Black Students of California United

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)


Guidance on how to prevent and respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rapidly evolving. The California Department of Public Health (CA DPH) continues to work closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the situation and provide updated information.



✓ 1. What is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms?
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses, like the common cold and pneumonia. COVID-19 is the disease caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
  • Most people infected with the novel coronavirus have mild to moderate cold and flu-like symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, may develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia .
  • The respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, new cough, new shortness of breath, and/or a persistent scratchy throat – appear an average of 5-6 days after exposure, but may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

✓ 2. How does the new coronavirus spread?
  • COVID-19 appears to spread like other respiratory viruses from person to person. The principal mode of transmission occurs mainly via respiratory droplets that travel up to 6 feet in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can be inhaled by people who are nearby or be moved to the eyes, nose or mouth by contaminated hands.
  • Close contact with an infectious person – such as shaking hands or touching a doorknob, tabletop or other surfaces touched by an infectious person, and then touching your nose, eyes or mouth – can also transmit the virus.
✓ 3. What should I do if I’m feeling sick or have fever or respiratory symptoms?
  • If you’re mildly ill, we encourage you to stay home and contact your health care provider by phone for guidance about managing your illness.
  • If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing, seek care immediately.
  • If you’re an older patient with underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised, please contact your physician early in the course of even mild illness.
✓ 4. What can I do to protect myself?

It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis, and we need to remember to avoid making assumptions about others' perceived symptoms or any characteristics of identity. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to take precautionary steps.

Here are CDC recommendations to take everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (for 20 seconds) or hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like keyboards, phones, remote controls and door handles, and thoroughly wash glasses and utensils.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze — or use the crook of your arm — and throw the tissue in the trash. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Don’t travel to places with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus. Reliable travel information can be found on the CDC's travel advisory page.
  • Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

✓ 5. Should I wear a mask?

The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks for the general U.S. public to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including the novel coronavirus.

The best way to protect your health is by practicing preventive measures listed above and getting a flu shot to help prevent illness and symptoms similar to the novel coronavirus.

✓ What to Do If You Are Sick
  • Stay home except to get medical care: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home: As much as possible, you stay away from others. You should stay in a specific "sick room" if possible, and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor: Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Wear a facemask: If available, wear a facemask when you are around other people (including before you enter a healthcare provider's office).
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trashcan.
  • Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items: Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.
  • Clean all "high-touch" surfaces everyday: Clean high-touch surfaces in your isolation area ("sick room" and bathroom) every day; let a caregiver clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Monitor your symptoms: Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention. If you are having trouble breathing, seek medical attention, but call first.

Current News & Resources

COVID-19 Global Cases

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) 

E-Town Hall Meeting: Learn about future of Aerospace and STEM from Industry Leaders during time of COVID-19 - (Saturday, March 28, 2020)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

BSCU COVID-19 Responses

Black Students of California United signed CalNorth Profit COVID-19 letter


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