ALERT: Information on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Video Source: CBC News

Lamar State College Port Arthur, as a member of the Texas State University System, is monitoring the coronavirus (2019-nCov) situation carefully and is implementing proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of students and employees in accordance with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At this time, LSCPA is not aware of any students, faculty, or staff who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

It is important know that while the CDC considers this to be a serious public health concern, the immediate health risk to the American public is considered low at this time. According to the CDC, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the United States. Nonetheless, spring break season is near and many students, faculty, and staff are expected travel during that time. It is best to practice healthy habits including frequent hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding contact with sick people.

Updates and Announcements

4/2/2020, 4 p.m.: LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard sends an update to students, faculty and staff regarding the campus schedule during the pandemic. TEXT VERSION or DOWNLOAD PDF

3/31/2020, noon:
The Hope Center (hope4college.com) is offering a tip sheet on how to handle the difficulties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Find some very useful tips on finances, food and staying healthy by clicking or tapping HERE.

3/30/2020, 3:37 p.m.: Faculty and Staff: To enable Lamar State College Port Arthur employees to comply with shelter-in-place or other restrictions that may be issued by local or state officials, we are providing the following guidance regarding managing your work schedule.  We recognize these shelter-in-place restrictions may eventually affect many, if not all, of our employees and students. LSCPA is committed to providing flexibility and appropriate work options that not only answer the needs of our employees, but ensure the continued operation of the college. The expectation is that anyone working remotely is reachable, available, and demonstrating work outcomes. These individuals must submit the Flexible Work Arrangement and have it approved by their supervisor.

3/25/2020, 5 p.m.: LSCPA donates much-needed medical supplies
The LSCPA Allied Health Department made a donation of supplies, including the much-sought-after N95 respirator masks, to CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth Hospital. https://www.lamarpa.edu/News/LSCPA-donates-much-needed-medical-supplies

3/17/2020, 10 a.m.: COVID-19: Social Distancing and Hand Washing
While governmental agencies locally and across the nation are working to control the COVID-19 virus, it is up to us to do all we can to safeguard ourselves from infection.
Critical aspects of containing the spread of COVID-19 include social distancing and consistent, thorough hand washing.
Social Distancing
The White House recommends that gatherings of people should number no more than 10 as an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Read more from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House.
The current social distancing recommendation is that you should maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people. COVID-19 is spread through the particulates produced during regular conversation, coughing or sneezing. Maintaining a safe distance will help minimize your risk of being infected.
Hand Washing
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
When washing your hands, follow these five steps every time.
  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

The CDC offers additional tips on when and how to wash your hands.

3/16/2020, 4:11 p.m.: With the closing of all Port Arthur ISD facilities starting Tuesday, March 17, all LSCPA classes will be offered exclusively online starting Monday, March 23, and running until further notice. The only exception will be various lab classes where online instruction is impossible. All LSCPA students, including dual enrollment and those enrolled in Woodrow Wilson Early College High School, should monitor their LSCPA email account for further information from their instructors in the coming week. If you need assistance, staff will still be answering phones on campus. Check www.lamarpa.edu for a directory of faculty and staff phone listings.

3/13/2020, 4:12 p.m.: Faculty and Staff: In relation to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced today that all state agencies are required to cancel non-essential travel until further notice. If you have questions about travel requests or if your travel request was approved, please contact your immediate supervisor for clarification. Additional updates will be provided as they become available.

3/13/20, 2 p.m.: The National Junior College Athletics Association announced that all spring sports have been postponed until April 3 when the situation regarding the safety of travel can be revisited. This decision affects all Seahawks softball games scheduled during the period of postponement. READ THE FULL STORY

3/12/2020, 3 p.m.: LSCPA is cancelling face-to-face classes for the college's students for March 16 through March 20. Dual Enrollment and Woodrow Wilson Early College High School students will attend classes as regularly scheduled. LSCPA online classes will continue as scheduled. READ THE FULL STORY.

Please see the following for more information:

U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory: China

What are symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

  • For the vast majority of people who have had the illness, symptoms were mild (like a cold or flu) and they resolved after several days. Flu like symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat.

What happens to students attending LSCPA if there is a confirmed case on campus?

  • If a 2019 N-CoV virus is confirmed, then Centers for Disease Control protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the local health department.

What if I recently traveled and have concerns that I’ve been exposed to 2019-nCoV?

  • Contact your medical provider.

Where can I find updated information?

What preventive actions can students take during flu season?

  • Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot.
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.

It is highly recommended that students and employees continue to practice preventive actions as flu season continues. If you are feeling ill, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 NVOC)?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in hundreds of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally.

CDC latest situation summary updates

Is 2019 NCOV the same as the SARS Virus or MERS?

No. 2019 nCoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012, but is similar in that it is causing respiratory illness.

What are the symptoms of 2019 NCOV?

People who are infected with 2019 nCoV have developed mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and potentially respiratory distress. There are many types of illnesses that can cause these types of respiratory symptoms. Individuals who have these symptoms and have had traveled to Wuhan, China or have had close contact with someone with 2019 nCoV should be medically evaluated.

Does 2019 NCOV spread from person to person?

2019 nCoV has been shown to spread between people. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. Human coronaviruses typically spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.

How is 2019 NCOV diagnosed?

Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens and serum (blood). Some coronavirus strains cause the common cold and patients tested by their health care provider may test positive for these types. The 2019 nCoV strain can only be detected at a public health laboratory.

Is there a vaccine?

Currently, there is not a vaccine for 2019 nCoV.

How can I help protect myself?

CDC advises that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:

  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  • 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