March 4, 2020, 12:13 p.m. – The Santa Fe College Emergency Management team met today to discuss information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concerning COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. As of this report, there are no confirmed or presumed positive cases in the Santa Fe College service district of Alachua and Bradford counties, however, there are three cases of coronavirus in Florida – two in Hillsborough County and one in Manatee County.
The CDC has issued a recommendation to avoid all nonessential travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. They have also recommended that people who are immune-suppressed to avoid Japan because of the coronavirus.
Santa Fe College has cancelled the scheduled study abroad trip to Italy, because of the concerns about the spread of coronavirus there. At this point, there are no travel advisories to any other countries SF has scheduled study abroad trips. Although the college reserves the right to cancel these travel plans for the safety of our students, faculty and staff, all other study abroad travel opportunities will go forward as planned.
Students, faculty and staff who have traveled to the countries with travel advisories should not show up at any SF campus or center, but should self-quarantine. For additional information, staff should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who are self-quarantining should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 352-395-5955.
The CDC remains the most reliable source for virus information, and regularly provides updates at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Johns Hopkins also has a real-time COVID-19 interactive map that is also regularly updated.
Symptoms may be flu-like, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
- 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.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Using facemasks to prevent spreading the disease in accordance with CDC recommendations:
- People who show symptoms of COVID-19 and caregivers working with people who show symptoms of COVID-19 should wear facemasks.
- People who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and who are not actively caring for someone who does should not wear facemasks.
SF administrators and emergency managers will continue to meet during spring break and provide additional advisories as needed. We encourage students, faculty and staff to utilize the sources provided above for the most accurate and current information.