As we enjoy this wonderful fall day, we regret to inform you that flu season has definitely arrived in force. The Oregon Health Authority is reporting an increase in influenza cases state wide, and Willamette is no exception. And of course, we are also navigating COVID and cold season as well, so we're writing to remind everyone of a few things.
There is a lot of symptom overlap between a cold, the flu, and COVID, and it’s important to be aware of any symptoms. The most helpful thing you can do is stay out of class and activities if you are ill. We know students value their academics and don’t want to miss anything, but the last thing we want is for more people to get sick.
- Symptoms of the flu include: Sudden onset of fever, chills, body aches, headache, cough, sore throat, dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting.
- Symptoms of a cold include: Milder cough, sore throat or fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, and sneezing. It is usually not necessary to see a provider for a cold.
- Symptoms of COVID include: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
The best way to prevent infection is to protect yourself from germs and viruses. Masks can help interrupt transmission. Be sure to cover your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands often. Soap and water is most effective, but sanitizing gel also works. Most importantly, please take good care of yourself and rest if you are ill.
It is also important to stay up to date with your vaccines. Bishop still has a limited number of flu shots available for students. Salem campus students can get a flu shot in Bishop by calling for an appointment - (503)370-6062. Flu shots are free to those with the PacificSource student insurance or $30 billed to your student account for those with other insurance coverage. For students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art or those wanting to access care off campus, there are a number of pharmacies offering free flu shots and COVID boosters proximate to campus and Art House.
Lastly, as a reminder, Bishop Wellness Center does not provide “notes” for absences from class. If you are ill and unable to attend class, please promptly communicate with your professor to make up any missed work as your earliest convenience.
Take good care of yourself.