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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

General Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The World Health Organization describes coronaviruses as a "large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV or now COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

There are common coronaviruses that circulate throughout the year, which usually cause upper respiratory tract illnesses much like the common cold. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

How is coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is spread like any other respiratory illness, such as the common cold or influenza. Coughing or sneezing by those who already have symptoms spread coronavirus to others.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness (such as a cough or shortness of breath), the CDC suggests that you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms and recent travel. Students showing symptoms should schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Pro.

What precautions should I take?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as much as possible if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid people who may be sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, especially if you have a fever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

What should students or faculty/staff do who have recently traveled to a known affected area?

Because of the ever-expanding global outbreak, the federal government recently announced that all individuals (which may include students, faculty, or staff) who have traveled to a Level 3 Country in the past 14 days and returned on or after February 3, 2020, will be requested to remain at home and be monitored for 2019-nCoV symptoms by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Students, faculty or staff who's family members have traveled from a Level 3 Country in the last 14 days (and who are already being monitored for symptoms) do not need to be excluded from school.

Can I still call the University Police Department if I need help?

Yes. The Columbus State University Police Department is operating at normal capacity. In the event you need assistance, please call 706-507-8911. For additional information on the Columbus State University Police Department go to:

What should I do if I think I have the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you are a student, call the Student Health Center at 706-507-8620 prior to coming in if you have: a fever, a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or have traveled outside of the country in the last 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone who has. A nurse will review your symptoms and determine if you should come in to the Center, and will guide you as to what time and what to expect. We are asking this in order to treat you as quickly as possible and to protect other students who may be in the Health Center.