Health Update: St. Thomas Monitoring Coronavirus

The University of St. Thomas is closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The illness was first detected in Wuhan, China, with the majority of new cases continuing to be located in China. There are, however, a growing number of confirmed or potential cases of the virus in other countries, including the United States. According to state health officials, there are no confirmed cases in Minnesota, and the risk to Minnesotans in general has been described as low.

University officials are in frequent contact with local, state, federal and international health agencies, and will continue monitoring the situation.


  • Current symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Things to know

  • The University of St. Thomas has policies and procedures to address a wide variety of emergencies including communicable diseases.
  • University staff are closely adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and have set in motion a number of strategies to identify and monitor any potential cases.
  • The World Health Organization has stated it is too early to declare an international public health emergency as it relates to the novel coronavirus.
  • If you have recently traveled to Wuhan or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, health officials encourage you to seek further guidance from your preferred health professional. Additional, you can contact the University of St. Thomas Health Services in the Center for Well-Being at (651) 962-6750.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. Below are everyday actions to decrease the spread of respiratory viruses:

    • 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.
    • Get the seasonal flu vaccine. Though not protective against this coronavirus, the seasonal vaccine may prevent against the flu, which is circulating on campus and is known to cause possible severe respiratory illness.

Additional resources

For more information about the 2019 novel coronavirus, please visit the following websites: