff report

Northern Kentucky University has alerted the community to a possible incidence of Coronavirus exposure and its potential impact on the campus.

“On Sunday, we were informed that two school-aged students, who were attending a weekend camp at NKU, learned a relative was being tested out-of-state for “likely” Coronavirus,” the statement said. “Because the relative had recently visited them, the family informed NKU and are following the Northern Kentucky Health Department instructions to self-quarantine until the test results are known, which are due later this week.”

To make clear at the outset: The situation is evolving and the university is taking precautionary measures to keep the campus and community safe and healthy. The risk is minimal.

“The health and wellbeing of NKU’s campus and the community are top priorities,” said NKU Provost Sue Ott Rowland. “Because of this, we are taking precautionary measures and canceling all youth activities scheduled at NKU this week.”

NKU students are on spring break this week.

NKU has taken the following actions:
• Landrum Hall and all affected areas have been cleaned and disinfected following the CDC’s recommendations, along with guidance from the Northern Kentucky Health Department.
• All youth activities scheduled on NKU’s campus through Saturday, March 14 have been canceled. This follows the CDC’s guidance for social distancing and limiting close contact with people, said Ott Rowland.
Gov. Beshear announced Sunday that positive tests on COVID-19 in Kentucky came from Harrison, Fayette and Jefferson counties and that each person who tested positive is currently in isolation.

On Monday, two other cases were identified in the state: one in Harrison County and one being treated in Fayette County. The Kentucky Department for Public Health is working to identify and speak with all those who may have come in close contact with these two people.

All Kentucky senior centers, nursing homes and long-term care centers have been urged to restrict visitation policies. Senior adults and those with chronic health conditions are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.
Ott Rowland reiterated what state health officials and the Governor have emphasized: “As we continue to navigate cold and flu season, being vigilant helps us protect our community as a whole. Stay home if you feel sick or have a fever.”

The Northern Kentucky Health Department has these recommendations if you are sick:
• Keep in mind this is a virus and treat the illness as you would with any other virus, like the flu. If you have runny nose, cough, fever or other common respiratory infection symptoms, take Tylenol- or Motrin-like products and stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours.

• If you think you need medical care, call your healthcare provider for their instruction before leaving home.

NKU’s Health Services has set up a telephone triage for those who are sick and need a consultation. Please call 859-572-5650.

• Visit an emergency department if you believe you have an emergency. The Kentucky Health Department recommends people only go to the emergency room for an illness that would have taken you to the hospital BEFORE COVID-19.

• All other questions about COVID-19 can be directed to the Kentucky Department of Health hotline at 1-800-722-5725.

Last week, the university canceled several education-abroad programs in the best interest of students, faculty, staff, and community. The preparedness team will also join the President’s Cabinet for Coronavirus tabletop exercise next week to help us prepare the campus. A website has been established to provide updated information.

Proper habits for good health:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:

◦ Before, during and after you prepare food,
◦ Before you eat and after you use the bathroom,
◦ After handling cash,
◦ More frequently when someone in your home is sick.

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

• Frequently clean doorknobs, light switches, phones and other items commonly touched with disinfectant wipes.

• Avoid contact with people who are obviously sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then discard it in the trash.

• With spring-break travel this week, stay up-to-date with the latest travel information from the CDC.

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