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On January 21, 2020, China officially acknowledged that the coronavirus or nCoV, which has flu or pneumonia-like symptoms, was spreading from human to human. Most commonly, the virus is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. Close personal contact as well as touching an object or surface with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes can also cause the infection to occur. In rare cases, the virus can spread through fecal contamination. The virus has spread to half a dozen other countries and territories.
While we are still in the early stages of understanding the outbreak, we believe further action is required to protect everyone’s health and safety. Below are the guidelines for students, parents and employees to ensure the well-being of the Miriam College community:
1. To reduce the risk of the corona virus or nCoV infection below are the World Health Organization’s standard recommendations:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. This should be done for 30 to 40 seconds.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
2. Those who have traveled or who had contact with family members, relatives, or friends who have traveled to places where cases of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed (China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, Australia, France, Nepal, Japan, Republic of Korea, Canada, Germany, etc.) and to areas in the Philippines where numerous visitors from Wuhan were reported (Boracay, Aklan, Bohol, Subic, etc.) this January must notify the School about their trips and/ or exposure and submit to self-quarantine for 10 to 14 days after the date of arrival. The School has the prerogative to cut short or extend the quarantine period depending on the condition of the student or employee.
- Students who will be absent from classes will be excused and provision for make-up work will be made available.
- Employees who will be affected by this requirement will be excused. Force majeure leave will apply.
3. Those who have upcoming travels to places where cases of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed and to areas in the Philippines where numerous visitors from Wuhan were reported (refer to item 2) will be required to notify authorized personnel of the School and are expected to submit to self-quarantine for 10 to 14 days after the date of arrival:
3.1 For students, their Homeroom Adviser
3.2 For employees, the HRD. Concerned employees will have to file the appropriate leave from their leave credits.
4. Students and employees who have no travel history in the above-mentioned areas (refer to item 2) but are not feeling well or are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough, or cold should stay at home. They will be required to stay at home until fully recovered (no fever and flu-like symptoms for at least 24 hours without taking any medication).
5. After the quarantine period, the concerned student or employee will have to present a medical certificate (dated and signed by their family or attending physician) as clearance of any symptoms of the coronavirus infection. Certificate should be submitted to the School Clinic for clearance then to the authorized School Personnel (refer to items 3.1 and 3.2).
6. In case symptoms manifest after claims of self-quarantine and after presentation of medical certificate, the concerned student will be sent home and will be advised to return to School only after having no fever and flu-like symptoms for at least 24 hours without taking any medication. A medical clearance will still be required.
7. Anyone who have been found out to have concealed their travel details and current health status will be sent home and will not be allowed to enter the School until self-quarantine has been completed and medical certificate presented.
8. For purpose of proper monitoring, students and employees under items 2, 3 and 4 will be asked to fill-out the attached advisory slip and submit to the Homeroom Adviser (for students) or to the HRD (for employees) on February 3, 2020 (Monday).
9. Employees who have concerns with their leave credits must coordinate with the HRD. Due to operational exigencies, provision for an alternative working arrangement (if applicable) will be made available for employees who are in self-quarantine but have key roles in the operations.
The Risk Management Office will release updates based on DOH’s and other relevant government agencies’ advisories.
We request for your full cooperation in ensuring everyone’s well-being. Let us continue to keep Miriam College a safe and healthy community. Thank you!
Noel C. Racho,Ph.D.
Risk Management Officer