Dr. Benjamin Holton is the senior director of the Stamps Health Center.
What we know about Covid-19
Covid-19 is the illness that a person infected with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can develop.
There are newly available vaccines for the coronavirus, but we will need to continue to be vigilant and test, mask, and distance in Spring 2021.
A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been recently identified, initially in the UK, now in several other countries including the U.S., that appears to spread more easily from person to person but does not cause increased severity of the disease.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
It is possible for people who are infected to infect others before they show symptoms (pre-symptomatic) or without ever showing any symptoms (asymptomatic).
The virus is thought to spread primarily between people in close contact (within 6 feet of one another). The main mechanism of spread is through large respiratory droplets, but airborne spread has also been demonstrated.
There is strong evidence that wearing a face covering protects both the wearer and those in close proximity to the wearer.
Good hygiene, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and getting tested regularly are the current best practices to keep the virus from spreading on campus.