University of Memphis says they are prepared for coronavirus outbreak

University of Memphis says they are prepared for coronavirus outbreak
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County health officials have confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in Memphis. Schools and businesses in the Bluff City have been preparing for a potential outbreak.

First coronavirus case confirmed in Shelby County

President Dr. M. David Rudd, Ph.D., ABPP with the University of Memphis told WMC Action News 5 they are “actively coordinating with City and County officials, monitoring the situation and will provide updates as necessary.”

University officials also said they are planning to conduct online classes if necessary. Part of a statement from U of M reads, “Our Center for Teaching and Learning has developed extensive resources to help support faculty and students in an online setting. Resources can be found on the Smart Start website.”

The statement further reads, “Please know that student success remains one of the highest values of our University. Our faculty and staff will make every effort to help you remain safe and meet the challenges that this new situation may present to all of us.”

U of M would also like to remind students to take extra precautions while traveling during spring break. Experts say before you travel, make sure you know how to keep yourself safe.

Health officials stress spring break safety amid coronavirus outbreak

In February, U of M announced that they canceled its summer programs with China. The University said they will not send students to China until the travel advisory returns to level one or two.

All University community members with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center at 901-678-2287.

The Shelby County Health Department would like members of the general public to take simple steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus:

  • Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Staying home if you are sick, especially with respiratory symptoms.
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces touched by many people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people 60 and up and individuals with underlying chronic health conditions should stay at home as much as possible and avoid crowds.

The CDC also states wearing face masks is not necessary for the general public and may not provide protection from the virus.

For more information on the coronavirus, click here.

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