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COVID-19 and Monkeypox Resource Page

The health and safety of our students and associates at WCU is our top priority.

The health and safety of our students and associates at WCU is our top priority. WCU is in contact with both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state departments of health to closely monitor the national Monkeypox outbreak and COVID-19 infection rates.  We strongly encourage students to learn about Monkeypox and COVID-19 infection rates, and to take steps to protect their health and wellbeing.

Update 8/18/2022

Dear Students,

The U.S. government recently declared the Monkeypox outbreak a national health emergency. As a leading institution of nursing and health-care education, (WCU/ACC) takes this declaration seriously, so we are proactively sharing the following information about Monkeypox, its symptoms, how it is spread, and steps you can take to protect yourself from infection.  

This information is intended to supplement, not replace, the important work being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as by state and local health agencies to increase educational outreach, education efforts, and access to vaccines and treatment for Monkeypox.

What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is related to the smallpox virus, though it is generally less severe and much less contagious.  

How is Monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through direct, close contact with infectious skin lesions, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Anyone can get Monkeypox after having close physical contact with someone who has the infection, especially contact with infected lesions (sores), bodily fluids, or other contaminated surfaces.

According to the CDC, Monkeypox can spread through touching materials used by a person with the virus that haven’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions (talking, coughing, sneezing, breathing) during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. It is not spread through casual conversations, or by walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store.

What are the signs and symptoms of Monkeypox?
Symptoms usually start within two weeks after exposure to the virus. Monkeypox might start with symptoms like the flu, fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and general body aches. Within a few days a person may also develop a rash or sores. The sores can look like pimples or blisters, and they may be painful and itchy. People are only thought to be contagious when they have symptoms and until all sores, including scabs, have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks. Researchers are still trying to understand if the virus can spread from someone who has no symptoms.

What should you do if you think you have been exposed to Monkeypox?
If you have Monkeypox symptoms such as a new or unexplained rash, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible, even if you don't think you have had contact with someone who has the virus. Health care providers can provide testing and care for people who are diagnosed with Monkeypox. Healthcare providers and local health departments may also recommend a vaccine for those who are exposed to help prevent infection or decrease the potential seriousness of the illness.  

What treatments are available for Monkeypox?
A vaccine for Monkeypox can prevent or lessen symptoms up to 14 days after exposure. The CDC has prioritized vaccinations for those with known exposures followed by people at high risk of being exposed. Medical treatment for those who have Monkeypox includes managing pain and treating symptoms. 

How can the spread of Monkeypox be prevented?
Like many other communicable diseases, being mindful about hygiene and using good common sense in your interactions can help to contain Monkeypox.

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash or blistering sores.  
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with Monkeypox has used, and do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with Monkeypox.
  • Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face.


What steps is WCU taking to protect students from the spread of Monkeypox?
The safety of our campus community is always our priority. We continue to follow the guidelines for surface cleaning and common-area disinfection as previously established by national, state, and local health officials to prevent the spread of COVID. WCU will continue to closely monitor CDC guidelines and we will promptly adjust our protocols based on their guidance.

WCU will continue to monitor CDC, state, and local healthcare updates on Monkeypox and will provide additional information and guidance on how to protect yourself from infection. In the meantime, you can learn more about Monkeypox at https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

Update 8/2/2021

For the health and safety of our students and associates, we continue to monitor the COVID-19 infections rates daily. Our desire is to provide you with the safest learning and working environment possible. As you may have seen during registration for Fall I, we had hoped to return to campus at 100% capacity, however, with the rapidly increasing number of Delta variant cases, we have made the difficult decision to maintain 50% capacity for the Fall I Term.

This may impact some of your courses that were planned for on-campus instruction. Some of your scheduled classes will transition back to an online learning modality, so please check your student portal for schedule changes next week. We will also be contacting all impacted students directly, informing them they will now be assigned to an online course, and assisting them with updating their schedules as needed.

As a reminder, masks will continue to be worn by all students, associates, and faculty on campus regardless of vaccination status. We will continue to keep you updated on our plans for the Fall II term. If you have any questions, please contact your Student Affairs Advisor, and check the Student App or Portal for more information.

Update 1/15/2021

Dear CA BSN Student,

At a time when healthcare professionals are more critically needed than ever, the career you have chosen clearly impacts lives. It is our mission and priority to ensure that your health and safety is first and foremost, especially during this crisis. We continue to advocate on your behalf and are excited to share some great news.

The California Board of Registered Nursing and the California Department of Public Health have agreed that nursing students are part of Phase 1a and are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those working in acute care or nursing facilities should be prioritized to Tier 1. During your clinical experience, WCU students may be directly treating patients that have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

To obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, choose the most appropriate option below:

  • Local Health Departments:
    • You may contact your local health department and inform them that you are a nursing student at West Coast University and thus you should be eligible to receive the vaccination. 
    • Each student will need to provide a letter from the program (attached) and/or show your school ID.
    • Complete and print the “Community Site-Student Vaccination Support Letter.”
    • Please save proof of your vaccination for future uploading into the Complio system.

If you are a student currently in a Clinical Site rotation

    • Complete the “Clinical Rotation Site-Student Vaccination Support Letter.”
    • Print and provide this document to your faculty member at your next scheduled clinical.
    • The faculty member (not the student) will coordinate your vaccination efforts with the clinical partner.
      • NOTE: Students are NOT to contact the clinical site requesting vaccinations – this must be coordinated through your clinical faculty member.
      • NOTE: Due to the supply and demand of the vaccine, not all clinical partners will be able to provide student vaccinations.
    • If you are unable to obtain a vaccination through the clinical partner, please refer to the first option and contact your local health department.
    • Please save proof of your vaccination for future uploading into the Complio system.

Sincerely,
The Campus Nursing Leadership Team

Updates – 5/11/2020

Dear West Coast University Student,

We continue to be amazed at the flexibility and tenacity of our students and your ability to adjust to our current environment, all while pushing forward to be the healthcare providers of the future.

The re-opening of our campus is a high priority, surpassed only by the desire to keep our entire campus community safe. Each day, we monitor city ordinances and public health information as we plan for what our future as a University and community will hold. With these factors in mind, we are working to proactively create a plan to return to campus, but only when local ordinances and public health officials deem opening our campus advisable.

Please know that currently, the public health climate and related ordinances continue to remain fluid, changing almost weekly, and that presently no actual date has been identified when we can safely resume campus operations.

While no specific date to return to campus has been determined, one thing is clear: the future of on-campus instruction will not look like it has in the past. Given the need to continue to engage in social distancing and wear appropriate and approved personal protective equipment, we don’t anticipate a return to what we considered normal just a few months ago. In the meantime, we are preparing the campus to support a smaller capacity for classroom and student space to ensure we meet these new social norms. In addition, we are planning for increased frequency of deep cleaning processes, and facility structural changes such as advanced air purification systems.

At WCU, our approach and culture are student centric. Our goal is to continue to focus on providing the best possible education so you can continue to progress academically during this unprecedented time, while giving you options to meet your personal preferences.

Please continue to persevere through these circumstances and know that we are working constantly to help you achieve the best possible academic outcomes as quickly and as safely as possible.

Stay healthy and safe,
WCU Administration