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What is COVID-19 and how does it spread?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, which can cause illness in humans and animals. Those who have become sick are reported to develop cough, fever, breathing difficulties and tiredness. In severe cases, organ failure has been reported.
  • What experts know about COVID-19, a relatively new virus, is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The World Health Organization named this illness “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated COVID-19).
  • Person-to-person: The CDC says that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, which means those who are in close contact with one another, and/or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • CDC officials say that it is possible a person can contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or an object that has the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes, but they said this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?
Medical experts across the globe are rushing to find a cure. However, there is not one at this time. The disease is viral, which means antibiotics will not help; the antiviral drugs that work against the flu do not work against coronavirus. Those with a weak immune system and those who already are sick are urged to be especially cautious.

How can I tell if I have the coronavirus?
The CDC says people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic – the sickest. Still, it is possible to spread the disease before showing symptoms, so a person can feel fine and still have it, just as with other viruses. Such cases have been reported, but are not thought to be the main way it spreads.

What should I do if I have a cough?
The WHO recommends staying three feet away from a person who is sick. The main way this disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching it from someone with no symptoms at all is very low.

What if my roommate has a cough?  
It is important to remember that this is cold and flu season, and regardless of an individual’s travel history, coughs and other upper-respiratory symptoms are much more likely to be signs of a bad cold or seasonal influenza than the new coronavirus. You can protect yourself in the same ways you would normally do to avoid getting sick:
  • Clean your hands, and remind others to do the same. Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t share towels. Use paper towels after washing your hands, or use a cloth towel that isn’t shared with anyone else.
  • Clean common surfaces. Use a standard household disinfectant, and wash your hands after cleaning the area.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick.

 What should I do if I feel ill?
  • If you are feeling ill, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
  • Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other healthcare facility without calling first. Your provider may need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.
  • If you have symptoms such as a cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your primary care doctor first.
  • Do not go to an emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
  • Practice social distancing. Stay indoors and avoid contact with others, just as you would with the flu. Those with contagious diseases should stay home from work or school until they are well. People with fever, cough and respiratory issues should seek immediate medical attention.
What does it mean to self-isolate?
If you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are asked to self-isolate after returning from a country listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page as Level 2 or Level 3, you should stay off campus and remain home.
  • Do not go to campus including work, residence halls and apartments, classes, athletic events or other social gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 2 or 3 country in question. Likewise, avoid public places and gatherings in the community.
  • Please follow these guidelines for self-isolation:
  • Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to your medical provider – preferably by calling to get advice and instructions. Students with questions should contact Carl Greig at carl.greig@tamut.edu or (903) 223-3062.
  • Stay in your room or apartment. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your return to the United States from the country in question.
  • Limit contact as much as possible. This also means limiting close contact with others including persons living in your residence.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
  • Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant wipe. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms at least daily including measuring your temperature. Any symptoms of COVID-19 should be reported to your physician.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.

What is A&M-Texarkana Doing?
A&M-Texarkana leadership is meeting regularly to discuss and review the rapidly evolving situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.
The university is coordinating with the Texas A&M University System and other intuitions of higher education to ensure that issues related to campus communities are appropriately addressed. We would like to remind the community to practice good hygiene to lower the risk of becoming ill. The university will continue to address questions and concerns through jill.whittington@tamu.edu or carl.greig@tamu.edu.

How can I protect myself from the virus?
Stay educated on the disease by reading the CDC website. Most people who become infected experience a mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.
Take care of yourself by doing the following:
  • Stay home if you don’t feel well. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call ahead to the medical office.
  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub. This helps kill viruses that might be on your hand.
  • Stay at least three feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Follow good respiratory hygiene, which means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue immediately.

Should I wear a mask?
The WHO suggests people with no respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, do not need to wear a medical mask, but those who do have symptoms of COVID-19 and those caring for individuals who have symptoms (coughing, sneezing) should wear a mask.

What is the risk for developing the coronavirus in Texas?
The Texas Health and Human Services said the risk for all Texans, including those in Texarkana, remains low. Continue to avoid close contact with people who are sick; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; stay home when you are sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; avoid shaking hands; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Travel restrictions due to widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19
Restrictions and precautions recommended by the CDC are based on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 meaning exercise normal precautions and 4 meaning do not travel to that location:

Level 3: Avoid all nonessential travel to the following destinations:
·   China
·   Iran
·   South Korea
·   Italy

Level 2: Older adults or those who have chronic medical conditions consider
postponing travel to the following destinations:
·   Japan

Level 1: Practice usual precautions at the following destination:
·   Hong Kong

What countries are at-risk with COVID-19?
The CDC has established geographic risk-stratification criteria for the purpose of issuing travel health notices for countries with COVID-19 transmission and guiding public health management decisions for people with potential travel-related exposures to COVID-19. A number of factors inform the geographic risk stratification, including size, geographic distribution and epidemiology of the outbreak. View a risk assessment map.
For up-to-date health notices, visit the CDC and U.S. State Department websites.

Returning From Travel
If you were in a country with a COVID-19 outbreak and have felt sick with fever, a cough or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, you should do the following:
  • Seek medical advice – Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel on public transportation while sick.
  • 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 to avoid spreading the virus to others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Read about the difference between isolation and quarantine.
Behaviors of Bias
Be aware that concern around this emerging issue can lead to stigma and bias.
  • Coronavirus doesn’t recognize race, nationality or ethnicity.
  • Wearing a medical mask does not mean that a person is ill.


Where should I go to get accurate information on COVID-19?
Keep checking the university's COVID-19 webpage, as well as the following:
  • 7101 University Ave
  • Texarkana, TX 75503
  • p: 903.223.3000
  • f: 903.223.3104
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