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2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Overview

Last Updated: Thursday, March26, 2020

2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), also referred to as just “coronavirus” or as just “COVID-19” is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, severe weakness, and pneumonia.

Frequently Asked Questions About 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
  • How can individuals prevent the spread of germs and infection?

    Here are some ways to help prevent the spread of germs and infection:

    • Stay home when you are sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever, or symptoms of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hands).
    • Limit close contact with people who are sick.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
       
  • What can I do about cleaning areas and surfaces around me?

    It is important to routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with standard, typically used cleaning materials. This includes your cell phone, computers, laptops, desks, chairs, door handles, light switches, work surfaces, and car surfaces. 

  • Where can I get the most up-to-date information about the status of COVID-19?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides regular updates on the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. and internationally. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) provides updates on the situation in Los Angeles County. Based on these recommendations, the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) will also provide updates for the Otis College community on the Otis.edu website on the Community Health Announcements page. 

  • What is the College’s healthcare advice?

    We follow all of our guidance from both the CDC and the LACDPH. These two resources will be our guide regarding any recommendations for testing, self-isolation, and other important decisions.

  • If I am a student experiencing respiratory illness or COVID-19 symptoms what should I do?

    If you have recently traveled to a country or city with community COVID-19 outbreaks, or have been in close contact with a person with a known case of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and contact the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) immediately at 310-846-5738 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.). Please call for further instructions before coming into the center. If you have no known risks for COVID-19, but are not feeling well, please make an appointment for care at the SHWC by calling to schedule your appointment. Notify the front desk of your symptoms upon arrival.


    If you have no known risks for COVID-19 and have a mild illness you should practice standard health precautions, including limiting participation in large group settings, frequent hand washing, and practicing appropriate cough and/or sneeze hygiene (cover your cough/sneeze with a disposable tissue or your elbow).

  • What should I do if I have a friend/roommate with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)?

    The first thing to do is to recommend that person to reach out to the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) for evaluation of their symptoms at 310-846-5738. The second thing is to care for your own health while being supportive. This is not the time to discriminate against and/or isolate those who may be sick (and who may be anxious about it).

  • This is a stressful time, what can I do if I am worried about myself, my family, and friends?

    Any student who needs emotional support at this difficult time should contact Student Counseling Services, which is offering virtual support services. An appointment can be made by calling 310-846-5738. Staff and faculty can get assistance in finding counseling support through the Employee Assistance Program, or by contacting Human Resources. The Community Health Announcements page that the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) has created also lists a variety of helpful resources for the Otis community.

  • What are the College’s guidelines for wearing face masks?

    Mayor Eric Garcetti also announced on Thursday, April 9 an order requiring all city residents to wear a face covering when visiting a majority of essential businesses. Accordingly, employees who must be on the Otis campus must now wear face coverings. Face coverings include a mask, bandanna, or other covering of the nose and mouth. If you are required to be on campus and do not have a face covering, the College will issue you a single-use mask; please stop by Campus Safety and Security office when you arrive on campus.

  • I want to get tested for COVID-19, can I come to the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC)?

    As of March 9, 2020, commercial laboratories have the capability to test for COVID-19; this means that testing is more readily available. However, there are strict guidelines put forth by the CDC on who should be tested. The SHWC will follow these guidelines and the recommendations by the LACDPH on who should be tested.

  • What should I do if I have an underlying health condition, am immunosuppressed, or pregnant?

    Those with an underlying health concern, who are immunocompromised, or pregnant, should speak with a medical provider regarding their risk and any further precautions they should be taking.

  • Is there a vaccine or treatment?

    There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, though tests currently are underway by the healthcare industry, including the first FDA-approved vaccine trial.

  • Does my flu shot protect against COVID-19?

    As it is strongly recommended to get the yearly flu shot, the flu shot will not protect you against COVID-19.