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Covid·19

Coronavirus

Information Regarding

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As the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 affects all of us, Adventist Education continues to focus on maintaining the safety and well-being of our students and those working in our organization. This page offers a collection of resources and information for schools and communities to use in the ongoing response and efforts in preventing and slowing the spread of this serious disease.

Information and Resources

Covid-19 SYMPTOMS

The virus first infects the throat— you’ll experience a sore throat lasting 3-4 days.

It then blends into nasal fluid entering first the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes another 5-6 days.

With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty breathing.

This will be different from typical nasal congestion and can make you feel as if you’re drowning. If you experience this, it is imperative you seek immediate attention.

  • If you have a runny nose and sputum, you likely have a common cold or seasonal allergies. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
  • This virus is heat-sensitive and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees (cel). It hates the Sun.
  • A sneeze can carry the virus about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  • If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours—if you come into contact with a metal surface—wash your hands ASAP with anti-bacterial soap.
  • On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours.
    Normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  • Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses.
    Try not to drink liquids with ice.
  • Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but a lot can happen during that time—you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
  • You should also gargle as a prevention.
    A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
  • Drink plenty of water—Can not emphasize enough!

Information from Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) regarding travel, insurance coverages, and tips for preventing the spread of this serious disease.

Background Information

COVID-19 was discovered in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It is an aggressive respiratory infection that is believed to be transmitted through droplet spread when infected people cough or sneeze. The virus can gain access to the body through the respiratory tract, mainly through the nose and mouth. Symptoms are similar to the common influenza strain and include fever, cough, muscle pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Initially isolated to mainland China, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting for the first time that there are more new cases being discovered outside China than from within China.[1] As of their March 1 report, the WHO is reporting 87,137 confirmed cases, with only 7,169 of those outside of China.[2]

In the United States, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 494 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, meaning they have tested positive by a public health laboratory and are pending confirmation by the CDC. This includes at least 2 cases of where the virus was contracted by individuals with no relevant travel history.[3] The first death due to COVID-19 in the United States was reported in Washington State on February 29[4].

Regarding travel, the CDC has issued the following recommendations[5]:

  • Warning (Level 3) – avoid all non-essential travel to China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. Entry of foreign nationals from China and Iran into the U.S. has been suspended.
  • Alert (Level 2) – older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing travel to Japan.
  • Watch (Level 1) – use regular travel precautions for travel to Hong Kong.

Precaution and Prevention

Using good hygiene practices can further reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Here are some simple preventative measures you can take:

  • If you are symptomatic (fever, coughing, sneezing, body aches, etc.) do not go out in public where you can infect others. The common influenza/flu virus is also very active right now and has killed more people already this year than COVID-19. If you’re sick, stay home!
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and warm water, scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer may also be effective.
  • Follow proper etiquette when sneezing or coughing. Sneeze and cough into your elbow rather than your hand to avoid spreading the germs.
  • Consider using a mask when traveling or in public areas. Masks should especially be used if you are coughing or sneezing frequently.
  • Maintain at least 3 feet (1 meter) between yourself and other people in public, if possible. Avoid close contact with those who cough or are sneezing.
  • Avoid touching/rubbing your eyes, nose and mouth, especially in public places where germs are easily spread.
  • If you develop a cough or experience changes in your breathing, see your primary care physician as soon as possible. Be prepared share your travel history with the doctor.
  • Avoid open markets and direct contact with animals/animal products
  • Use careful food-safety practices (cook food thoroughly, wash produce well, use only pasteurized milk, etc.).

Resources

This is an ongoing situation that is evolving quickly. For updated information regarding the spread of the virus and travel advisories please consult the following resources:

World Health Organization

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

International SOS

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak

U.S. State Department

Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Insurance Implications

ARM has received a number of questions about how our travel insurance policies relate to the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions:

Q I have already booked a trip and need to cancel because of COVID-19. Will my travel insurance policy reimburse me for any incurred costs?

A No. Trip interruption and cancellation benefits are not triggered by the threat of infection, regardless of your destination. However, many airlines and travel providers have started offering refunds or penalty-free cancellations due to COVID-19. Travelers who need to change their travel plans should check with their travel providers to see if they are eligible for a refund.

Q If I am already traveling overseas in a country with an outbreak of COVID-19 will my travel insurance pay for my trip home?

A No. There is no coverage in any of ARM’s policies for costs incurred to travel home because of an outbreak/pandemic.

Q Will my travel insurance policy cover my medical expenses if I have to be treated for COVID-19 while I am overseas?

A Yes, your medical expense benefit is the same, regardless of your illness. It is a reimbursement policy, meaning you will pay for treatment upfront and request reimbursement later.

Q Will insurance pay for me to be evacuated when traveling outside my home country?

A No, if you choose to leave because you feel unsafe due to the COVID-19. Yes, if you get sick from COVID-19, depending on the recommendation of the insurance plan’s doctors working with local doctors and governments, you may be eligible to be evacuated, but this may not be to your home country.

Q Who should I notify if I am sick or in an accident while traveling?

A In all medical-related emergencies we advise that you seek medical attention first and then contact our assistance provider, International SOS.

Footnotes

[1] World Health Organization, Coronavirus Situation Report #37. February 26, 2020.

[2] World Health Organization, Coronavirus Situation Report #41, March 1, 2020.

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. February 29, 2020.

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary. February 29, 2020.

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel. March 2, 2020.

 

Disclaimer

This material is fact based general information provided by Adventist Risk Management®, Inc. and should not, under any circumstances, be modified or changed without prior permission. It should not be considered specific legal, healthcare, or risk management advice regarding a particular matter or subject. Please consult your local attorney or risk manager if you would like to discuss how a local jurisdiction handles specific circumstances you may be facing.