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Important COVID-19 update from the Health Center

Posted by:
April 5, 2020

TO: All residential students still on campus as of April 5
FROM: Student Life

Please read this brief communication from Dr. Elizabeth Hopper, Director of the Health Center, which contains two important messages:

1. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or are diagnosed, are exposed to, or develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you must notify the PLU Health Center immediately. The Health Center will provide you with consistent guidance and protocols for self-quarantine or self-isolation. We will also notify Campus Restaurants and Residential Life staff for on-campus students, so that they can determine meal delivery and appropriate housing for you during the period of self-quarantine or self-isolation.

2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated recommendations for the use of face coverings by the general public. While it is critical to emphasize that maintaining six-feet social distancing remains one of the most effective measures for preventing the spread of the virus overall, we are following the voluntary public-health recommendation. Therefore, we are advising the use of simple cloth face coverings as another important means to slow the spread of the virus and to keep people who may have the virus and not know it from transmitting it to others.

This is an expectation for situations where six-feet distancing is difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores, pharmacies, medical-clinic waiting rooms, and food-service pick-up locations. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made in residence halls from common materials at low cost — e.g., scarves or bandanas — can serve this purpose. The CDC recommends that face coverings be laundered on a daily basis and that they can be washed with other items in a regular washer.

Again, remember to model the active bystander behavior you learned during orientation and in your leadership roles. As a PLU community member, you have the responsibility to say something when community well-being and public health are threatened by people not practicing physical distancing or gathering in groups. Note: Be sure to react to an individual’s actions rather than to what you think “might” happen to avoid biased-based profiling. Also, because communities of color have been historically discriminated against and criminalized in the United States, wearing a cloth face covering can be an uncomfortable experience for some, apart from the physical aspect. It is important to remember how race, class, gender, and other identities impact how we exist within the world and how that may show up during this global pandemic.

Wearing cloth face coverings can’t replace social distancing and good hygiene — wash your hands! Don’t touch your face! Staying in your own space is BY FAR the best thing you can do to slow the spread of the virus. Do not assume it’s safe to participate in non-essential activities because you are wearing a face covering. Stay home.

Let’s take care of each other, Lutes!

If you have questions about either of these messages, please contact the Health Center at health@plu.edu or 253-535-7337. You can access additional updates and new FAQs, recommendations, and communications at dev.plu.edu/coronavirus.