Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020
Who is at risk for novel coronavirus?
Currently the risk to the general public is low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the U.S. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with healthcare providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases.
Travelers to and from certain areas of the world may be at increased risk. See wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel for the latest travel guidance from the CDC.
How is it spread?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- Rarely, fecal contamination
What are the symptoms?
People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus:
Symptoms of coronavirus may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- A general feeling of being unwell
If you have traveled to/from Wuhan City and have symptoms, contact a health care provider.
If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, please follow instructions provided by your Local Health Department.
How can people protect themselves?
There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting any viral respiratory infections. These include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
It is also important for people to stay at home away from others if they are sick.
What is the treatment?
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms, including:
- Take pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children)
- Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
- If you are mildly sick, you should drink plenty of liquids, stay home and rest
Responding to Misinformation, Bias or Stigma
In times of fear and uncertainty there is often misinformation shared as a result of bias and, at times, discrimination. COVID-19 is a global concern that can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Green River College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all who study, work or visit at any of our locations.
If you experience or witness any bias or harassment, please report it to GRC Campus Safety at 253-288-3350. Any Green River student in need of more personal support during this time is encouraged to contact GRC Counseling Services at 253-833-9111, ext. 2460. King County Public Health has also created a site dedicated to anti-stigma resources.
How to Stay Informed
The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.