Update on coronavirus 2019-nCoV
Protecting Your Health
You can take simple steps to limit the spread of this or any virus:
CDC Recommendations to Prevent Spread of Disease
- Stay home when you are sick (and until your symptoms are gone).
- 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.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is unavailable, use the inside of your elbow, never your hand.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have had close contact * with a person who HAS tested positive, you should self-quarantine for 14 days, self-monitor for symptoms especially fever and cough and/or shortness of breath. Call ahead before seeing your healthcare provider.
* Close contact is defined as—
a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
– or –
b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)
If you’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please follow these recommendations:
- Evaluate your symptoms. Common symptoms are fever, cough, muscle aches, shortness of breath, and feeling tired. Some people have no or very mild symptoms, and others feel very ill.
- If you are younger than 65, are otherwise healthy, and have very mild symptoms, please stay home and avoid others. Be sure to get enough rest and enough fluids.
- If you are older than 65, if you have other problems like diabetes or asthma or heart disease, or if your symptoms are severe, please call your doctor. You should also call your doctor if at any time your symptoms are worsening.
- Call your doctor if you have symptoms and have been in close contact with someone who is known to have COVID-19 OR you have recently traveled from an area with ongoing community spread of COVID-19. Check the CDC for the latest list of areas.
- Your doctor must provide an order for COVID-19 testing. Please refer to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services for testing instructions.
Per Riverstone Health: Your doctor will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
What is MSU Billings doing about this coronavirus outbreak?
- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being isolated from the general public. These isolations are monitored and enforced by county and state health officials. The CDC identifies as no risk those individuals who are walking by, or briefly in a room with a symptomatic laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19.
- As with all other health issues, we encourage students to utilize the Student Health Services located on the 2nd floor of Petro Hall. The University campus clinic (406) 657-2153 is open M-F, 8:00-5:00. Our City College clinic is open Monday-Thursday for approximately 15 hours throughout the week. Our number at the City College clinic is (406) 247-3027. Please call the clinic before presenting with an illness. Medical staff are available for telephone consultation.
- The University is working closely with our partners at St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic, and Riverstone Health—which is the county health department and has the authority to quarantine and/or isolate confirmed cases and Patients Under Investigation (PUI).
- Riverstone Health’s dedicated line for questions or concerns: 406-651-6415
- Tips for social distancing, quarantine and isolation
- How to stop the spread of germs
- CDC's page on the science behind hand washing
Local, State and National Public Health Officials