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Frequently Asked Questions

About COVID-19 

What is Coronavirus? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and other circulating among animals.  Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome(SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is currently low.  Because this is an emerging situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including changes in risk assessment. 

How does it spread? 

Although the spread of this virus is still being researched, it is currently believed that it spread like other respiratory viruses-by people with the infection coughing and sneezing.  These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose, or mouth by contaminated hands. 

What are the symptoms of this infection? 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following: 

  • Fever 
  • Coughing 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 

If you have returned from travel to a country in the past 14 days with a COVID-19 outbreak or have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, the CDC advises you seek medical advice and call ahead to your health care provider. 

If you have not travelled and have not been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 but have fever and respiratory symptoms, seek medical advice and call ahead to your health provider.  You should not show up at a clinic, urgent care, emergency room, or other health facility without calling first.  Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other patients. 

Health, Wellness, and Prevention 

What do I do if I feel sick? 

If you develop symptoms, stay home from work, school, and other errands.  Remain home until you have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.  If you seek medical attention, you should notify your health provider of your symptoms before going to a facility.  

How do I help prevent the spread of coronaviruses? 

You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps you would to prevent infection from the flu and common cold: 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of used tissue. 

Should I wear a mask? 

Public health agencies currently do not recommend that people wear masks when they are in public.  Additionally, research currently does not conclude that wearing a mask in public actually keeps healthy people from becoming sick.  It’s more important for people who are currently sick to wear a mask in a healthcare setting to avoid exposing other people. 

College operations 

Will CSM close and/or cancel classes? 

The CSM approach to modifying College operations is guided by 3 goals: (1) to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors; (2) to help slow the spread of the virus in MD and the nation; (3) to ensure the continuity of teaching as much as possible.  With these goals in mind, College operations will be modified in the following ways until April 30: 

Instruction 

Both Academic Affairs and Continuing Education and Workforce Development are moving as much instruction as possible online.  There will be exceptions for those courses/programs for which online is not possible.   

Travel 

  • All college-related international travel is not permitted. 
  • All personal international travel is strongly discouraged. 
  • All college-related out-of-state domestic travel is not permitted.  
  • We urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal travel. Please take into account the risks of travel itself, as well as your possible destination.  Be advised that, depending on where you travel, the college may ask you to self-quarantine. 

Events 

  • All externally-sponsored on-campus events from March 16 through April 30 will be canceled or rescheduled. 
  • The college requests that the hosts of internal meetings exercise prudence when considering the necessity of the meeting.  Please use collaboration tools, such as Zoom and SharePoint/Teams as much as possible. 

Employees 

  • The college is on remote operations. Tier 1 employees are expected to work remotely.  Tier 2 employees will complete work tasks as assigned, but not necessarily work full time.  Tier 3 employees are subject to recall at anytime in order to maintain the essential functions of the College.  Access to campus is restricted to authorized personnel only.  Dr. Bill Comey and Executive Director of Public Safety Bill Bessette are the only two people who are authorized to grant campus access.   

How does CSM clean and disinfect? 

CSM Facilities staff have implemented extra measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently.  This includes surfaces such as door handles, banisters, and elevator buttons. 

Can employees telework? 

Employees in Tier 1 are expected to be fully engaged in maintaining essential operations. Employees in Tier 2 are expected to work regularly – but not necessarily full time – to maintain essential operations.  Employees in Tier 3 will be on call and should expect to be recalled based on college needs. Most employees will be able to accomplish their work remotely but some employees may need to work on campus.