COVID-19 Alert

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COVID-19 Update


To: The UMHS Community
From: Warren Ross, President


On Saturday March 14th, I announced new campus actions designed to help limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk on campus. There are no confirmed cases on our campus or on Island at this time; however, as local, national, and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, the campus is proactively taking steps that will help to protect our students, staff, and faculty.


These changes will take affect starting today, Monday March 16th and will continue until such time as it is safe to resume classes on St. Kitts.


Beginning Monday, March 16th, we will be suspending all in-person classes and will be offering ALL lecture and lab courses including ARP (through alternative modalities (e.g., Zoom, Blue Button, course capture, etc.) starting Tuesday March 17th. Students, please look for communications from instructors about plans for individual courses.


Instructors who do not have remote learning processes in place by March 17th will be given an additional day during which they may cancel classes, to allow them time to establish such processes and to ready their course(s) for resumption online by Wednesday, March 18th. Students, please look for communications from instructors about plans for individual courses.


The university is actively looking at solutions for on line testing and or use of testing centers for students returning home. We should have an update on our progress mid week and we feel optimistic that a solution will be found.


Campus Operations


The campus is not closing. Campus buildings will remain open, and many campus operations will proceed normally, including the library and learning resource center.


We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice will have broad impacts and will be challenging and disruptive for many of you, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to the staff throughout our campus for their tremendous efforts on our behalf during these challenging times especially the faculty and IT staff who are working at break neck speed to roll out our new distance learning platform. I have attached a fact sheet on COVID-19. I would highly recommend that you monitor the CDC website for the most current and up to date information on the virus. I wishing you all good health during this trying time.



What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus strain first detected in Wuhan, China. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that cause mild upper-respiratory illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease not previously seen in humans

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

        1)  Fever

        2)  Cough

        3)  Shortnness of breath


In severe cases, particularly in people with underlying severe and chronic health conditions, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and death.

I don’t feel well, what should I do?

Since it is cold and flu season, and the virus has similar symptoms, do not make assumptions. If you feel unwell, contact the university nurse or your family health provider.


How does COVID-19 spread?

Based on what is known about similar coronaviruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person:

        1)  Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).

        2)  From respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

        3)  Possibly from touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.


People are thought to be most contagious when they are most sick. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus.

What is the incubation period for this virus?

The incubation period is the time between exposure to a pathogen and the appearance of first symptoms.

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure. This is based on the incubation periods for similar viruses.

How can I protect myself?

1)  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

2)  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

3)  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

4)  Stay home when you are sick.

5)  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and disinfect your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.

6)  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

7)  If you haven’t already been immunized against the flu, get a flu shot.


This is making me anxious, how can I cope?


Stress and anxiety are normal reactions when there is an infectious disease outbreak. It’s important to monitor your own physical and mental health. Know the signs of stress, how to relieve stress, and when to seek help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers this detailed guide with more information and helpful tips. If you need assistance, contact our counseling service on campus.


Where can I get more information on the virus?

For up-to-date information, please check the following websites:

1)  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

2)  World Health Organization

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