The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain the University of West Georgia’s top priority. Campus leaders, including health experts, emergency management personnel, and others, are closely monitoring the evolving Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and its effects to campus.
As of 3 p.m. on May 22, 2020, we are aware of 8 members of the University of West Georgia community (students or employees) who have tested positive for COVID-19.
This page was last updated Friday, May 22, 2020.
For the Most Recent Information, Visit These Sources:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Georgia Department of Public Health
- The University System of Georgia
- Messages to the UWG Campus Community
10 Things You Should Know:
- University of West Georgia classes are now online, and all summer semester instruction (including Maymester) will be delivered remotely. For more information, read this campus message.
- The UWG Student Health Center is currently open for medical care Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and from 1-4 p.m. In order to decrease the chance of COVID-19 exposure and spread, students are asked to call 678-839-6452 to speak with a staff member to schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment, as there are no walk-in services at this time. We have limited our care to acute conditions, and therefore will not be doing routine exams such as PAP smears. If a student needs refills of medications, they may call 678-839-6452 during office hours. As always, if it is a medical emergency, call 911. If students have questions regarding immunizations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Students may schedule a consultation with one of our advocates by calling 678-839-6452. Health Services continues to provide confidential victims services via our 24-hour crisis line at 470-215-9946.
- All University System of Georgia institutions will remain open but will operate with minimal staffing on campus to ensure the continuity of critical services. Most faculty and staff members, with minimal exceptions, are working remotely.
- For faculty and staff who need to come to campus, please practice social distancing and track your status using the eTracks application.
- The UWG Counseling Center is operating remotely. For students, staff, or faculty seeking resources you can visit the Counseling Center webpage for links to resources that may help during this unprecedented time. For students who are being served by the center and have questions, please email your counselor at email@example.com. You may also call 678-839-6428 and choose option 1 to leave a message. Messages are checked hourly. As always, the Counseling Center is available to students in crisis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 678-839-6428 and choose option 2 for the on-call counselor. Additionally, UWG is partnering with Sharpen Colleges to provide mental health support to students free of charge until August. For more information, read this UWG News story announcing the partnership.
- Campus tours and visits are canceled until further notice. We invite you to take a virtual tour of campus.
- All events (student- or faculty/staff-sponsored) are canceled or postponed until further notice.
- UWG residence halls are closed to all students except those approved to remain on campus following the university’s transition to remote instruction. No other students or guests outside of those approved to remain on campus are allowed in the residence halls.
- The University System of Georgia has provided guidance to campuses on refunds for housing, dining, and other services. UWG has begun to process refunds to students who have paid mandatory fees for campus services that have been discontinued for the remainder of the semester. Students required to move out of residence halls and/or students who will no longer have access to dining services will be provided a pro-rated refund of the remaining balance. For more information, read this campus message.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued Level 3 travel warnings for countries around the world due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
What You Should Do:
- Wash your hands: see this guidance from the CDC on how and when to most effectively wash your hands.
- Practice social distancing:
Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
Consider a grocery delivery service.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults.
- International students, especially those from countries impacted by COVID-19, should:
- Exercise proactive measures around planned summer travel. Specifically, students should monitor airline service and immigration policy updates, and consider alternative plans if warranted.
- Contact UWG’s International Student Admissions & Programs if you have questions related to potential visa and immigration status implications and with any other questions or concerns.
What is a coronavirus?
Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives, according to the CDC. These illnesses usually last for a short time.
The new coronavirus can cause mild illness that can be overcome, but more severe cases can be life-threatening. The people more likely to get very sick from the virus are those over the age of 65, having underlying diseases such as bad heart or lung disease, liver or kidney disease, have cancer or are immunocompromised.
Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in all states. People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location.
Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure. Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure. Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with level of risk dependent on where they traveled.
What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (known as COVID-19)?
Reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. According to the CDC, symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
How do coronaviruses spread?
According to the CDC, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. When person-to-person spread has occurred, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes similar to how influenza spreads but can also be spread from contact with contaminated surfaces (handles, counters, light switches, etc.).
Does UWG have a plan for its response to COVID-19 spreading rapidly in the U.S.?
UWG has a number of comprehensive plans in place to address emergencies, including those resulting from infectious disease. Health-related plans result from in-depth exchanges between the Student Health Center in conjunction with UWG Emergency Management. UWG personnel are in regular contact with the CDC, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and county health districts and would continue this communication throughout any implementation of the plan.
Should I be tested for the new coronavirus?
According to the CDC, if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath within 14 days after travel from any affected country or area with active community transmission, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms and recent travel. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
I am concerned. What precautions can I take?
Guidance from the CDC on how to protect yourself and others includes the following:
- Clean your hands thoroughly and often.
- Avoid close contact by staying home as much as possible and practicing social distancing when you have to leave your home.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.