Dear Mines Community,
We are in the midst of cold and flu season. This fact, along with the emergence of a new strain of the coronavirus (more on that below), means we all should adopt practices that are proven to help avoid getting sick or spreading infections. We’ve included some advice and directions below that we hope you’ll read and follow.
Background on the new strain of the coronavirus
As you have likely seen in the news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a new (“novel”) strain of the coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include the common cold and more serious respiratory illnesses. This novel strain has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections in China and other countries, including six confirmed cases in the United States as of January 31. As of today, there are no confirmed cases in Colorado. The most current information can be found on the CDC’s website https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china.
Faculty and students traveling to China are strongly encouraged to check the CDC’s website for current travel advisories. Mines is closely monitoring the situation and prepared to take additional actions if circumstances warrant.
Ways to protect yourself and others this cold and flu season*
Colorado, like the rest of the United States, is experiencing a high level of seasonal cold and flu activity. Symptoms of any of these ailments can include fever, aches and pains, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, etc. Take these steps to help limit your risk of getting sick:
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer
- Cover your mouth with a tissue, your hands or sleeve when sneezing or coughing
- Clean common spaces with disinfecting wipes (doorknobs, countertops, desks, etc…)
- Get a flu shot. Students should contact their provider or go to a local pharmacy (Walgreens, King Soopers, Safeway, etc.). Employees with health coverage provided by United Health Care or Anthem may go to their provider or a local pharmacy. Employees with health coverage provided by Kaiser may go to a Kaiser location. In most cases, employee flu shots are free of charge.
- Support your immune system by eating healthy well-balanced meals, sleeping 7-9 hours each night, and staying well hydrated.
What to do if you become ill*
- Stay home if you have a fever or are experiencing significant bouts of coughing or sneezing. You should stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications.
- Drink plenty of fluids like tea to soothe a sore throat or sports drinks with electrolytes
- Get extra rest to let your body recover
- Use over-the-counter remedies as appropriate to alleviate symptoms
- Be kind to your body – it is working hard to get you well again
Resources available to students
- Students who miss class due to cold or flu symptoms, or other illnesses, may request an excused absence within one week of the absence, by submitting a request here: https://www.mines.edu/student-life/forms/personal-excused-absence/.
- Faculty should work closely with students to afford them the opportunity to make-up assignments, course material, and quizzes/exams missed due to illness within a reasonable amount of time.
- Students may also contact the Student Health Center with any questions at https://www.mines.edu/student-health/ or 303.273.3623.
Resources available to employees
- Employees may use accrued sick leave to stay home if they are ill. Supervisors should work closely with employees to accommodate absences due to illness.
- Employees with questions regarding sick leave or health care coverage may contact the following members of the Human Resources team: Katey Tarkington, Benefits Coordinator, email@example.com or 303.384.2749; Ann Hix, Benefits Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.273.3052.
Director – Student Health Center
Camille Torres Associate
Vice President – Human Resources and Title IX Programs