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University News

Coronavirus Update and FAQs

As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., we want to keep you informed on what BYU–Hawaii is doing to prepare for a potential outbreak. The university's Emergency Operations Committee is closely monitoring this evolving global health situation. Here are commonly asked questions about COVID-19, how it might affect the university, and resources for more information.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Learn about COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Has anyone in the university community been infected?

No case of COVID-19 has been reported among BYUH students, faculty, or staff. As of March 5, there are also no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Hawaii.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms reported include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Read more about COVID-19 symptoms.

How does the virus spread?

Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet). The virus spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and their droplets either land in the mouths or eyes of nearby people or are inhaled into their lungs. These droplets may also be transferred by hand to the mouth, nose, or eyes. For more information, see the CDC page, How It Spreads.

What can I do to protect myself?

Practice good preventative hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs if water and soap is not available. Maintain at least a 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands. Avoid shaking hands or hugging others that may be sick. Cover coughs and sneezes with a bent elbow or tissue. Immediately dispose of the tissue. Read more about the World Health Organization's protective measures.

I have scheduled to travel outside of the U.S. Do I need to cancel?

Travel abroad carries potential risks. Everyone should follow the travel warnings and advisories issued by the CDC and the U.S. Department of State. BYUH is prohibiting university travel to countries with a current CDC Level 2 or higher travel warning or U.S. Department of State Level 3 or higher travel advisory. All non-essential travel should be avoided, and for the time being, all international university travel will now require line VP approval.

What will happen if a potential case is identified on campus?

Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications as guided by the Hawaii State Department of Health will occur. In the event of a positive diagnosis of a student living in the Hales, locations where student residents can be safely quarantined have already been identified. We also have the infrastructure in place to fully care for these students.

I am ill and need to miss class. What should I do?

Students who are ill should not attend class. Please email or call your instructor to discuss alternatives.

I am ill and need to miss work. What should I do?

Employees who are ill should not go to work. Please let your supervisor know.

Please prevent the spread of misinformation or inaccurate statements that are not confirmed. Follow official sources such as the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). Sign up for updates directly from the Hawaii State Department of Health. You can also stay informed through updates on our BYUH COVID-19 webpage.

Illustration created by the Center for Disease Control showing spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus.