Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

6 p.m., Sunday, March 15, 2020

About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people.

For CDC updates, visit:

For FAMU-related updates, continue to check regularly.

What is the risk?

The immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered to be limited community transmission at this time, according to the CDC. The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.

Stay up-to-date on coronavirus risk assessment at:

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may be flu-like and appear within two to 14 days, ranging from mild to serious. Symptoms could include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What is FAMU doing to help mitigate transmission and/or spread of the coronavirus?

FAMU’s Emergency Management Team began meeting in January 2020 to plan and prepare the university to meet the challenges presented by the coronavirus. A sub-committee, the Coronavirus Incident Management Team, continues to meet regularly to address public health concerns and continuity of academic and business operations. FAMU has made a commitment to communicate regularly with members of the university community on the status of the coronavirus pandemic, its impact on FAMU, university mitigation and response efforts, and, most importantly, preventative measures and self-care information.

FAMU will continue to monitor the situation and will reassess these decisions based on information from WHO, CDC and International SOS.

Some of the steps we have taken that support public health include the following:

  • Installation of additional hand sanitizer dispensers throughout campus,
  • Increased disinfection of high-touch areas: doorknobs, handrails, light switches, bathrooms, water fountains, etc.,
  • Areas are being disinfected with products recommended by the EPA and the Center for Biocide Chemistries,
  • A location has been identified for use in the event students who live on campus need to self-isolate, and
  • Communicated the tips recommended from the CDC to Strike Out Coronavirus.

FAMU officials are asking students, faculty and staff to be vigilant in observing the following health protocols to protect themselves and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our community:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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.

If I travel internationally for spring break, does that mean I have to self-isolate?

Yes. FAMU requires that any student, faculty or staff who goes on any cruise or travels internationally self-isolate for two weeks. Do not go to work, classes, athletic or other social gatherings until 14 days after your return home. Students who self-isolate and need assistance should contact Tanya Tatum at

What should I do if I attended a conference where COVID-19 was present?

The CDC recommends self-isolation for individuals who were in close contact with a case of COVID-19. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately six to eight feet of a

COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). If you were in close contact with a case of COVID-19 or during the next 14 days feel sick with fever, a cough or have difficulty breathing, please seek medical advice and call ahead before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room. For additional information, call the Florida Health Department Hotline at 866- 779-6121. Also, please avoid contact with others, do not travel while sick and avoid using public transportation.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?

The virus causing COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person, according to the CDC. Someone who is sick with the virus can spread the illness to others. The virus spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes.

Will getting the flu shot help?

The flu shot will not prevent coronavirus; however, people with the flu are more susceptible to other illnesses, so a shot is still recommended.

Additional resources

Coronavirus Tips 1

Coronavirus Tips 2


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Contact Info

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1601 S Martin Luther King Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32307

P: (850) 599-3413