Novel Coronavirus Resources

January 30, 2020

While we do not have any confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, we wanted to share the steps the university is taking across our campuses to assist in keeping you healthy, and provide reminders of what you can do yourself.

The 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China that is known to cause mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Public health officials are advising residents that flu and other respiratory diseases are circulating in the community, and are recommending everyone get a flu shot and follow basic prevention guidelines.

What can you do?

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are to:

  • 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 (or the inside of your elbow). Immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu vaccine if you have not yet done so.

GW is working closely with our medical partners to coordinate our efforts in response to 2019-nCoV. We ask that our community be vigilant and assist in avoiding the spread of misinformation. GW places a high value on the diversity of our community and respect for individuals. While there is an outbreak in China, the CDC as well as our own public health experts, assure us that there is no reason to suspect any member of our community of having this virus solely on the basis of actual or perceived national origin.

What is GW doing?

  • Our public health team continues to evaluate current conditions and the advice from CDC and our medical partners.
  • Placing hand sanitizer in residence halls and many centralized locations.
  • Daily wipe-downs in campus facilities.
  • Placing anti-bacterial wipes in central locations to wipe down surfaces.
  • Outreach to students, faculty and staff with preventative health measures.

We will continue to communicate with the GW community as we learn more about the virus and any possible exposure. If you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 novel coronavirus, stay home. Call the Colonial Health Center at (202 994-5300) and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

News reporting about emerging illnesses can be upsetting for many to hear. If you are experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to concerns for family in China, please contact GW Counseling and Psychological Services to speak with a counselor. You can set up an appointment through CHC, or see a counselor during their walk-in hours on the Foggy Bottom campus, Monday-Friday, 1- 4 p.m. If you are concerned about a student, please submit a CARE Network Report. We’re here to help.