A Troy student and one faculty member have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a university statement, but they have been off-campus since spring break.
One case of COVID-19 has also been confirmed in Pike County, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
Neither the faculty member or the student lives in Pike County, and the student did not live on campus.
No information has been released about the patient in accordance with medical privacy laws.
COVID-19 may stay dormant for 2 to 14 days before symptoms begin to appear, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Fever, coughing and shortness of breath are the main symptoms to watch out for.
Difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or a bluish look in the face are emergencies that require immediate medical attention.
The virus spreads quickly from droplets scattered in the air, making it incredibly contagious — transmission can occur from 6 feet away, the CDC says.
Washing your hands often and correctly with soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds is one of the best practices to protect yourself.
Avoid touching your face, and be sure to always cough or sneeze into your elbow.
The CDC recommends minimizing your outings and travel to necessities only.
Limit your exposure to people who are feeling ill; if you’re feeling sick, it’s best to isolate yourself a while.
The United States is past containing the disease completely; steps now must be taken to simply prevent spread as much as possible in the face of high contagiousness.
The university is currently keeping residential and dining hours open to support students who are unable to return home, but social distancing is suggested, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Social distancing sounds vague, but it’s simple: stay home unless you must leave. That means only going to the grocery store once a week, avoiding peak times in busy locations, and avoiding being around any large groups.
When dealing with an outbreak like this, the United States’ healthcare system is prone to overload if too many people come in sick.
So, many experts are urging citizens across the world to “flatten the curve.”
Social distancing flattens the slope of a graph displaying the number of cases over time. Fewer people get exposed, therefore, fewer people get sick.
With fewer people getting sick, the U.S. health system will be able to manage all the new cases coming in.
And while the contagiousness of this disease causes concern of spread even with social distancing, lowering the amount of cases the healthcare system has to handle at once makes care more efficient, according to Johns Hopkins.
Social distancing with this disease is incredibly crucial — while college students may have the lowest risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19, young adults are able to spread the disease to the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, who are far more at risk from the disease, according to the World Health Organization.
“It’s very important to take this seriously, and it’s very important not to panic,” Troy mayor Jason Reeves said. “We should practice proper social distancing; we should follow the CDC and ADPH’s guidelines of hygiene and handwashing.”
He stressed the importance of avoiding shaking hands and hugging others and avoiding touching your face.
“We need to have some discipline and some caution and think about what we’re doing,” he said.
Students can visit troy.edu/coronavirus for frequently asked questions and university updates, and questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.