About COVID-19

UNC Asheville and University partners (Buncombe County Health Department, North Carolina’s State Health Department, UNC System, Mission Hospital, and other local health agencies) are planning ahead and responding as the situation evolves.

What is Novel Coronavirus?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Who is at higher risk for contracting COVID-19? What should I do if I’m at higher risk?

Based on information from the CDC, early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who are immunosuppressed.
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

As a community, we understand there are diverse needs of students, faculty and staff. Individuals with chronic medical conditions may have concerns about their health during this time of uncertainty.  Please contact your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your particular situation. Besides taking the usual hand/respiratory hygiene precautions and social distancing, the CDC has additional advice to help keep you healthy and safe.

How can I best protect myself?

The CDC recommends following the same guidelines as flu prevention:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • 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.

What should I do if I’m sick?

Anyone who has returned from an affected region within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and a cough, or is having difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately. Contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520 – before coming to the clinic in person – so we can maximize treatment effectiveness while reducing the potential risk of exposing others.

I feel anxious about the possibility of exposure from people who I think may have been exposed. How can I find help?

It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis. It is important to remember to not make assumptions about others’ perceived symptoms, travel history or identity. For students struggling with anxiety, they can reach out to UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520.

As a community, we understand there are diverse needs of students, faculty and staff. Individuals with chronic medical conditions may have concerns about their health during this time of uncertainty. Please contact your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your particular situation. Besides taking the usual hand/respiratory hygiene precautions and social distancing, the CDC has additional advice to help keep you healthy and safe.

What cleaning measures is the University taking?

The University routinely uses cleaning products designed to reduce the spread of many diseases. The CDC recommends EPA-registered hospital disinfectants, and routine cleaning and disinfection procedures to prevent the spread of viruses, including the one that causes COVID-2019.

In an effort to reduce the overall spread seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, we have increased the frequency of cleaning in public areas and have ensured EPA-registered hospital disinfectants are consistently used to clean residence halls, classrooms, offices, public spaces and other facilities and equipment.

Has anyone in the University been affected?

In two separate cases, one UNC Asheville employee and one student tested positive for COVID-19. These two cases occurred more than two months ago and the University is not aware of any other COVID-19 cases among students or employees.

How is the University keeping me updated?

We will post updates to this website: coronavirus.unca.edu. Information will also be sent via email to faculty, staff, students, and their families.

National and global health updates can be reviewed at the CDC’s website.