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First Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Published March 24, 2020

Dear Beach Community:

We have learned of the first confirmed positive COVID-19 test results in our campus community. Two students are in self-isolation off campus, and those who may have come into close contact with them are being notified by health officials. In one case, the student has not been on campus for two weeks. In the second case, there was no opportunity for on-campus exposure according to public-health officials.  

While it was to be expected that The Beach family eventually would be affected by this pandemic, we were saddened to hear this news. It is a sober signal that the impact of this illness will be felt widely. It is critically important that everyone adheres to all the social distancing measures and practice good public health hygiene, including washing hands as frequently as possible.

I wanted to remind you all of the best preventative steps you can take:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Using soap, scrub your hands for at least twenty seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then thoroughly wash your hands.
  • Routinely disinfect frequently touched items in your home.
  • Maintain physical distance from others.
  • Get plenty of rest, consume ample water, and eat healthy meals.

If you think that you have been in contact with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, you should:

  • Call your healthcare provider and follow their counsel. For students on or near campus, this is likely Student Health Services. If you are a member of the faculty or staff, also notify your Appropriate Administrator or Administrative Services Manager.
  • Self-isolate for 14 days and monitor your health.
  • Take preventative steps within your home to avoid spreading illness to family members or roommates in case you are now carrying the virus. These steps include thorough hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes, not sharing household items, and distancing yourself from others.

If you think you are developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including a fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath, you should:

  • Call your healthcare provider and follow their counsel. For students on or near campus, this is likely Student Health Services. If you are a member of the faculty or staff, also notify your Appropriate Administrator or Administrative Services Manager. If you are in close contact of someone being currently tested for COVID-19, also notify Student Health Services.
  • Unless directed by your healthcare provider, stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or symptoms of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. 
  • If your doctor asks to see you in person during your illness, avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. If possible, put on a face mask before you enter the building or follow other protocols requested by your doctor in advance of your appointment. If you can’t put on a face mask, keep a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet away).
  • At home, separate yourself from other people, including using a separate bathroom, if possible. Wear a face mask, if available.
  • Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter cold and flu medications to reduce fever and pain. Follow the instructions on the package, unless your doctor gave you instructions. Note that these medicines do not “cure” the illness and, therefore, do not stop you from spreading the virus.
  • Do not share dishes, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • You or your caregiver should clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. Caregivers should wear a mask and take other precautions if in the space you are occupying during your illness.
  • If you are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down, go to an emergency room or call 911.

Please take the time to know these best practices and next steps during this difficult time.

Kimberly Fodran, M.D.
Co-Director, Student Health Services
Chief of Medical Staff

California State University, Long Beach