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COVID-19 Confirmed Cases & FAQs

Updated Thursday, March 19, 2020

This list represents Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary community members who have known, confirmed cases of COVID-19 and could have presented a risk of exposure to other members of the Seminary community. The list does not include Garrett community members who are self-isolating or have confirmed cases of COVID-19 but pose no risk of exposure to others in our community. These figures are based on cases reported to Campus Safety of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and verified by a public health agency.

 

LOCATION    
Main Building   1
Sherman Apartments   1
     
Total Cases   2

 

Patient Privacy

Ensuring the anonymity of these individuals is paramount. If you are aware of their identities, please respect their privacy so they can focus completely on their health. The last thing they need – or any of us would want for them – is public attention and scrutiny. We will do everything we can to support these individuals through what is undoubtedly a difficult time.

Garrett's Response

Garrett is committed to protecting our community and the community beyond our campuses. Either the department of public health or the person diagnosed will contact those that the person has been in close contact with to inform those people to self-isolate along with how long they need to self-isolate. If needed, the department of public health may ask Garrett to be in touch with some individuals and groups to inform them of the close contact and their need to self-isolate. Garrett will make these notifications through the campussafety@garrett.edu email. So, if you hear from the individual and not Garrett, please count this as your official notification as the person was directed to contact you by their doctor or public health official.

The Seminary will continue to update the situation frequently on our COVID-19 webpage. Our goal is to be open and transparent, which we believe is essential to help stop the spread of the virus. This is a growing pandemic, and as we learn more about its impact on Garrett we will continue to share with you.

Please Note: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary cannot provide medical advice. We have received several questions from students who believe they may have been in contact with the student and have concerns for themselves based on their other health conditions or concerns for their family member’s health conditions. Any questions about personal or family health conditions with potential exposure should be addressed to your health care professional. See the guidance provided by the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html. In addition, the CDC has a toll free number you can call. It is 800-889-3931.

New COVID-19 Diagnoses

The local health department will contact Erin Moore to inform the Seminary of the positive diagnosis. Though the person being diagnosed (faculty, staff, or student) is not required to do so, we would appreciate the person who receives the diagnosis informing Garrett as soon as possible at campussafety@garrett.edu. If you are someone that the person has informed of their diagnosis, you should ask the person if they have emailed campussafety@garrett.edu and if not ask them to do so.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I know the name or share the name of individuals who have confirmed cases of COVID-19?

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Policy. This policy states, “Although Garrett-Evangelical personnel have very limited access to health-related information regarding students, staff, or faculty, the seminary does comply with HIPAA, which regulates disclosure of non-public, health-related information.” Based on this, we cannot share an individual’s name or any detailed information that would enable someone to easily identify who this person is. We have already shared the level of detail deemed appropriate and will share more information if anything new comes to light and/or as directed by local public health officials.

If you are aware of their identities, please respect their privacy so they can focus completely on their health. The last thing they need – or any of us would want for them – is public attention and scrutiny. We will do everything we can to support these individuals through what is undoubtedly a difficult time.

What constitutes “direct contact” with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

We have spoken to both the City of Chicago and the City of Evanston Departments of Public Health. Here is more detailed information on direct contact:

  1. Household members, intimate partners, and care givers.
  2. The criteria for someone to fall into the direct/close contact period is being within less than 6 feet of someone for 10 minutes or more. 
  3. A person with COVID-19 is most likely to be contagious when they are exhibiting symptoms. 
  4. The most likely incubation period (period of time for a person to exhibit symptoms) is about 5-7 days after being in direct/close contact.
  5. Those who are self-isolating because of potential exposure do not need to contact family members, friends, or public places they have visited (church, gym, kid's school, etc.) unless they develop symptoms.
  6. Through ongoing research, the CDC and Departments of Public Health now know that the likelihood of getting COVID-19 from indirect contact (such as being in a space where this student was prior to you or touching a surface or paper this student touched) is extremely low. They do not recommend self-isolation for those in indirect contact. 

I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, when does the 14-day self-isolation period start?

The period of self-isolation is 14 days from the last day of known contact. However, the CDC’s overall guidance to all citizens is currently to stay home as much as possible. You should leave your home only to attend to necessities like food and medicine. When in public follow social distancing guidelines.

If I have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19, do I need to inform my family and friends? What about public spaces I have visited?

Those who are self-isolating because of potential exposure do not need to contact family members, friends, or public places they have visited (church, gym, kid's school, etc.) unless they develop symptoms.

If I was in the same location as someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, do I need to self-isolate?

Individuals who have been in close contact with the diagnosed person will be informed to self-isolate and for how long by either the department of public health or the diagnosed person. If needed, the department of public health may ask Garrett to be in touch with some individuals and groups to inform them of the close contact and their need to self-isolate. Garrett will make these notifications through the campussafety@garrett.edu email. So, if you hear from the individual and not Garrett, please count this as your official notification as the person was directed to contact you by their doctor or public health official.

Through ongoing research, the CDC and Departments of Public Health now know that the likelihood of getting COVID-19 from indirect contact (such as being in a space where the person was prior to you or touching a surface or paper the person touched) is extremely low. They do not recommend self-isolation for those in indirect contact.  

However, the CDC’s overall guidance to all citizens is currently to stay home as much as possible. You should leave your home only to attend to necessities like food and medicine. When in public follow social distancing guidelines.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

When a person has the virus, they may have a fever (above 100.4° F or 38° C), cough and difficulty breathing. These symptoms overlap with several other common illnesses, including influenza.

Am I supposed to monitor my temperature? What do I do if I don’t have a thermometer at home?

There is no accurate way to measure your temperature without a thermometer. We highly discourage you from asking another person to touch your forehead and compare how hot it feels compared to their forehead. The Mayo Clinic lists these additional fever signs and symptoms of fever that may help you deteremine if you are experiencing a fever:

  • Sweating
  • Chills and shivering
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Dehydration
  • General weakness

If you are experiencing those symptoms and do not have a thermometer, we recommend getting in touch with your local health care professional for further guidance. 

I have symptoms that are NOT consistent with COVID-19. Do I need to inform anyone I have been in contact with recently?

Anyone who is sick, with any sickness, should self-isolate. If you are sick and are in Garrett’s on-campus dormitories and have a roommate, please contact the Housing Office at garrett.housing@garrett.edu or 847.866.3939, and they will provide guidance for isolation. If you have been sick and haven’t self-isolated (even if it is not COVID-19) then you need to inform your roommate (if you have one) and anyone else who has been in your room that you haven’t been feeling well and what your symptoms have been so they can make the decision for themselves if they should self-isolate.

If I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19, should I get tested?

Please see the CDC’s guidance for contacting your doctor and getting tested. It can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

I live in Garrett’s on-campus housing and need to self-isolate, what do I do?

If you and/or your roommate are not feeling well and are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 (in particular coughing, sneezing, trouble breathing, and fever) we ask that you notify the Housing Office immediately at garrett.housing@garrrett.edu and Campus Safety at CampusSafety@Garrett.edu. Additionally, we ask that you self-isolate immediately and also contact your primary care physician or a local urgent care center for guidance. If your symptoms worsen, we ask that you notify the Housing Office and Campus Safety via email.

If you need to self-isolate, here is more information you should be aware of:

1.  Again, we ask that you notify garrett.housing@garrett.edu and CampusSafety@Garrett.edu.

2.  Self-isolation is at least a 14-day period from the day of direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or direct contact with someone who is under care for suspected exposure to COVID-19. We have learned from the City of Evanston’s Department of Public Health that direct exposure/close contact is considered being less than six feet away from someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more. 

3.  Food provided by Food for Thought’s Garrett Café is available to be delivered to the outside of your unit’s door only. The Housing Office would need to know that you need food delivered within 24 hours. This can be done two ways:

a.  By a friend who lives in the building where you are located. You will have to notify the Housing Office via email with the name of the friend that you want to deliver the food. The friend delivering the food should place it outside of your door and call, text, and/or email you that it has been delivered so you can pick it up after they have left the area.

b.  If you are unable to find someone within the building, contact the Housing Office so we can coordinate to find a member from Food for Thought’s Garrett Café to deliver the food. A designated time may be set up for delivery. 

4.  If there is trash that needs to be disposed of, please contact the Housing Office. At that time, we will contact Buildings and Grounds to set up a time to have the trash picked up outside of your door. You will be notified of the time.

5.  Mail will not be delivered to your door during the time of self-isolation.

 

Messages to the Community

Update: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

We have spoken to both the City of Chicago and the City of Evanston Departments of Public Health. The City of Evanston provided much more detailed information noted below:

  1. The criteria for someone to fall into the direct/close contact period is being within less than 6 feet of someone for 10 minutes or more. 
  2. A person with COVID-19 is most likely to be contagious when they are exhibiting symptoms. 
  3. The most likely incubation period (period of time for a person to exhibit symptoms) is about 5-7 days after being in direct/close contact.
  4. Those who are self-isolating because of potential exposure do not need to contact family members, friends, or public places they have visited (church, gym, kid's school, etc.) unless they develop symptoms.
  5. Through ongoing research, the CDC and Departments of Public Health now know that the likelihood of getting COVID-19 from indirect contact (such as being in a space where this student was prior to you or touching a surface or paper this student touched) is extremely low. They do not recommend self-isolation for those in indirect contact.  

What Does This Mean for Garrett?

The Garrett student diagnosed with COVID-19 did not have any symptoms of sickness until March 8 and did not develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 until closer to March 13. In addition, if you did contract COVID-19 from this student between March 4-5, you would have started exhibiting symptoms between March 9-12. 

This means, if you received an email or a phone call directly from Campus Safety informing you that you were in direct contact with the person OR if you were in the Spoon Collective's "Spoonie" Chapel Service on Wednesday, March 4, then you should self-isolate for 14 days from the date you were exposed to the student, which would be through March 18 or 19. However, you should also know that if you haven't exhibited any symptoms by now, then it is unlikely that you have contracted it.

If you did not receive an email/phone call from Campus Safety and were not the Chapel Service on March 4 but did elect to self-isolate based on our email to the entire community noting the spaces and places this student visited on March 4 and 5, then according to the Evanston Department of Public Health you do not need to self-isolate

However, the overall guidance continues to be if you are feeling ill, with any illness, you should self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution. Even those who are not self-isolating for their own illness or their exposure to someone who has been diagnosed, should stay home as much as possible and only leave their home to attend to necessities like food and medicine. When in public follow social distancing guidelines.