What is happening at DCU in relation to the Coronavirus?
DCU has suspended all campus lecture, tutorials and teaching laboratory classes effective from March 12th. All teaching and assessments have moved on-line from March 16th for the rest of this semester.
The Student Health Centre has in place the approved HSE protocol for the isolation and treatment of suspected cases, if they were to arise.
DCU has installed 70 alcohol-based hand sanitizers at or close to the entrance of every building across the Glasnevin, St. Patrick’s and All Hallows campuses.
Additional cleaning protocols are being implemented with our cleaning contract to clean door handles, lift buttons and other commonly touched surfaces.
Coronavirus information posters have been posted across all campuses.
DCU has a Flu Pandemic Contingency Plan which has been activated.
As of March 10th, the Student Health Centres will work via a phone based triaged system.
Regular updates will be provided on this webpage and via email etc as required. All the latest updates from the HSE can be viewed here
Like any virus there are a range of steps that can be taken that will help reduce the risk of infection:
1. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and/or alcohol (min 60%) based hand sanitizer for a minimum of 20 seconds and in particular:
- after coughing or sneezing
- after toilet use
- before eating
- before and after preparing food
- if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
- if your hands are dirty
- if you have handled animals or animal waste
The University has installed alcohol based sanitizers at the entrance to every building. Also, information on how to correctly wash your hands has been posted in all toilets.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces eg keyboards, tables, door handles. Regular washing of clothes. Do not share towels, tea-towels or utensils.
- Ensure appropriate ventilation in offices and classrooms by opening windows etc.
What is the coronavirus?
The HSE notes that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory illness, which has not previously been seen in humans and was first identified in Wuhan City, China. It has now spread to a number of countries across the world.
How is it spread?
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how the virus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets.
Hence, it is very likely that the coronavirus is spread in the same way that viruses are spread – through small droplets released by coughs and sneezes, by touching contaminated surfaces such as door handles etc and through touching your mouth and eyes when the virus is on your hands.
What are the symptoms of coronovirus?
Common signs of the coronavirus, which may take up to 14 days to appear, are:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
Most cases of coronavirus appear to be mild, with those who have been most affected already suffering from underlying health conditions that leave them more vulnerable to respiratory conditions.
Read more about signs and symptoms from the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the Centre for Disease Control(US)
What can I do to protect myself from contracting coronavirus?
The HSE advice to help control the spread of the coronavirus now includes:
- Practice good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette
- Consider how to limit social interactions; avoid indoor, crowded spaces
- Avoid shaking hands and close personal contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Know COVID-19 symptoms