COVID-19, the virus responsible for the current global pandemic, is a highly contagious and potentially lethal virus. Current research suggests that the virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. However, the full extent of how the virus transmits is unknown.
Community spread of COVID-19 is occurring nationally, including in Erie County, Pennsylvania, meaning the virus is spreading through the community in a way that cannot be attributed to travel to a specific location or exposure to a person known to be infected. In addition, many people who contract the virus may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spreading the virus. There is no vaccine currently available for the virus. There is no known treatment for all of the adverse effects attributed to COVID-19.
The University is engaged in numerous efforts to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Efforts include increased cleaning, implementation of mask-wearing protocols, social distancing measures, and other recommended mitigation strategies. The University does not require or perform widespread COVID-19 antibody or virus testing of students, employees, or visitors.
Despite the University’s best efforts, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of positive cases or an outbreak on our campuses. We cannot guarantee that people present on our campuses will not be exposed to and become infected with COVID-19. The risk of exposure and possible infection is real and present in any community environment where large numbers of people are regularly interacting, including college campuses.
Up-to-date information on Mercyhurst’s COVID-19 response can be found at www.mercyhurst.edu/covid19.