August 5, 2020

Campus Update on Coronavirus

To students, faculty, and staff:

As members of our community return from spring break, when many of us have been traveling, we would like to provide an update on the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Rest assured that UMW’s medical and emergency management officials have taken proactive steps and are continually monitoring the situation and are regularly in touch with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

There are no confirmed cases in our community or in Virginia. At this point, VDH recommends self-quarantine only for individuals who have traveled to or been in close contact with residents of China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. In addition, the same protocol is recommended for anyone who has been in physical proximity with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

We realize many students, faculty, and staff have traveled widely during the past week. While the risk of contracting COVID-19 is lower if you have not traveled to any of the four countries named above or been in close contact with someone who has, we urge all members of the campus community to practice vigilance in regard to their health.

As a means of ensuring your safety as well as the safety of the campus community, we ask that you inform student health via this link of where you have traveled in the past several weeks.

The symptoms associated with COVID-19 are similar to the common flu – fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other respiratory complaints.  Students who are ill or think they may be ill should stay home from class and must contact their instructor via email or telephone to discuss appropriate adjustments. Faculty will be provided guidance on ways to accommodate students who may temporarily need to participate or complete assignments remotely. Faculty members who have questions about how to do this may find assistance through the Center for Teaching and Digital Learning Support.

As with any cold or flu, it is important for everyone to follow these self-care habits to reduce the chance of infection:

  • Wash your hands often 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 readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid eating or drinking after others or sharing e-cigarettes.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

There is currently no treatment available for COVID-19; for more than 80% of people who contract the virus, cases are mild and the virus runs its course. However, if you test positive with coronavirus, VDH recommends self-isolate for 14 days so as not to expose anyone else to the virus.

If you have medical questions or are in need of a thermometer, please call the Student Health Center at 540-654-1040.

For any other questions or concerns, please email healthupdates@umw.edu or call/leave a message at 540-654-1999.

Further information on COVID-19 can be found at Virginia Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and/or x211 (press 9).

We continue to work closely with local, state, and federal health officials, and we will regularly update the campus.

Your well-being is a top priority. In our commitment to minimizing the health risks to our students, staff and faculty, we will provide as clear and timely communications as possible.

Sincerely,

Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Mary Washington
540-654-1062
Jlandpha@umw.edu

 

Nancy Wang: Flu Fighter

University Physician Nancy Wang keeps the Student Health Center running smoothly, treats those who are sick or injured, and dispenses health-related information to the campus community.

University Physician Nancy Wang keeps the Student Health Center running smoothly, treats those who are sick or injured, and dispenses health-related information to the campus community.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or inside your elbow. Get your yearly flu vaccination.

This simple advice for fighting germs has become an oft-repeated mantra for University Physician Nancy Wang, especially in the winter. Since coming to UMW in 2018, she has kept the Student Health Center running smoothly, and she and her staff are always ready to treat those who become sick or injured.

“Our services are confidential,” said Dr. Wang, who previously worked in primary care practices in the greater Fredericksburg area. “And visiting us is a lot cheaper than an urgent care.”

At the health center, students can be screened for strep, flu, mono and other illnesses for a nominal fee, and tested for HIV and STIs for free. They can also obtain contraceptives and common antibiotics, and access over-the-counter medications through the self-care center. Dr. Wang and her team also provide mental health consultations and offer suicide awareness and first aid trainings for faculty and staff. If students need advice after hours, a nurse is always a phone call away.

She also dispenses information to the campus community on health-related issues, such as the Coronavirus outbreak, which she’s tracking. UMW faculty and students frequently travel abroad, so she understands the concern, but said everyone should use the aforementioned preventative measures.

“Right now, one is more likely to get the flu or other respiratory diseases,” she said, adding that eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, decreasing stress, and limiting or ceasing smoking or vaping are other ways to achieve optimal health and wellness.

Viewing herself as a work in progress, Dr. Wang enjoys yoga and walking around UMW’s beautiful campus for exercise. Sleep is a personal priority, she said, as is eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat.

“But I think it’s perfectly fine to indulge sometimes,” she said, “as long as you enjoy it with all five senses and without distraction.”

 

Q: Does the health center have any upcoming programs?
A: We are co-sponsoring an event called Southern Smash on Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. to educate students about eating disorders, healthy body image and self-love. We’ll smash scales and learn to let go of those thoughts and numbers that weigh us down.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
A: Assisting students with developing lifelong healthy habits and helping them feel well so they can participate in academics and activities. But we’re often correcting the perception that all respiratory illnesses can be cured by antibiotics. The health center offers them when needed, but viruses don’t respond to them, and most respiratory illnesses are viral. Antibiotic resistance is going to be a major problem in the future, so we have to be good stewards of these medications.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I’m a Star Trek and Star Wars fan.

Q: What’s the most inspiring book you’ve read lately?
A: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down and Love for Imperfect Things, by Haemin Sunim. His views on life are inspirational for the times we are in now.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Go outside and be in nature.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

The Student Health Center plans to bring to UMW – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) on January 6 and 7.  This two-day interactive practice dominated course will help recognize risk for suicide, intervene to prevent immediate harm, and link persons at risk to the next level of care. It is free, and you can bring your lunch. We hope in addition to student affairs staff, faculty/staff might be interested in joining. The training can accommodate about 30 people in total, and will be in the UC’s Colonnade Room A&B. Please let Dr. Nancy Wang (nwang@umw.edu) know if you are interested in attending.

 

 

Flu Shots Available on Campus

Be armed against flu! The Student Health Center is collaborating with Giant pharmacy to administer flu shots to everyone on campus. Shots will be administered free of charge to recipients of most health insurance plans in the University Center Lobby, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Oct. 23 and Nov. 14. Be sure to bring your insurance card with you.

Contact the Student Health Center at 540-654-1040 or healthcenter@umw.edu with questions.

Where Science and Art Meet

The University of Mary Washington is a unique meeting place for science and art. UMW’s physician, Dr. Tom Riley, epitomizes the two coming together in full force. Riley, who also is director of the Student Health Center, has focused on science and health since adolescence. After college, he worked at a private family practice for [...]