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Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Virus

Recently, a new coronavirus—Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—was detected in Wuhan, China. This novel coronavirus causes a respiratory (lung) infection.

There have been multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and in Berkshire County. 

Please refer to the Message from the President link for daily updates from the College.

For the latest on case counts in the United States, visit the CDC website.

Coronavirus has now been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide information as it becomes available. 

For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms. The three main symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC states at this time, symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.

Just a reminder that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces   
The latest situation summary updates are available on the CDC’s web page.

We are keeping a close eye on the recent outbreak of coronavirus and related cases of pneumonia and are working with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. 

For more information visit: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus