Responding to the critical need to support statewide mitigation efforts to reduce the transmission of coronavirus, Susquehanna is conducting classes and continuing its operations remotely. The university intends to revert to its normal face-to-face, in-person instructional mode at the end of the pandemic.
While all in-person visits to campus are suspended, our virtual tour and admission counselors are available to help future students connect to the Susquehanna community.
If you have questions that are not addressed in the FAQs or resources below, feel free to reach out to the contact listed within each FAQ. We’d love to hear from you.
Updated May 19, 2020
Information on COVID-19 or Coronavirus
The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are providing continuing updates, resources and FAQs regarding COVID-19 and ways that individuals can avoid contracting or spreading the virus. Please visit their websites for the most up-to-date information for ways the public can protect themselves and one another during this pandemic.
What happens when the university discovers that a member of the SU community (or vendor/visitor) has tested positive for COVID-19?
As with any potentially threatening virus, if someone who has been on campus within 14 days, or has been on a recent study abroad trip, tests positive for COVID-19, the university has standard procedures to keep the SU community safe and well.
SU will immediately inform campus community members with possible direct exposure. Concurrently, our responsibility is to protect the identity of the impacted individual(s). Federal privacy laws limit what SU is allowed to disclose; furthermore, it is everyone’s responsibility to respect privacy.
Upon receiving notification of virus confirmations of individual(s) who recently have been on campus, our process includes:
- Work with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to immediately isolate infected individual(s) from the general university population. Impacted individual(s) will be isolated in their family home when possible, or in a university-designated quarantine space(s). If a student is isolated on campus, the university will continue to provide food, supplies, medical advice and assessment, and counseling, as well as our caring support.
- Clean potential contaminated areas with materials designated to eliminate COVID-19.
For SU students not on campus, our health center and counseling center remain available remotely.
If I came into contact with someone with COVID-19, what should I do?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines indicate that persons who have possible exposure to a person with the COVID-19 illness should remain home for 14 days with self-observation.
Self-observation means you should remain alert for symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, you should take your temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.
As much as possible, stay away from other people in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Follow everyday preventive steps that are recommended by the CDC to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are the best option, if hands are visibly dirty.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands as described above.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables should be cleaned with disinfectant.
- Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
- Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
- Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
For more information, see this CDC fact sheet.
What do we know about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is SU prepared?
COVID-19, initially named novel coronavirus, is a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses, COVID-19 spreads from contact with infected persons or surfaces; though, more details can emerge from further research underway.
Information about the virus and its spread continues to evolve rapidly, and the CDC has advised that communities should prepare for the potential of community spread in the United States. In addition to monitoring CDC guidelines, Susquehanna University is engaged in planning and preparedness efforts in partnership with our partners at the Geisinger Health System and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The CDC reports that symptoms for patients with COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Are there ways to prevent contracting the virus?
The CDC recommends the following steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of it in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with others if you or they are at risk for COVID-19.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
Health and Safety
I’m sick. How do I know if it is COVID-19 or something else, like the flu?
COVID-19 symptoms and flu symptoms can be similar, but COVID-19 is related to the current outbreak affecting many countries. Even if you’ve traveled to an affected area – or have had contact with someone who has – if you have symptoms of fever, cough, body aches, it is possible that it could be the flu.
Students who have flu-like symptoms should call the Student Health Center at 570-372-4385 for consultation. An on-call nurse is available for medical advice after hours at 570-374-9164.
I have recently returned from a trip to an affected area and have respiratory symptoms. What should I do?
Students traveling from an affected area in the last 14 days who feel sick with fever, cough and difficulty breathing:
- Seek medical advice. If you are home, call your primary care doctor. If you are on campus, call the health center 570-372-4385 or 560-374-9164 after hours.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Follow above CDC guidelines to prevent spreading of the virus.
Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider.
Will Susquehanna quarantine students and employees who have recently traveled to affected areas?
Consistent with Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations for colleges, all students, faculty and staff returning from a CDC Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) affected area, should undergo a self-quarantine of at least 14 days. Returning community members should self-isolate at their permanent home residence or with other family members. Students with questions regarding this requirement should call Vice President for Student Life Susan Lantz at 570-372-4134. Employees returning from travel requiring a quarantine period should contact Human Resources.
Is it necessary to wear masks?
The CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks among the general public. We do understand the importance of wearing masks as part of the cultural norms in some communities. Additionally, persons with any respiratory illnesses may wear a mask to reduce the spread of droplets when they cough, sneeze or speak. As a normal protocol, wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms, especially inside the health center to reduce spread of any infection.
If I see emergency responders on campus wearing masks or other protective clothing, does that mean they are treating someone who has COVID-19?
No. Wearing masks, gowns and gloves are all standard procedures that emergency responders routinely follow when treating any respiratory illness — such as colds, flu and other viral illnesses — and are not specific to COVID-19. This is similar to procedures in place at many hospitals and health care facilities.
If you did not find answers to your questions or how to reach the office with the answers, you can call the Susquehanna COVID-19 Information Center during regular business hours at 570-372-3333.