Skip to main content

Information about COVID-19 can be found on the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) website.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus not previously identified or seen in humans—it is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease which was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and has since spread aggressively across the world. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.


Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell

COVID-19 is a very serious viral infection that is highly contagious through the transmission of respiratory particles and microscopic aerosols that pass between people during talking, laughing, and even simply walking or breathing. There is no vaccine yet to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus by:

  • Wearing a mask or face covering in public, learn how to put it on and take it off safely.
  • Keeping physically distant from others; at least 6 feet away. If you must interact at a closer distance, make sure you and others are wearing masks.
  • Washing 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.
  • Avoiding touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth with hands.
  • Avoiding any contact with people who are sick. If you work or study in healthcare settings where there are ill people, follow additional precautions.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting often-touched objects and surfaces.
For more information

To learn more about what Dominican University is doing regarding COVID-19 and to see answers to frequently-asked questions, visit our Fall Semester 2020 FAQs page.