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Boise State Guidance on Social Distancing and Self-Isolation for Infectious Disease

Updated March 12, 2020

Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for travelers returning to the United States from China, Boise State is requiring a 14-day self-isolation period for travelers from CDC Level 3 countries before they return to campus. At this time, these countries include: China, Iran, South Korea and most of Europe.

Prevention is the best way to limit the spread of disease. If you find that you are not feeling well after returning, then please seek medical care and practice self-isolation for 14 days to minimize the risk of spreading your illness to others.

What is self-observation?

You should remain alert for fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing.

If you feel feverish or develop cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, you should:

  • Take you temperature
  • Limit contact with others
  • Seek health advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or your local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed

What is social distancing?

  • Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Limit trips to the grocery store to low density hours.
  • Do not go to work, school, or high density public areas, and do not use public transportation or taxis.
  • Avoid sharing household items – You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Practice Respiratory Hygiene:
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue – dispose of your tissues in a lined closed trash can and immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. In addition to regular washing, if your hands are visibly soiled wash for 40-60 seconds.
    • Wash your hands frequently (and before eating) with soap and water for 20 seconds. If no soap is available use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.  Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Preventing Steps for Close Contact”  for updated information.

What is self-monitoring?

  • You should monitor yourself for fever by:
    • Taking your temperature twice a day
    • Remain alert for cough and/or difficulty breathing
  • If you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

What does it mean to “self-isolate?”

If you are asked to self-isolate, you should stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, stores, restaurants, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings until 14 days after the date of your departure from the country in question.

Who will be asked to self-isolate?

Everyone’s situation is unique, and Boise State will evaluate each person’s risk to determine who should self-isolate and who does not need to self-isolate. Boise State is working closely with University Health Services and Central District Health and will make individual recommendations based on the latest information.

If you feel sick (fever, cough or difficulty breathing):

  • Take your temperature.
  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%-95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

University Health Services guidance for home self-isolation

Guidance from University Health Services

  • Stay home except to get medical care — as noted above, call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home.
  • Wear a face mask* when you are around other people. Do not reuse masks and wash hands with soap and water following removal.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; wash your hands afterward with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer (see above).
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer; use soap and water preferentially if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Monitor your symptoms and if they develop or worsen then call your health care provider BEFORE seeking in-person care.

Guidance for household members during self-isolation

  • Help with basic needs in terms of food, medications, and other personal needs.
  • Stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible; use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.
  • Prohibit visitors without an essential need from coming into the home.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer; use soap and water preferentially if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • The patient and household members should wear disposable face masks* when in the same room. Do not reuse masks and wash hands with soap and water following removal.
  • Avoid sharing household items with the patient.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces with a cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly: use disposable gloves while handling; wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer after removing gloves.

*Acceptable face masks are the disposable surgical masks that can be found at local pharmacies/drug stores, or ordered online.