In March 2020, NOVA provided general information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on this page. For updates please check the page indicated above.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a type of virus known for causing disease in humans and are common across the world. COVID-19 is a disease causes by a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City (China) in December 2019.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, it is unlikely that they have been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune system, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
How is COVID-19 spread?
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission.
There are two routes by which people could become infected:
How can I prevent the spread of infection?
here is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
Face masks for the general public, students or staff are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.
I recently travelled abroad. What should I do?
NOVA takes into consideration the guidelines of the Portuguese Directorate-General for Health (Direção-Geral de Saúde - SNS) and the World Health Organization on COVID-19. According to the University's Contingency Plan, all students and staff returning from an area with active community transmission of the new coronavirus, including:
must respect, as a precautionary principle of Public Health, a home prophylactic isolation period of 14 days after their return, during which they will monitor the emergence of any symptoms.
All people in these circumstances, during that period, have to:
What to do if students or staff become unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 (either through travel to a specified country/area or contact with a confirmed case)?
All students and staff who experience cough, fever or difficulty in breathing should be instructed to report their health status to the designated focal point in their institution.
If a potentially suspect case of COVID-19 is identified among students or staff, he/she should not go directly to a health care setting. Instead, the following actions should be taken:
Should students living at NOVA residences stay there?
Only those students who can do so in the best conditions of safety and public health should leave the Residences of NOVA, namely with regard to the situation in which their return destination is.
We remind that the containment of this pandemic is in the hands of all of us, so it is up to each of us to take a responsible attitude, in accordance with the guidelines defined by the health authorities.
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