March 3, 2020 COVID-19 Update
Carroll College is actively planning for the potential of the COVID-19 virus in Montana, Helena, and at Carroll College. A task force has been formed to accomplish the following goals:
- Establish preventative measures and pre-pandemic planning: Prepare for the return of our students from spring break and commence an internal awareness campaign on what we as a campus community can do to prevent infection, including: staying informed; practicing good hygiene; remaining calm, and showing compassion.
- Review the currency of our emergency preparedness plan: Ensure we have our emergency preparedness plan updated and in place in order to be prepared as well as to ensure the safety of the entire campus--students and employees alike--and to minimize disruptions in student life, learning, and welfare.
- Identify and procure necessary supplies and services. We discussed cleaning supplies we have on hand and the shortage of things like hand sanitizer around town.
- Review command and control procedures and guidelines.
- Review infection control policies and procedures.
- Ensure communication and coordination.
- Coordinate treatment and dissemination plans with the Department of Emergency Services, Lewis and Clark Department of Health, St. Peter’s Hospital, and other healthcare organizations.
- Ensure the continuity of student learning and operations if affected by a larger scale event. We are discussing what equipment would be needed to supplement existing technology for teachers to conduct distance learning classes if necessary.
- Identify resources for campus and community responses.
It is important to emphasize that thus far the vast majority of people who have become ill with COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) have experienced relatively mild symptoms, such as fever and cough.
Steps to prevent the flu and COVID-19:
- WASH your hands OFTEN with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- AVOID touching your eyes, nose or mouth,
- Clean the areas you live in with household disinfectants, especially your phones;
- Use an alcohol-based (60% alcohol concentrate) hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay over 6 feet from others;
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing; then wash your hands;
- Eliminate or decrease contact with others and STAY HOME if you begin to feel sick;
- Drink plenty of fluid, normally about 72 ounces per day
- Stay active
- Eat nutritiously
- Get good sleep
- Manage your stress
Signs and Symptoms for COVID-19
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and tiredness accompanied by a dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea or a combination of these. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms or don’t feel unwell. Those who develop difficulty breathing, worsening cough or fever and also have underlying medical conditions should seek medical attention.
Things to do if you are sick
The risk for contracting COVID-19 is low at this stage. COVID-19 has no treatment or cure as of now. We treat the symptoms. The symptoms for young adults are that of the common cold.
- Lots of fluids
- 2 Tylenol or 3 ibuprofen every 6 hours
- If sore throat gargle salt water
- If stuffed up, runny nose, ear pressure, or headache take Sudafed or a decongestant
- If you start to get a cough take mucinex without a suppressant
- Call the Wellness Center 406-447-5441 with any questions.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)
- CDC: Prevention Situation Summary
- CDC: Prevention Healthy Habits to Prevent the Flu (recommended for COVID-19)
- CDC: Stigma Related to COVID-19
- CDC: List of Affected Areas for Travelers
- World Health Organization Coronovirus Online Training
- John's Hopkins Realtime Map
- Lewis & Clark Public Health
- Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
President Cech has appointed a Pandemic Flu Task Force which will be co-chaired by Academic Vice President Cathy Day, Dean of Students and Retention Beth Groman, and Vice President for Finance and Administration Lori Peterson. Other members of this task force will include:
- Renee McMahon, Director of Human Resources
- Dr. Jennifer Glowieka, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
- Jennifer Bingham, Business Manager for Finance and Administration
- Kerry Rigsby, RN, Director of Wellness Center
- Kristina Ward, Head Trainer (Athletics)
- Dan Byrd, Assistant Director of Facilities
- Butch Biskupiak, Director of Facilities
- Dr. Grant Hokit, Professor (Senior Research Associate) - Biology & Biochemistry Molecular Biology
- Dr. Chato Hazelbaker, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing
- Adam Pearlman, General Manager of Sodexo Campus Services
Carroll College will post additional updates as they are available. Please know we are on top of this and we will keep you posted.