Northeastern Illinois University officials are in regular communication with state and city officials who are monitoring the novel (new) coronavirus, named COVID-19.
Coronavirus usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Direct droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1 meter) with someone who is infected, and is exposed to respiratory droplets produced when that person coughs, sneezes or talks, or indirect transmission by touching an object or person with the virus (i.e., touching a doorknob or shaking hands), then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
As with any respiratory virus, individuals can protect themselves and others by taking everyday preventive actions.
Follow everyday preventive measures for the coronavirus
- 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 with at least 70 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick (fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, body aches and/or shortness of breath).
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash (preferably a closed bin).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Consult with your healthcare provider about getting an influenza vaccination if you haven't already done so.
Social distancing actions are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to help control the
spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Social distancing actions include limiting large groups of people,
closing buildings and canceling events. Specific social distancing actions you can take include:
- Practicing effective hand washing and cough techniques (mentioned above)
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others; avoid contact such as handshakes and hugs
- Avoid public transport where possible
- Avoid crowded places and groups of over 10 people
The Illinois Department of Public Health provides guidance on small social gatherings.
Know COVID-19 symptoms
- Fever (100.4 temperature or higher)
- Difficulty breathing
- Changes in taste or smell
- Some people also experience fatigue, headaches and, less frequently, diarrhea
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as three days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
What to do if you have respiratory symptoms
If you do NOT have a high-risk condition and your symptoms are mild, you do not need to be evaluated in person and do not need to be tested for COVID-19. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19.
If you have any of the conditions that may increase your risk for a serious viral infection—age 60 years or over, are pregnant, or have medical conditions—call your physician’s office and ask if you need to be evaluated in person. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for influenza.
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Chicago Department of Public Health
Northeastern will continue to work with our federal, state and city partners who are monitoring the virus. Any student, faculty member or staff member who has questions or concerns is welcome to contact Health Services.