April 2, 2019

Dear DePauw Community,

Our world is changing daily at a dizzying pace during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DePauw administration and emergency planning teams continue working diligently to keep our community safe.  To that extent, please review the following information to help you and your family follow best practices in avoiding coronavirus infection or dealing with concerns if you are ill.

There are currently no confirmed cases on campus. However, there was a confirmed case in an off-campus individual that occurred after students departed campus and there are confirmed cases in Putnam county. The first case was confirmed March 6, 2020.

COVID-19 is transmitted mainly from person-to-person by respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing and spending more than a few minutes in close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected person.  The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

The clinical symptoms of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, include:

Fever (temperature of >100.4 F or 38 C)

Cough

Shortness of Breath

Fatigue or loss of appetite

 

Q: Is there a test for coronavirus?

A: Yes, the test is being performed locally through Hendricks Regional Health Immediate Care sites in Avon, Brownsburg and Plainfield, ER Fast track site in Danville, Putnam County Hospital Respiratory Clinic and Putnam County ER. Tests are sent to the Indiana State health department or private labs with confirmation by the CDC for those individuals meeting criteria for testing. For those who have left campus, check with your health care provider and your local health department for testing information in your area.

Q: What options are there for getting advice on when to seek care?

A: Many health care systems are offering COVID-19 Hotlines or Virtual telemedicine appointments to advise you on proper care. DePauw Local Resources are found on the following page COVID-19 Resource information. Your local or state health department are great resources as well.

Q: Who should be tested?

A: Health care providers are asked to prioritize testing in patients with suspected COVID-19 infection in: hospitalized patients, healthcare workers with symptoms, those at high risk of infection complications, first responders and critical infrastructure workers. Not everyone will be tested. Testing availability varies state by state.

If you feel you meet criteria, you are advised to call your health care provider for instructions on what to do before going to their location. DePauw Health phone 765-658-4555 or after hours care information is located at After Hours Care Guidance.

Q: What if my healthcare provider doesn’t test me despite having symptoms?

If your symptoms are mild, your provider may presume you have COIVD-19 infection and ask you to self-isolate by doing at home care found at this link Caring for Yourself at Home

Q: What happens if I am exposed to someone with COVID-19, or someone I have been around was exposed, but I’m not sick?

A: Stay home and call your health care provider for directions. You may be asked to Self-Quarantine. This means you need to monitor your temperature twice daily and note any development of symptoms for 14 days. Depending on the type of exposure you had, you may be able to keep working or you may be asked to stay home. Your health provider will advise you on what is right for you.

Q: What if a health care provider determines a DePauw student residing on campus needs to be tested for COVID-19?

If a health care provider determines that a test for COVID-19 is necessary for a student still residing on campus, members of the CIMT team will coordinate transfer to on-campus housing where the student will follow self-isolation guidelines while results are in process.

Q: What if a student residing on campus tests positive for COVID-19?

Students testing positive will be housed in DePauw self-isolation housing and be subject to monitoring by the local health department. Putnam County Health Department will initiate contact tracing of exposed individuals. For those on campus, if you don’t receive a phone call from Putnam County Health Department, you are not a contact. No further actions are needed except practicing preventive behaviors such as social distancing.

Q: What if a student who departed campus tests positive for COVID-19?

A: The University asks that you let the University know if you test positive.  All information is confidential and secure and may be shared by sending to the following email: depauwiss@hendricks.org. Aggregate information will be shared with the DePauw community on the DePauw preparedness website DePauw Community Notifications.

Q: What if my test for COVID-19 is positive?

A: If your symptoms are mild, your provider may presume you have COVID-19 infection and ask you to self-isolate by doing at home care found at this link Caring for Yourself at Home. This means separate yourself from other people in your home.  Use a separate bathroom.  Disinfect your home daily. You should wear a facemask when you are around other people and when you visit a healthcare provider’s office. Further information is found at What to Do if You Are Sick.

Some individuals with COVID-19 experience serious or life-threatening illness.  Those who develop emergency warning signs should seek medical attention immediately. These include moderate to severe shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face. Call 911 and tell dispatch you or someone you care for positive for COVID-19.

Q: What can I do to avoid getting sick?

A: The best way to stay healthy is by following these practices:

  • Use elbow bumps or just say hello for greetings. Avoid handshaking.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before eating.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hand and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or symptomatic
  • Take steps to protect others
    • STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK-even with mild symptoms like runny nose or cough
    • Put distance between yourself and other people, especially if community spread of COVID-19 is happening where you live. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Disinfection information is found on the CDC website at Prevent Getting Sick.

Q: What are hospitals doing to prepare for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases?

A: Hospital systems are diligently preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases with an anticipated peak in Indiana from mid-April to mid-May.  Hospitals are focusing on providing respiratory care services including increased COVID-19 testing and increased hospital capacity in case of serious illness.  Most hospitals have stopped doing routine care and procedures to keep people at home and reduce infections risk as well as conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). As a result of high demand, personal protective equipment is in short supply in many areas.

Q: What is the treatment for those infected with COVID-19?

A: Work has begun on a vaccine, but it will be several months before one will possibly be available.  This increases the importance of social distancing to decrease the number of people infected.

Those with mild symptoms may be directed to self-quarantine with home care instructions. Those with severe symptoms will need evaluation and treatment in a hospital setting as they may need oxygen and respiratory support with mechanical ventilation. There are medications being tried on hospitalized individuals with COVID-19.

Q: When is it safe for infected individuals to return to the community?

A: Your health care provider will tell you when you may safely return to the community.  For those with mild illness, they may return 7 days from the onset of symptoms and 72 hours fever free.  Some individuals will be directed to wait until they have 2- tests before returning to the community.  Follow your healthcare providers direction.

Q: Who is at risk for serious or life-threatening problems if they get COVID-19?

A: Individuals at higher risk include:

  • Older adults, especially those over 60 with underlying illnesses
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
    • Immune deficiency
    • Cancer

Q: Can I catch the virus from touching a contaminated surface like a desk, keyboard or phone?

A: Transmission of COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces has not been documented.  However, early studies indicate that the virus can live on surfaces for a short time. Therefore, we recommend cleaning high contact surfaces frequently, especially for shared equipment like computers and phones.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: Many hospitals are establishing pathways for their communities to support them. Hendricks Regional Health has the following website available for those looking for ways to help: Fighting Coronavirus Together

It is vital to follow Governor Holcomb’s shelter-in-place directive. Although young people may not perceive risk to them, if they get infected, they may expose high risk individuals that get sick and overwhelm the healthcare system. We need everyone to stay home as much as possible, limiting trips to essential needs only (food, cleaning supplies).

Q: Why are colleges and universities responding differently?

A: Colleges and Universities are following CDC and WHO recommendations and are making decisions based on our community needs which are different than for universities in larger cities. Our goal is to prevent transmission of the virus, especially for those most at risk. For those remaining on campus, it is very important to practice social distancing and seek care if you develop fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. STAY HOME until you have contacted your health provider if that happens.

 

For DePauw Students on Campus

COVID-19 RESOURCES IF YOU ARE SICK

If your symptoms are mild to moderate, call DePauw Health or a hotline first for direction.

If you experience moderate or severe shortness of breath, significant chest tightness or blue lips, call 911 and tell dispatch your symptoms.

Transport yourself if you have a car and you feel well enough to drive. Do not ask a friend to transport you.

If you don’t have a car and don’t have a license, call a hotline or do a virtual visit first for directions  on what to do.

Resource information:

  • DePauw Health 765-658-4555, hours posted on website
  • Hendricks Regional Health
    • Immediate Care Centers in Avon, Brownsburg and Danville (Hendricks Immediate Care Centers)
      • Monday-Friday, open 8am-8pm
      • Saturday-Sunday, open 8:30am-4:30pm
    • Schedule with the new virtual app

Sign up on your desktop computer at Hendricks Virtual Visit OR download the free MyVirtualHealthVisit app (Google Play or iTunes) on your mobile device

Create a login and complete your personal profile

Connect with a provider – no appointment needed

When prompted, enter the information below to receive your free visit:

Service Key: Hendricks

Coupon Code: HRHCV19

  • Visit our website: HENDRICKS.ORG/CORONAVIRUS

 

 For DePauw Employees

Q: What should an employee do if s/he is being tested for COVID-19?

If a health care provider determines that a test for COVID-19 is necessary, employees will be advised to follow isolation or quarantine guidelines while results are pending. You  should  notify your supervisor or Human Resources of the reason for your absence.

Q: What steps should a supervisor take when they are made aware that one of their employees is being tested for COVID-19?

Supervisors should contact Human Resources to let them know that an employee informed you that s/he is being tested for COVID-19. Information regarding any medical diagnosis or condition will be kept confidential, consistent with the University’s obligations under law. The Wellness Center will assist HR to determine if any other steps are necessary to support your employee or fellow co-workers who fall within the medical criteria for potential exposure.

Q: What steps should a co-worker take if they are made aware that a colleague is being tested for COVID-19?

Please notify your supervisor or contact the DePauw Health Center for advice. Let them know that your colleague informed you that s/he is being tested for COVID-19. Please remember to respect the privacy of your co-worker by not sharing this information with anyone else. The Wellness Center will determine if other steps are necessary to monitor your own health or support others in your department who may fall within the medical criteria for potential exposure.

Q: What will happen if an employee is COVID-19 positive?

If a health care provider determines that a test for COVID-19 is necessary, the employee must stay home and self-isolate until results are received. If a test is positive, the employee will receive guidance and be subject to monitoring by the Putnam County health department. The local health department may also reach out to other co-workers to determine if they fall within the medical criteria for potential exposure. The health department will provide guidance about self-quarantine and monitoring requirements to co-workers. If you don’t receive a phone call from Putnam County Health Department, you are not considered at risk.