FAQ - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response | Benedictine College

General Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Coronavirus and how is it transmitted?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory illnesses. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain that had not been identified previously in humans. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing and sneezing on somebody within a range of 6 feet (close contact), by touching an infected person's hands or face, or by touching an object or surface that an infected person has touched. Symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure.

2. What are the signs that you are sick?

Some symptoms of COVID-19 infection are similar to Influenza such as fever, cough and body aches. Additional specific symptoms often include shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory illness, kidney failure and death. However, it is important to note that healthy young people are significantly less likely to become seriously ill compared to older adults.

3. How can I best protect myself and friends from infection?

Standard measures to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus include frequent hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. In addition to hand washing, disinfecting hands using hand sanitizer gel containing at least 60% alcohol and using bleach wipes to wipe down surfaces and seat handles is effective. Protect your immune system with proper rest, exercise and nutrition habits.

4. Is there a vaccine or treatment available?

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and are in various stages of approval and distribution. Health officials and government agencies will notify the general public when a vaccine is available for different age and at-risk groups. 

5. Is a COVID-19 vaccine going to be required for students at Benedictine College?

No. Benedictine College does not require a COVID-19 vaccine.

6. If I travel out of the country – can I be tested when I return to make sure I didn’t come in contact with the virus?

Yes. Testing has become much more available and in many cases testing centers are operated by state health departments and provide free PCR tests, regardless of symptomology. NOTE - Testing availability is continuing to evolve and is subject to change.

7. If I experience flu-like symptoms, what should I do to make sure I don’t have Coronavirus?

If you are in your home community, contact your primary care physician’s office and ask to be screened for COVID-19. Stay at home for 14 days or until you have been properly diagnosed and advised of any restrictions or precautions.