Please review this COVID-19 information update being provided in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health:
Georgia Tech has been notified of the following situations related to COVID-19 that we wanted to make you aware of out of an abundance of caution:
A person who works in administration at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) has had contact with a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member has not tested positive yet for COVID-19.
An intern at the Georgia Tech Counseling Center has also recently had contact with a friend who tested positive for COVID-19. Like the staff member in the CRC, this person has not tested positive yet for COVID-19.
If you might have had contact with anyone who has not yet tested positive but who has had exposure, it is important for you to understand guidance given from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says that individuals exposed to asymptomatic people with potential exposure (such as in a household) are not considered exposed. They do not recommend testing, symptom monitoring or special management for these people.
The staff member at the CRC works in an office and does not generally have direct contact with visitors in the common areas at the facility. As an extra precaution, however, we are going to close the CRC from Sunday, March 15 until Tuesday morning, March 17 to complete a full, deep cleaning of the entire facility.
We have also made the decision to do the same thing at the Charles A. Smithgall Student Service Building (the Flag Building) and the Student Center on our main campus. GT Counseling and CARE services will move to the second floor of Stamps Health Center during this time.
The overall risk of COVID-19 to students, faculty and staff at Georgia Tech is low. Health officials are taking precautionary measures to quickly identify cases of COVID-19, and take appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public in identifying potential contacts. As a reminder, Georgia Tech has canceled all on-campus events until at least March 29.
For members of the Georgia Tech community, the best prevention measures for any respiratory virus, including COVID-19 are:
Wash your hands often with soap and warm 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.
While we understand the concerns and fear around COVID-19, it is extremely important to stay calm and maintain a close eye on your health and any symptoms that may arise. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild with symptoms similar to a cold.
In addition, if you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department right away. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
To reiterate, there are no identified cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Tech at this time. We will provide updates as we learn more.
To clarify my former statements, while we will continue to work hard to test our business continuity plans and distance instruction capabilities, further assessment will be needed to determine if distance learning will be necessary.
Find below the guidance issued by the University System yesterday.
I apologize for the confusion that my earlier guidance may have caused. We will be updating our FAQs as the situation continues to evolve. Check back here for updated guidance.
USG Statement on Status of Instruction at Institutions
For Immediate Release
March 12, 2020
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today announced state agencies, school systems and local communities have been given the flexibility to implement closures.
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all University System of Georgia institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.
Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020. At this time, students are not being asked to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. For students who are unable to leave campus, institutions have been asked to develop plans to safely accommodate those students on campus.
As circumstances change, the USG is providing regular updates to its institutions and the public at www.usg.edu/coronavirus