Current Health Alerts
We urge our WSU community to practice physical distancing and self-isolation in light of the devastating spread of COVID19.
Some of you may be scared and it is okay to have some fear during this time of so many unknowns but please try not to panic and know that we are in this together.
Others of you may feel that this is over-hyped or perhaps the reality of this pandemic has not yet sunk in.
We ask that you take this seriously and protect yourself and all those that you care about that are around you. We hope that you will take precautions for yourself and for those around you.
We know it is not easy and we appreciate all that you have sacrificed for the good of our Warrior community and beyond.
Thank you for doing your part, protecting yourself and others and making a difference in slowing down the spread of this disease.
Call Before Going to Healthcare Facilities
Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, emergency room without calling first.
You can reach the Ask-A-Nurse Message Line at 507.457.2292 or schedule an appointment with WSU Health Services at 507.457.5160.
It is important that your symptoms and risks be screened so that appropriate precautions may be taken, if needed, by the healthcare staff.
This is to protect others as well as yourself.
If you receive a positive test result from a health provider other than WSU's Health and Wellness Services, you should still report that information. Please use the self-report form or call Ask-A-Nurse at 507.457.2292.
Resources to Help You be Prepared
These are staff-made videos about COVID, Ask-A-Nurse/Staying well, and then WSU's Instagram with IGTV access.
There are also a variety of guides for taking precautions and managing COVID-19.
What is Coronavirus & how is it spread?
According to the CDC, we are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.
The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person--that is, between people who are in close contact with each other--through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness for confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
I had contact with an international student, am I at risk?
It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in (or have not recently been in) an area of ongoing spread of the virus are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19.
Similarly, those who have not been in contact with someone who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading the virus than anyone else.
What happens if there’s a confirmed case at WSU?
Winona State’s COVID-19 Coronavirus Planning and Response Team has developed a protocol for a number of scenarios should the health concerns escalate in the region.
We will take immediate steps in accordance with CDC guidelines to respond to any health and safety risk to the campus community.
We will work on containing the individuals who may have been in close contact. We will immediately start contact tracing through the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health.
Will there be testing sites on campus?
Health & Wellness Services has COVID-19 testing available to WSU students from 12-2pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Please call ahead by calling Ask-A-Nurse at 507.457.2292 or schedule an appointment with WSU Health Services at 507.457.5160.
Will testing be free?
We are continuing to investigate cost-saving measures regarding COVID testing for students.
How will my health be monitored if I become ill?
WSU has a Daily Self-Assessment that students, faculty and staff will complete each day before arriving on campus.
If you report through the self-assessment that you are experiencing symptoms, you will be prompted to call Ask-A-Nurse. From there, you will be recommended to get tested through WSU Health Services. You will receive more instructions about combating symptoms after the results from your test.
We suggest the buddy system for students, so they have someone to lean on if they need further assistance.
What if my symptoms are not improving or getting worse?
Depending on the severity of symptoms we have a few options in place for additional medical care.
In the WSU Health Services Clinic
Our medical staff consists of:
- 1 Medical Doctor
- 3 Nurse Practitioners
- 1 RN and 3 LPNs on rotation throughout our clinic
Depending on the severity and time of day, students should call Ask-A-Nurse during business hours.
At Off-Campus Clinics
If it is on a weekend or after hours, we recommend going to another local clinic such as Winona Health Urgent Care and Gunderson Urgent Care.
In the case that you may need hospitalization, they will assess your student through the Winona Health Emergency Department. They will admit you or place you in a nearby facility.
What if I need medication?
We have gathered information about over-the-counter medications that students should bring with them to college.
We recommend assembling two first aid kits. One made to treat minor injuries and another to treat the symptoms of COVID-19.
If you need prescription medication, there are several pharmacies in the area. These pharmacies offer pick-up or delivery for the medication.
How is Housing & Residence Life supporting students who live on campus?
How will students use the restroom if they do not have access to a personal bathroom?
The Housing & Residence Life team continues to look for solutions for shared bathrooms in the dorms. They will follow the CDC and MDH guidelines for disinfecting and physical spacing.
How will students receive food if they are in isolation?
Students in quarantine are able to pick food up in the dining centers and take their meals back to their rooms. Meals will be delivered for students who are in isolation.
Will students have to return to their family homes if they get COVID-19?
We have plans in place in case of isolation, although each case is assessed one at a time. In the event of an outbreak, it will be up to the student and their family to return home.
What happens if I’m unable to attend online or in person classes due to illness?
Faculty are to work with students on their specific needs. We recommend reaching out to the instructor to discuss any concerns.
If the professor is unable to make appropriate accommodations, you should reach out to the department chair, Dean of Students, or dean of the course’s college.
What you can do
Take these steps to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy:
- Keep yourself informed about local COVID-19 situation
- Wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content is recommended.
- Avoid touching your face – especially eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you are feeling ill, stay home. Faculty, staff and administration will do all that is possible to support and accommodate this.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks
- Get your flu shot. Right now, the flu is more likely to infect students. WSU Health & Wellness still has shots available for students.
Should I be wearing a mask?
The CDC has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public.
This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms.
Until now, the CDC, like the WHO, has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to save medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply.
Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.
What you can do if you have traveled
Please note that Minnesota State Colleges & University is currently enforcing a travel ban on all University-related international travel and out of state travel.
Personal international travel is strongly discouraged. Domestic travel should be postponed or canceled.
When traveling, you should take these steps:
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
- 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. The CDC recommends at least 60% alcohol concentration for maximum effectiveness.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you to ensure you have the opportunity to clean your hands at any time
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve--not your hands--when coughing or sneezing. Throw used tissues in the garbage as soon as you can.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
If you live with someone who has been asked to self-isolate
Here are precautions you can take to avoid getting sick.
Clean your hands. All persons sharing living quarters with someone who is self-isolating should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub (60% alcohol or higher) frequently.
Monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are sharing living quarters with someone who is self- isolating, monitor yourself closely for the development of fever and respiratory symptoms. If you develop a fever, cough, or sore throat, call your medical provider or WSU’s Health & Wellness Services Ask-a-Nurse Message Line.
Don’t visit the room of those who are self-isolating.
Clean common surfaces.
Wash laundry and dishes safely. If you are washing used linens (such as bed sheets and towels) for the person who is self-isolating, use household laundry soap and tumble dry on a hot setting. Avoid “hugging” laundry and use a laundry basket or bag while carrying it to the washing machine to prevent self-contamination.
Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based (60% alcohol or higher) hand rub right after handling dirty laundry. Dirty dishes and eating utensils should be washed in a dishwasher or by hand with warm water and soap.
If sharing a bathroom be sure to wash your hands after touching anything in the bathroom. You should also avoid sharing any linens, such as bath towels or hand towels. The person who is self-isolating should be wearing a mask when they travel to and from the bathroom, and that should help limit exposure as well.
Questions about Self-Isolation
When do I have to self-isolate?
If you have symptoms of an upper respiratory illness (whether you have traveled or not), this includes but is not limited to a cough or fever, please self-isolate for at least 10 days and longer until you are fever free without fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours.
If you live with someone whom has developed symptoms of an upper respiratory illness and is self-isolating for the 10+ days, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days as it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.
If you develop symptoms, stay home for 10 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you’re home for longer than your 14 days and longer than 10 as needed until fever free for 24 hours.
Please know that we are here for you through it all
- Ask-A-Nurse Message Line: 507.457.2292 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Self-care questions
- Isolation questions
- All health questions
- Appointment Line: 507.457.5160
- TeleHealth Medical Appointments
- On-site Medical Appointments
- TeleHealth Counseling Appointments
Do I have to self-isolate if I commute from WI to work?
WSU is making an exception for Wisconsin towns in close proximity to Winona, so self-isolation is not necessary.
If you are in self-isolation
When in self-isolation, you should take these steps:
- Report any symptoms of COVID-19 by calling Ask-a-Nurse at 507.457.2292. Symptoms may include the following: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- Stay in your bedroom. If you must go to another room, please cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if coughing.
- Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or gatherings until the 14 days have lapsed
- Limit contact with others as much as possible. This also means limiting contact with roommates and others living in your residences.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage. If soap and water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol content is recommended
- Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until the 14 days have lapsed.
- Keep your surroundings clean. Try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as doorknobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you may have sneezed or coughed on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
Can I go for a solo hike?
If you are not having any symptoms, fresh air and exercise would be great. If you meet anyone on your way, keep walking!
If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough or have trouble breathing:
- Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
- Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
Can I still go to work if I work off-campus?
WSU is recommending that if you have traveled domestically or internationally you self-isolate for 14 days and monitor your health before returning to campus.
Day one would start when you walk in the door of where you will be staying.
Whether you go to work or not is a conversation between you and your employer