Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information

by Green & Gold News  |   

Visit the UA coronavirus information website to learn how the University of Alaska is responding to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and find links to communications, policy guidance and resources.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when someone with COVID-19 sneezes, coughs, or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces and other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Risk of infection is dependent on having close contact with people who are infected. If you have not been in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or have not been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, your chances of getting the virus are currently low.

If you are in an area where there is an outbreak of COVID-19, you need to take the risk of infection seriously. Follow advice issued by national and local health authorities. Although for most people COVID-19 only causes mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable.


Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms are common among many respiratory illnesses. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If
you have been in a country at risk or in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 in the past two weeks and develop
symptoms, call your doctor or health care provider. Make sure you call ahead of time before visiting your doctor. You can also call the UAA Student Health and Counseling Center.

Preventing the spread of respiratory viruses

There are simple everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, influenza and other common colds.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Resources and additional information

Information current as of March 5, 2020. Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; World Health Organization.

Creative Commons License "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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