VISIBLE

COVID-19

This is a page designated for resources to support our community during this Coronavirus pandemic. We will be continue update this page with new information and articles about this situation as it evolves. Visible is our platform for your voice. We want to hear from you on how COVID-19 is affecting yourself and your community. Please use the form below to submit your story and have your voice heard.

AU Student Resources

All official public online releases about the Coronavirus from American University can be accessed here.

Housing

AU has encouraged students to return to their permanent addresses and not to return to campus. Students have been asked to vacate residence halls by Monday, March 23 at 5 pm. For students who may have difficulty or the inability to return home so abruptly, President Burwell advises students to contact the Office of Campus Life for help at EmergencyHousing20@american.edu. If you have difficulty affording travel, AU says they will work with students to support transportation and related challenges for those with high financial need. Anyone with a significant challenge affording transportation to your permanent residence to please reach out to the Financial Aid office at financialaid@american.edu as soon as possible, but before March 23.

Health Services

Student Health Center will be fully operational. We know that many students require ongoing health care (e.g. refills, psychiatric care, etc.) during this time. Students who are less than 50 miles away (or can come to campus) can make appointments with the Student Health Center for ongoing care. Students further away should contact their home healthcare provider for ongoing care. If there are any questions about this, please contact the Student Health Center via secure messaging (within the Student Health Portal.) If you or a family member has had a potential COVID-19 exposure, as outlined by the CDC. Please call ahead of time rather than coming in directly or making an appointment online. For questions from students about health services, contact the Student Health Center at 202-885-3380 or shc@american.edu.

Food Insecurity

The AU Market will remain open. This is a discrete, free resource for all students who remain on campus or in the DMV area and experience food insecurity. Click the white title above this text for more details.

Counseling Services

Legally, AU clinicians are only able to practice within the District of Columbia. Students physically located in D.C. can access services by clicking the white title above this text . All current clients at the Center will receive an email and a phone call from their clinician outlining treatment options and referral resources. For all students, regardless of location, crisis intervention will be available 24 hours a day via AUProtoCall Services at 202-885-7979.

Jobs

Students with Federal Work Study (FWS) will continue to receive their payments, which has been made permissible through new Department of Education guidelines. For students with on-campus jobs that are not work study, supervisors are being encouraged to find ways to allow students to work remotely. Students should also reach out directly to faculty supervising their internships so they can explore with the employer whether remote work is possible. Graduate assistants and research assistants should consult with their faculty supervisors regarding how to continue their assignments remotely. For questions about staff and working arrangements, contact Human Resources at hrpayrollhelp@american.edu. The AU Career Center announced the following: All Career Center appointments will take place by Skype. As a reminder, appointments can be scheduled through Handshake. Most of our employer recruiting events will be moved to virtual platforms. We are also reviewing other events and services to determine the best ways to offer them and will have more details to share in the coming days. Please contact us at careercenter@american.edu if you have any questions or concerns

Travel Reporting

All domestic travel for official university business and university-sponsored student and recognized student group trips is suspended through May 5 (the last scheduled day of exams this semester). This includes all travel that has been previously approved. The ongoing suspension of all university-sponsored international travel announced on March 5 remains in effect. All study abroad programs are canceled, and all students are being instructed to return immediately to their permanent addresses. Students are not to return to campus. The university will work with these students on academic arrangements and financial matters. For questions about AU’s emergency response procedures or to report personal travel to South Korea or Italy, contact the Office of Risk Management at prepared@american.edu.

Academic Support & Access

Academic advising, disability services and academic support. Academic advising, disability support and services (ASAC) and coaching will be available to support students through this time through remote appointments. Students should continue to work with their individual academic advisors. Please click the white title above this text to see AU's FAQs for more information.

Free WiFi for Students

If you do not have access to WiFi, Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Click the white title above this text for more information.

Reliable Data & References

FAQ

The use of a facemask is not recommended for people who do not have any symptoms. Facemasks should only be used if recommended by healthcare professionals. If you are a health worker or taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (e.g. at home), the use of a facemask is very important to protect others from the risk of getting infected.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. We recommend the following actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease:

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash hands, multiple times a day, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Get the flu vaccine

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Despite some mainstream media’s coverage on COVID-19, there is no such thing as a “foreign virus” or specifically “Chinese Virus”. The COVID-19 is the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. 

We are still learning more about the symptoms that this virus causes in infected people as the outbreak progresses. Symptoms associated with coronaviruses can vary:

  • Common coronaviruses can cause symptoms similar to a common cold, such as fever, cough, sore throat, and feeling unwell.
  • The symptoms that are currently being seen with the current coronavirus infection are fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath.
  • The coronaviruses SARS and MERS cause more severe symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath that progress to pneumonia, and can be fatal.

Current symptoms have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

  • Currently, it is thought that the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus spreads from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Based on what we know from other coronaviruses, we think that symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-14 days after someone was exposed.
  • When person-to-person spread occurred with other coronaviruses, such as MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezed or coughed, similar to other respiratory viruses.

However, there are everyday actions to take to help prevent spread of illnesses like influenza:

  • It is also flu season, so getting the flu vaccine can help prevent illness
  • Wash hands, multiple times a day, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when feeling sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Please review the CDC website for the most updated information on travel health notices and other important information to consider.

  • You may have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) if you travelled to certain areas of China.
  • Check for any symptoms that may be consistent with the coronavirus.
  • If you are not having symptoms, at this time it is thought that you are not at risk of being infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. DC Health recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

If you are feeling sick with the symptoms previously mentioned, and think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay at home. Contact your healthcare provider immediately to let them know you may have been exposed and need to be evaluated.

Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods.

All of the information we use are from legitimate sources. Here are a few places to check for more information:

Published Work