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Coronavirus and the Seasonal Flu – Protecting Yourself and Others

*Published February 4, 2020

This letter was published and shared on February 4, 2020. This is a rapidly changing situation and Salem State University is closely monitoring developments of the Coronavirus outbreak. Learn the latest updates.

Salem State University continues to closely monitor information about the coronavirus. In recent days, it was announced that the first case of this virus in Massachusetts was confirmed in Boston. The risk to the Salem State community remains very low and we have no reason to believe anyone in our community has been exposed. The infection is thought to be spread only through exposure to someone with the virus for a prolonged period of time.

While we must remain vigilant about the coronavirus, taking precautions against the common threat of influenza is also crucial. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that so far this season there have been at least 19 million flu illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths from flu.

Protecting yourself and others from influenza

Get Your Flu Shot!  If you have not yet received your flu shot this season, please do so to protect your own health and that of your family and friends and our community.  


You can receive a no-cost flu vaccine at counseling and health services (CHS) by scheduling an appointment at or calling 978.542.6413. You may also receive your flu shot at CHS’s flu clinic this Thursday, February 6 from 1-3 pm.

Faculty and Staff

Please contact your primary care physician to receive your annual flu shot. For additional information, including where to get the vaccine, you can go to the CDC webpage.

Further preventative measures. Steps to help protect us all from the flu and other viral infections include:

  • Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds (the length of the “Happy Birthday” song);
  • Using hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands;
  • Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing;
  • Refraining from smoking or vaping or reducing your frequency of use while feeling sick;
  • Disinfecting common surfaces regularly (door handles, countertops, remotes, elevator buttons, etc.);
  • Avoiding people who are sick;
  • Getting adequate sleep, proper nutrition and staying hydrated;
  • Staying home if you have the flu or another infection with a fever of 100.4F or greater. (Know your employer’s and professors’ sick policies and notify them as required).

Coronavirus information and protocol

The most up-to-date information on the coronavirus is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Last week, we shared the below information about how students, faculty and staff should proceed if you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus. We also announced a moratorium on official university travel to China given the number of existing unknowns about the virus.


Any student who has reason to believe that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus should call CHS to discuss and schedule an appointment at 978.542.6413.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff members who have reason to believe that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider or local emergency department. Notifying health care professionals prior to arriving at their facilities is important to containing the virus. Please also alert Gene Labonte through Salem State’s university police at 978.542.6111.

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