Central Washington University has been closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The University’s response to this issue continues to be guided by updated information from government and health officials, as well as our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all members of the University community. As a result, we will update advice as circumstances change. Please read this and future announcements carefully so you have the most up-to-date information.
There are no confirmed cases of students or employees at Central Washington University with Novel Coronavirus as of February 7, 2020.
The Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) notified Central Washington University on February 7 that it received negative test results for the CWU student who had been tested for coronavirus.
There continue to be no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus among CWU community members.
If members of the University community who have traveled to affected areas develop fever and respiratory symptoms, the University will continue to work closely with the public health department to ensure rapid testing and proper precautions to isolate any potential cases of coronavirus.
In the meantime, the university is continuing to recommend that everyone follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, especially during cold and flu season, including:
• Stay home when you are sick to prevent others from being exposed to your illness.
• If you see a health care provider for fever and cough, ask for a surgical mask to help prevent spread of infection when in the health care setting.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
• Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
For more information about Novel Coronavirus visit DOH at www.doh.wa.gov.
The CWU student under observation for possible coronavirus is in good spirits and doing well so far. He is in voluntary isolation and we hope to have test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) by the end of the week.
Initially, we were told it would take approximately 48-72 hour for the results to be available. However, we have since learned, results will be available 48-72 hours from when the CDC starts its test, sometime this week. Testing is a precautionary measure, and KCPHD anticipates most people will not test positive for the virus.
Last week, Dean Gregg Heinselman spoke with the CWU employees and student neighbors who most likely would have been in contact with the student. We’ll be working with these employees and students to respond immediately if symptoms of concern arise.
In the meantime, we’re recommending that everyone follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses like the flu. You should:
- Stay home when you’re sick to avoid exposing others to your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue in a trash can.
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
Please see www.cwu.edu/emergency/respiratory-viruses for updates on the coronavirus and other health resources, including the Washington State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Kittitas County Public Health Department. The document to the left, provides some commonly asked questions and answers that may help address any concerns you may have.
The CWU student being screened for the Novel Coronavirus remains in voluntary isolation and is in good spirits.
According to the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD), results will be available 48-72 hours from when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention starts its test, sometime next week. Testing is a precautionary measure, and KCPHD anticipates most people will not test positive for the virus.
In the meantime, CWU is following Public Health protocols set by the CDC.
The university was notified by the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) that a student at Central Washington University’s Ellensburg residential campus is being screened for the Novel Coronavirus. The student, who is in voluntary isolation, recently traveled internationally to attend an event, which may have exposed the student to the virus. The student became ill and was seen locally at the CWU Student Medical & Counseling Clinic. This is not a confirmed case of the virus.
While awaiting test results, the university is working closely with KCPHD to ensure precautions are being taken to minimize risk to the campus and others in the community. Testing is a precautionary measure, and KCPHD anticipates most persons tested will not have the infection.
CWU and KCPHD are working together to ensure the student is being cared for and that the campus remains safe. KCPHD has interviewed the student and will work with any close contacts to mitigate any potential exposures.
Test results are expected to be available within 48-72 hours. The student will remain in isolation until testing results are confirmed.
About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
For a complete list of commonly asked questions and answers about the Novel Cornoavirus, visit the CDC website
There are indications that person-to-person spread is occurring, most likely between close contacts. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. It’s important to know this in order to better understand the risk associated with this virus. Officials are working to understand implications of possible transmission from infected but asymptomatic persons.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Currently there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Get a flu vaccine.
These are every day habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC also has specific guidance for travelers.
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
- Difficulty breathing.
Recommendations for People with Respiratory Symptoms
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days:
- You traveled to/through Wuhan, or
- You visited another affected region in China, or
- You had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China and had respiratory symptoms
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- CWU students may call the CWU Student Medical & Counseling Clinic at 509-963-1881 and are encouraged to make an appointment.
- Others may contact their health care provider or call the Kittitas County Health Department at 509-962-7515.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick. Please do not get on public transportation or just arrive at CWU.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.