Last Updated: March 3, 2020 - 10:26 a.m. CST

Millikin University has been monitoring information related to COVID19, also known as “coronavirus” for several weeks. At this time, we are not aware of any COVID19 cases in our county, and only four cases have tested positive in Illinois. Of these cases, all have recovered after a brief illness. At the current time the risk posed by COVID19 remains low, especially in individuals with normal immune capabilities.

Thankfully the preventative measures for COVID19 are the same as most viruses, including seasonal influenza. In January, the Millikin University facilities team began implementing extra treatments of “high touch” areas to help prevent the spread of all viruses. This extra attention continues and staff is being reminded to remain focused on preventative measures. Our campus community is reminded of the following simple precautions to help prevent the spread of all viruses:

  • Get a flu shot -- it’s not too late to protect yourself from seasonal influenza.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of at least 60 percent can be used.

  • CDC Handwashing/Hand Sanitizer Facts

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Stay home when you are sick, especially if you have a fever (100.4˚ Fahrenheit or higher as defined by Harvard Medical). You should be fever-free (without medicine) for 24 hours before returning to work or school.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes by using a tissue or elbow.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

As we prepare for spring break, we realize that many of our community members are planning to travel. While the risk of COVID19 remains low, increased travel does cause some concerns regarding transportation of the virus back to our community. Travelers are recommend to review both U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and State Department travel guidelines here:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Currently, China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy are listed as “level 3” risks where unnecessary travel is not recommended. Further, persons who travel to China or Iran will likely not be allowed re-entry into the U.S.. Japan has been added to a “level 2” list where increased screening and caution is needed. All international travelers should prepare for increased delays at all customs entry areas due to increased scrutiny due to COVID19. Make sure to monitor developments and check with your commercial airline for flight updates and information as they are modifying schedules to address demand changes.

We urge our community to recognize that while precaution is warranted reference COVID19 and other viruses, panic is not. For general information regarding COVID19, the CDC has posted general information here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

State specific information is available here:

http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

Any community member with a health concern is reminded our Millikin/Decatur Memorial Hospital Health Clinic is available Monday-Friday 8AM-4PM. They can be reached at 217-424-6360. If you suspect you are ill with COVID19, please call the clinic prior to arrival at the office.